Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM,
R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADPL1, ADPL2, TD, UWP, ADPL3, NTD, TKN, L2V, ADPL4,
SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH and ADPL1(2GC)... 30 and counting...






Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nosework (1/14)

Gimme was back to her usual enthusiastic and brilliant self.  All but the last were one-hide searches and Gimme didn't seem put off by them.  Of course, they were all puzzles, and effectively there were three hides in the room, just sectioned one from the other by expens.  Searches 1, 2 and 3, were done back to back; as were 4, 5 and 6.  Search 7 was done by itself.

I've continued to use a red dot to show odor.  The owner/handler's location is shown with a blue-violet dot.  The instructor location is shown with a lime green dot.

Search one contained two small plastic cabinets (larger grey), one red rolling cart, and other miscellaneous stuff.  The inaccessible hide was in a filing cabinet.  We were told to come in, get seated in one of the chairs and release the dog to search.  When the dog found the hide, the nearby instructor rewarded the dog.

None of the dogs had any problems searching without their human following them around.  Gimme didn't seem to notice I wasn't there until she got her nose close to odor and Dorothy gave her peanut butter chips.  Dorothy fed so early, it was as if Gimme didn't connect it to finding the hide and continued trying to source it.

In this second area was a wheelchair and three walkers.  The chairs along the wall was where the gallery of other students sat.  The handler sat in the chair off by itself.  This was a paired hide, so Gimme rewarded herself. Again Gimme was unconcerned about leaving me lounging in a chair and got right to work. 

The third search area was three tables (rectangles) and dozens of chairs. I think the spacing between the tables was tighter than I've indicated - Gimme could have gotten through underneath and between them, but it was easier to go around.  You'll notice this is the first time we didn't join the dog in the search area.  I liked how they made a gradual transition from the handler stationary and out of the way to the handler actually outside the search area.

The instructor moved in too soon to reward and was ignored, since Gimme was intent upon sourcing exactly where the hide was.  I find this consistent with Gimme - she wants to do the whole job.  Yes, she'll usually take a treat, but as with the first search, she's not satisfied until she knows where the hide is.  When she sourced the hide and then took the PB chips, it was like she seemed to "get" it as a reward for finding odor.  Suddenly she got all silly acting - almost submissive in appearance.  Given her confidence and how much she loves people, we interpreted it as her "having a moment" about realizing other people could give her rewards.  I know she has gotten a LOT of treats from other people, but this is the first time she's gotten any PB rewards from someone else and connected to nosework.  Chris has given her rewards in connection to some obedience and then agility when my hand was all messed up, but neither were peanut butter.

For the fourth search, the filing cabinet was moved and the handler was outside the search area.  Most of the students walked through the little "gate" and tried to turn their dogs right there and I noticed the dogs seemed very confused by this and it affected the start of their searches.  So when I brought Gimme in, I walked her through the gate and took a couple more steps before turning and going to the gate to release her.

Gimme went right to work and had no trouble finding the hide.  In the course of her search, I moved over to the right, so I could see her work.  So when she found it and looked up to see if I noticed, not only wasn't I where she'd left me, but she saw Dorothy swooping toward her.  Then Gimme moved away from the hide and wouldn't go back to it.  After a bit of her avoiding it, Dorothy went over, squatted down and offered her treats near the hide - then they were pals again.  I don't think Gimme was actually afraid of Dorothy, rather she just thought she was being weird and didn't know what to do about it.  If she'd really been afraid, I believe she would have come to where I was standing, which she didn't.

Again for search 5, I noticed the handlers being awkward at the gate and saw it was confusing to their dogs.  They'd call the dog to them at the gate, leash them (or put a hand in their harness), then try to turn them right there, while backing up to get on the right side of the gate.  I just stepped well into the search area and took Gimme's harness and then when I turned we were facing the gate, so no awkwardness.

The hide had been moved to the walker.  Gimme went right to work and did a stellar job.  She quickly checked the wheelchair and just as quickly left it.  A couple other dogs spent a long time on the wheelchair, unable to leave it and search elsewhere - one dog spent almost three minutes insisting the hide had to be on the wheelchair.  Gimme found the hide on the walker very quickly and happily self-rewarded from the pairing treats.


For search six the chair with the hide had been moved to the corner.  Gimme took such a direct line to the chair, her search was over almost as soon as it started.  Or it would have been had she not insisted on detailing the chair to find source again. 





For the last search (7th) all three hide items were in the search area: filing cabinet, chair, and walker.  The handler was instructed to stand right inside the door and when the dog found the hide on the chair, they would reward it.  One instructor was positioned near the walker and the other near the filing cabinet.  They brought some free-standing gates made of PVC and construction fence to set on either side of the walker.

Only one dog went straight to the chair at the threshold, a small terrier, so maybe the hide being at nose level for him was a factor.  All the others found the hide on the walker first.  I saw Gimme sniff toward the chair as she passed it, noting a hide there.  She was pretty quick to get the hide on the walker, then toured the area before coming to the chair.  Again she was very thorough in detailing the chair to find source before indicating.

All the dogs saved the filing cabinet for last.  Each of them would get very close to it, sniffed at it briefly and then leave.  Sometimes several times. We think this is because the filing cabinet was now backed up against the giant metal garage door and compared to how warm the room was, the garage door was cold.  We think the cold from the door was falling to the floor and the odor for the filing cabinet hide (which was inaccessible to begin with) was possibly rising to join warmer air nearby.  Gimme had to indicate twice to get paid for this hide because Dorothy was being so careful not to repeat the swooping incident.

All in all it was a fun class.  Gimme was happy to have so many searches.  I was happy to have a happy-working dog again.

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