We had an interesting nosework class last night - as always.
The first search was a group of a 9 file boxes, four were up on chairs, with one odor. I thought Gimme found the odor right away (a box on a chair), sniffed it, but didn't indicate and continued searching, paying no attention to it. There were two times when she actually arced away/around it, while tipping her nose toward it. She does this sometimes, because even with a peanut butter reward, she still sometimes prefers hunting over finding - especially when there is only one hide and more likely for the first search. I don't know why about the first search, since she knows we are at class and she knows there will be more searches.
I commented about her pointedly ignoring the hide and both instructors pooh-poohed what I said. This is really the only thing I don't like about training with Dorothy and her co-instructor. After all this time (17 months), they still don't think I know my dog. I guess they don't ascribe any significance to when she arcs away from odor, even when she does it twice. After checking all the boxes three times, Gimme finally went directly to the odor box and indicated. She clearly knew where it was, because she went directly to it from several boxes away.
For the second search, they moved the odor box to another chair and then put food and toy distractions in all the other boxes. Gimme enjoyed this challenge and sniffed each box briefly (did not get sucked in by any of the goodies) and then indicated on first sniff of the odor box. Gimme has always liked a good challenge
For the third search, there was one table, a bunch of chairs, three wheelchairs, the red wheeled cart, a toy wagon with a lot of other stuff in a smallish area. Three odors were set on a diagonal crossing the area. The hardest one was under the large table at the very center, with a wheelchair pulled up to the table on one side. Gimme worked very steadily and found two right away. When she was trying to access the one under the table, the wheelchair was there and she did quite a bit of detailing on it. Then she whined briefly. I don't know what the whine was about - she could have gotten under the table next to the wheelchair, so I didn't think it was really in the way. But then she came around the other side on her own and quickly sourced odor. Possibly the whine was just frustration, because she may have thought odor was somewhere on the wheelchair and she couldn't find it.
Our last search was just one hide under the toy wagon. Gimme found this really fast.
Seizure update: Gimme is doing fine. We did an energy healing aimed at repairing any damage to her brain and resetting any seizure pathways. We'll be doing a few more. Initially I noticed she was pretty clingy, following me every moment and this has returned to normal over time. During the first week, her responsiveness to cues was slow, but then it seemed to gradually get back to normal. The lasting issue has been a loss of impulse control when we are walking. This puzzled me because even when her responses were slow, Gimme was still able to ignore distractions and work with me. Then yesterday it occurred to me - loose leash walking is really a very different task. She's allowed to sniff and snoop and pee and poop, but at the same time, she's expected to pay attention to me and not pull on the leash. Essentially, its a multi-tasking behavior, which of course would be harder than a single task behavior. So we're working on it and taking our time and I'm sure it'll come back.
Tonight we did go to DaPaws to practice RallyFrEe. Honestly, I felt like our practice just 4 days after the seizure episode went better than tonight's practice. Gimme just seemed unfocused and we had to drop back to basics in a couple of places. I'm not sure what to make of this. It could be because we just recently changed her false pregnancy support package, reducing a number of things. I'll recheck them tomorrow. She could simply be having a bad day. Or it could be something else entirely.
Meanwhile I've noticed her ability to ignore other dogs has gone downhill, but this actually started before the seizure episode and I suspect is related to the false pregnancy. Its a little loss from where we were, but nothing like prior false pregnancies, so I'm still really happy with our current support package for the f.p. Gimme is fine when they are approaching, playing "whazzat" for cheese, but as they pass, then she wants to whip across in front of me and lunge at them as they are moving away. Some dogs she wants to lunge for sooner. I've been trying to catch a moment when I could pay her with peanut butter as they go past, without luring, but it hasn't worked.
So now I'm going to try a different approach. We are working on our emergency u-turn "let's go" (sometimes without a u-turn) and with a new twist, always paid with peanut butter. Its a game cue of sorts and Gimme thinks its lots of fun. We've only used it once for real, when a lady let three dogs out of her car without leashes and they were running in our direction, paying no attention to her attempts to call them back. (some people shouldn't be let out in public) We ran right back to our car and Gimme never knew there was an issue.
My plan is to use the "let's go" in conjunction with what I call, the paperclip turn. Its where you see someone heading toward you with a dog and you turn 180 degrees and walk slow so they catch up to you and just as they do, you again turn 180 degrees and then walk fast. We'll do the second 180 as a "let's go". At some point I want to morph this to walking straight and then suddenly dashing forward in "let's go" mode for a few steps. Of course, this does require careful assessment in real time, since I don't want our "let's go" dash to be a trigger for the other dog to behave badly.
I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile the couch beckons me and my girl for a 007 movie...