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, ADP-L1, ADP-L2, TD, UWP, ADP-L3 and NTD...
23 and counting...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nosework (2/14) & tracklaying

One nosework class was cancelled because of weather and then Thanksgiving week no class was scheduled.  So this week (Dec 1st) was our first class following a two week break. 

The plan was to revisit edges and corners.  In  nosework so often hides are on things toward the middle of the room, so dogs can get out of the habit of checking the edges/corners.  For the first and second searches there were 6 hides around the sides or in corners of the room.  One of those hides was about 5 feet high on the inside of the garage door.

Gimme was the third dog to run and she did very well.  She started on the scattered stuff in the middle of the room, but finding no odor, she quickly moved to the sides and corners.  She was as fast as August at finding the hides on the perimeter.  This is interesting, since August is a German Shepherd and they are known to be "perimeter dogs" who tend to check perimeters of an area first. 

Gimme actually beat him a lot in overall time because of the high hide.  August went past the high hide repeatedly and didn't indicate until the sixth pass.  Gimme got it on the second pass; really it was just a re-check from her first pass.  She was moving so fast when she passed it the first time, she had to swing back around to it to check it out.  It took her no time at all to go high and indicate.

The third search was one hide in the middle and three on the edges.  Gimme aced this too.  For her these were all pretty easy searches, so hopefully they will do something more challenging this week. 

Of course she's been so bored all weekend, she'll probably be happy to do anything, even basic stuff.  I was away most of the day on both days to lay track for WSOTC's TDX test.  It was fun and I was able to use things I learned at the Sil Sanders seminars to improve my performance as a tracklayer.  Sil was in charge of all the track-laying and cross-tracks and coordination of timing.  Its really quite a complicated thing to get everything done at the right interval, so his analytical approach made it flow nicely. 

Sil instituted two procedures years ago for clubs holding tests in this area (well after my last tracklaying efforts), which made it much better.  1) After the tracklayer walks the track with the judges while they are plotting the track, then she goes out and walks it again solo.  Sil says too often the tracklayer will be distracted by the judges and doesn't get their count down or landmarks, so its important for them to have the opportunity to walk it again solo, which builds their confidence and reduces tracklaying errors on test day.  2) Tracklayers got to walk the course as the team was working it, staying just behind the judges.  This means the tracklayers can hear the judges' discussion of what they are seeing and their decision making process.  This was very informative for me.  And, if the judges blew the dreaded whistle, then the tracklayer would take the working team to the nearest known point and walk the course with them, so the dog ends on a positive note.

Honestly, I think Gimme would have passed on the track I laid.  The Border Collie who drew my track only made it a bit past halfway before they blew the whistle, though honestly it was a mistake he made well before then which led to him getting off track and quitting.  For the first part of what we walked he was still very uncertain, but once he found the second article, then his confidence was restored and he barrelled through to the end.

Gimme made it very clear I'd neglected her and should be doing something to make it up to her.  She had zero sympathy for my desire to lay around like a lump and wait for my migraine to go away.  Tonight we are going to Eatonville for a barn hunt practice, so she should be happy when we get home from it.

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