Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, and SEN... 44 and counting...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nosework (6/11)

This is the last class of this session, on August 11th.  We did all exterior searches.

The first search was of a set of glass racks in the parking lot across the street.  You've seen flatbed trucks driving down the road with a pair of big racks on the back and huge sheets of glass in the racks.  Well, these are the racks we were searching.  The rack nearest the start had a high hide, about 4 foot up.  The rack on the far end had a hide in the front right - in a hollow pipe, so the odor could come out either end.

Gimme found the high hide quickly; was a little hesitant to put her feet up on it, but she did.  Given the racks are made of channel and angle iron, I don't blame her.  Then she went down the line to the last rack and indicated at the far end (orange) from where the hide was actually located.  The breeze was blowing scent through the pipe to the end where she caught it.  Only one dog indicated the other end and when he was searching, the breeze had died down to nothing, plus he went five feet past the rack before turning back to find the hide.

Our next search was in a group of five stacks of wood pallets. The breeze was blowing down the line of pallet stacks toward the startline.  This was a blind hide, so I didn't get to see any other searches, but Dorothy said no dog went past the hide.  Gimme was moving fast and went maybe one foot past it before whipping back to it.  Also according to Dorothy, as each team left the search area, continuing down the line of the pallets, the dog paid no attention whatsoever to the other pallets.

The third search was on a double-wide chain-link gate with privacy slats.  The hide was on the back side right next to the center upright and the breeze was blowing directly toward the gate, pushing scent behind it.  Although the dogs worked the gate over and over and over, none of them could find the hide.  The two more experienced dogs finally tried to indicate on either end (Gimme the left end, Spirit the right end).  I think blown scent was hitting the stuff behind the gate and curling forward and it was all they could get.  After they opened the gate to allow access, then Gimme went right to the hide as if there was a big red arrow pointing to it.

I took her to the front of the gate and cued "check it" pointing generally to the center of the gate and Gimme indicated it.  Dorothy challenged me saying she was just indicating to please me.  So I moved down three feet and cued "check it" pointing near me and she indicated there.  This is interesting, since I've used "check it" many times in container searches with a lot of bags and she's never given me a false indication, only indicating if we found a bag with odor.  So I don't know if this means she is now confused by the meaning of the cue or if she was just trying something to get peanut butter in the absence of any scent to work with.  

Our last search was a large open sandy area with a bunch of weeds, a few smallish rocks, no wind and 87 degrees.  The odor tins were placed roughly in a triangle.  The area was about 100x100 feet.  We were told to bring our longest leash.  The other students brought 10' lines and their dogs couldn't find odor until the student went to stand by the tin for awhile.
I brought my 40' line and thought our instructor and the other students were going to pee themselves.  I started letting Gimme just search until she found a hide.  Then I encouraged her to circle around me until she moved out to about 25' and then we did a spiral search to cover the area, just like we learned in the recent tracking seminars.  We had the other 2 hides in no time, without me guiding her to them.  And to think my nosework instructor was so worried about tracking training messing her up for nosework.  Hah!
I love how smart Gimme is and how she can apply cues and concepts from one sport to another one. 

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