For the first search we worked the dogs off leash and the goal was to stick with them as if they were on leash. Despite Dorothy's reminder, with Gimme this is just impossible. When she's off leash, she moves quickly all over the room. In order for me to be near her as if she was on leash, I'd have to be at a dead run following her. I think me running would send her over the moon and she'd move even faster. I followed her as much as I could, but running would be counter productive.
Interior search 1 video Right before we came in Gimme saw a bunny, fortunately moments after I saw the bunny so he got to live. I wasn't sure she would be able to go to work, but she did. She did this search in 2:00, which is a good time for such a busy search area and so many hides. As you can see she pays no attention whatsoever to the dreaded panties.
For the second search they moved the hides around and we were to work them on leash. Gimme did a very nice job at this, finishing in 1:00, half the time of her earlier search. Interior search 2 video
Dorothy thought the time improvement was due to having Gimme on leash and especially a shorter leash. This whole short leash thing has been an obsession in NACSW nosework for a couple of years. I agree there are times it is helpful, but I don't agree with a one-size-fits-all approach, which is definitely the NACSW mode. Sometimes Gimme does well with a short leash and sometimes she doesn't. In this case we'd just come from a seminar weekend and she wasn't as fresh as she usually is, so she was more accepting.
So, I'm not saying the shorter leash wasn't a factor in the improvement, but I'm also not ready to accept it without considering other possibilities.
- For instance, as I pointed out during the discussion, we haven't isolated out the reality of how familiarization with the search area might make the second search go faster. She agreed we hadn't. We'd have to run the same or very similar searches on another night, reversing the order of leashed versus off leash.
- Also, since the handlers clearly know where the hides are in this search, they are going to tend to just take the dog around to where the hides are, so obviously it will go faster. The searches would both have to be blind hides to say whether the leash was a real improvement.
- And in Gimme's case there was the whole bunny encounter, which could have gotten her amped up and affected her focus during the first search. This affect would have had time to dissipate by the second search.
We live with these sweet affectionate creatures who play these silly games with us for the price of cheese or peanut butter and the joy of our company. Its a sweet deal my friend...