Class last night was focused on container searches. There were two search areas set up. One group of nine containers was outside the front door and another group of about twenty containers was in the main training room. We'd been instructed to bring a novel container with odor already in it. I was the only student who remembered to both bring a container and have odor in it. Dorothy was gone, so there was only her assistant instructor.
Search 1 & 2 video - The outdoor search was set up with no hides, the idea being to get the dogs a little frustrated to see how it affected their next search with several hides. We were to let them search in the first area until they showed they wanted to move on. You'll notice Gimme was more interested in the bushes than the no-hide containers. The red plaid bag was different/novel and she just had to stick her head into it.
Inside she did a really nice job overall. There are several places where she over-ran a hide, only to whip back to it. The hide I'd brought was a round cookie tin with a ton of odor in it and two little holes drilled on the side, which proved to be a very hard hide for the dogs to find. They all found it last. Gimme spent 1:32 seconds on this search, which is pretty consistent with the time of all the dogs.
Search 3 & 4 video - The outdoor search was again set up with no hides. You'll notice Gimme goes to the bushes much sooner. She dutifully checks each of the containers for me, but really makes it clear there is nothing there of interest.
For the indoor search we were to direct the dogs on a short leash from container to container. If they pulled to a hide we were to go with them, but then take them back to where they'd been. Gimme was pretty much amenable to working this search under my control - there was a time she could not have done it at all. She spent 1:48 doing essentially the same search, so its pretty clear this is slower. The advantage I think would be if you have a really confusing search area, and want to approach the search so its clear for the handler where they have and haven't been.
Search 5 & 6 video - This time we pulled a switch on the dogs and there was a hide in the outdoor search (pulled from the indoor search - so only five there). You can see Gimme clearly thought "ho hum, same old nothing search". You can also clearly see when she caught drift of odor and drove right to it.
For the indoor search we were to let them go off leash, even though we'll never have an off leash container search in a trial. Gimme clearly liked it. All the dogs were attracted to a ball on the floor in the corner. Gimme was more interested in the toy shelf, just checkin... Here when my difficult cookie tin was placed close to the taller tool chest, the cookie tin virtually disappeared. All the dogs found it last, if at all. Gimme did this search in the same time as she did the first search on leash.
One thing I did different was to try a homeopathic remedy called Phosphoricum Acidum, which is supposed to help with lack of concentration due to overwork. I would never say Gimme is overworked; instead I'm sure she thinks she doesn't get enough training. But she tends to emotionalize things, so perhaps it feels like it. Anyway this was the first time I tried it and I think it made a difference, especially compared to the searches over the last month. I'll be trying it here and there to see if its a possibility to help her focus.
Right now she is snoozing because her life is just one boring horrible drudgery after another and she never gets to do anything fun, doncha know...