Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, and NE... 41 and counting...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nosework (5/12)

Dorothy is back - yaaaay.  Turns out she was in Pennsylvania instructing at one of the nosework camps.  I was glad to see her, since she always has such insightful comments.

Our first four searches were indoors, set up with 8 blank boxes around a central chair.  The blank boxes were at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11 o'clock.  The chair is the green shape in the middle of the diagram and the point indicates which direction we were facing (toward 12 o'clock) when seated.  The diameter of the circle is at least 25 feet.


The instructions were to bring the dog in on a short leash, sit down, get treats in hand and turn the dog loose to search.  Once the dog found and stuck to odor, we'd get up and reward them at source.  Then we were to take the dog back with us to the chair and hold them while Dorothy moved the box.  Search 1 at 12 o'clock, search 2 at 9, search 3 at 3, and search 4 behind us at 6 o'clock.  We could watch the dog work for the first 3 searches, but weren't to watch the dog for the fourth search.  For the 4th search we were to see if we could tell when our dog was at odor by sound and/or Dorothy would say when to reward.  Because the dogs pay attention to what someone is doing with boxes and will gravitate toward it, after moving the odor box, Dorothy would pick up and drop at least two more boxes.

Each dog started moving forward (toward 12 o'clock) to start their first search and for subsequent searches, all the other dogs went to the last box Dorothy handled.  Gimme was never sucked in by Dorothy handling boxes.  For the first search she went to the box at 11 and then directly to odor.  For the subsequent searches she went from the chair directly to the odor box.  She was the only one to go so directly.  For the fourth search, I knew she was at odor when I heard her skiing across the floor on the box.  She is who she is...

These searches were followed by 4 container searches outdoors.  For the first three of these searches, we worked the dog on the left, on a shortish leash (6' max) and walked from the start down the line of boxes, not working the dog, just walking along in stupid-handler mode and the dog had to stick to odor for us to stop and reward.  If the dog didn't stick to odor, we continued walking, going around the four cones and back to the start and walk the line again - repeating until the dog stuck to odor.  The other part was handler speed.  The first search we walked somewhat slower than usual, the second normal speed and the third decidedly faster than usual.  For the 1st search, odor was in box 3; 2nd search in box 5, and 3rd search in box 1.

Gimme stuck the box each time and for the fast round,
I was the only handler brave enough to do it at a good fast trot (fast for me anyway).  Honestly Gimme thought it was the bee's knees.  She dragged me to odor and then pounced on the box, causing Dorothy to comment "Gimme says 'This is fun, can we do it like this all the time?'"

For the last search, we changed it up and started on the other end, kept the dog on our right side and moved at our regular pace.  This required us to change up our hands for leash handling and treats.  Odor was in box 3.

All the dogs, even Gimme, were challenged by handler awkwardness, though I didn't feel very awkward because I'm used to holding her leash in either hand when we are walking.  The only thing to feel odd was having her peanut butter go toob on the other side.  And since we were last and I got to watch the other dogs before us - I think Gimme was held to a higher standard for what counted as sticking than for the others.  Its okay though, the second time around she dragged ahead of me and pounced on the box, smashing it to smithereens (its gone on to little-box-heaven).

I have to say I find it interesting how much Gimme enjoyed these exercises.  When we went to Level 1 element searches where there was only one hide, I noticed she often seemed bored or impatient about only having one hide. I almost never see either attitude in classes and I think its because Dorothy is soooo clever about coming up with unique challenges.

Gimme is snoozing contentedly...

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