Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Tracking Genius (19)
While I was laying a track for Cricket, Nadine laid one for Gimme. Here's the map from it - its 335 yards. Gimme had trouble on the first leg when she noticed a lady walking two dogs straight out in front of her - they were a long way off but it was still a distraction for her. She's been okay with tracking where dogs have crossed over her track, but the visual distraction was hard for her to let go of.
I had Nadine do a couple legs with two flags, instead of flags at the corner. Basically when the flags line up, one behind the other, then you are at the corner. Once she mentally let go of the dogs, Gimme did well until she got to the top of the hill (on third leg). There was a breeze coming to us from across the path (off to our left) where the lady and the dogs had been walking a bit before. Gimme was distracted and pulled off to the left to check it out. I let her work through it and when she came back, she was really strong - and luckily there was an article right afterward, so a nice reward for coming back to work. She did well then until we got to the bottom of the trail and then she had difficulty finding the track to the end of the leg. I noticed when Nadine did the same track with Sugar, she had difficulty in the same spot.
It wasn't Gimme's best track, but I was very happy to see her work through the distractions. One of the things Sil said at the seminar is, if your dog is never distracted, then they aren't learning anything about dealing with distraction. He says dogs need to be distracted/challenged and then work through it.
While Nadine took Skookum out on the track I'd laid for Cricket, I laid an article circle and then ran it with Gimme. Gimme really likes these; she finds them motivating and is getting better all the time about pulling out ahead of me on her restarts.
Tonight: We drove to Eatonville (about 1:05 each way) for a barn hunt practice. I have Gimme entered in trials for the last two weekend of October. So I wanted to get in another practice (or two if I can get there next week as well) to work on waiting out her barking and responding to her paw indication. The first time she did very well, much less barking and used her paws quite readily. For her second run she was barking a lot. She would run around the ring and periodically stop and bark, but not in any way I could tell what it was about. A couple of them it turns out were barking at rat tubes, but from 6 feet away. Its good to have this practice opportunity where I can wait her out and encourage her to go back to using her paws. I don't care if she barks, but I definitely want an indication which is clear.
Now she's snoozing contentedly...