We went to Eatonville tonight to attend one of the rare Monday night practices. They used to always have them on Monday night, but then it got changed to Saturday (when I teach classes) or Thursdays (when I'm in Auburn). It was decided to offer a couple of Monday night practices in December. I figure Gimme needed an outlet after being cooped up all weekend.
The first time in the ring they put out three rats for her. She did a great job finding them and all her barking was directed at the rat tubes, with pawing for indication. Then she did the tunnel for me - all in 4:05... a good solid time.
I spent time helping some novice people with their dogs. One terrier would find the rats right away (within the first 10 seconds in the ring) but wouldn't indicate, though the owner said she used to. So we really ramped up the play with the tube. The first time she paid any attention to the rat tube, the owner really played with her, moving around the ring with it teasing her, patting her side and praising her. The dog loves the rat tubes - I think she has figured out they will be taken away if she indicates.
We kept her in the ring, just having the owner and dog turn away while I hid the tube again. We did the re-hide 5 times and by the third time she was really indicating strongly. She loves having her Mom play with the tube with her. Later on they came in for another turn. We'd hidden two tubes and she found them very quickly and indicated them beautifully. She's gonna be a fun dog to trial.
I also got to help introduce a 4 month old Cattle Dog to barn hunt. She was immediately fascinated by the rat in the tube, set out in the open, and didn't want to leave it. Then we set it out next to a litter tube, to see what she'd do. She sniffed the litter tube first (because it was closest), but then completely focused on the rat tube and again didn't want to leave it. She could have passed an instinct test right then and there. Very cool.
For Gimme's second turn, we hid three rats and then as she'd find them, I'd draw her over into another area in the ring and they'd be hidden again. Gimme thought this was the best fun EVVVVER. She got to find seven rats out of three. Her indications were all really good and I only had to remind her to use her paws one time. There was more barking than earlier, but I'm okay with it, provided she isn't just wasting time, standing around barking. Gimme was a little less cooperative about doing the tunnel this time, so when she did it (the 4th time), we made sure there was a rat tube right in front of her as she came out.
Her reaction was kinda funny, she kept nosing at the tube like she couldn't believe it was just laying right there. I think she's forgotten her times in Instinct when the tubes were out in the open. Her eyes were huge.
She's contentedly snoozing as we speak.