Class last night was very interesting. It started with the other instructor talking about what she learned in a recent Mental Management seminar, a mental training system developed by Olympic Champion Lanny Bassham. I have all his materials and actually went to a 3-day seminar with Lanny several years ago. Its a great system and has a lot of validity. However, it can be very hard to implement. Those who most need it have years of habitual negative/critical self-talk to overcome, which is far from easy.
Vehicle search video - (undisclosed number of hides, 3:00 minutes) I walked Gimme for several minutes before this search, but it was really clear she was about to use the grass for more, so I interrupted her. She remained distracted throughout this search, especially when we were on the grass. Early in the search she goes right to the hide on the rear tire of the middle vehicle, but doesn't indicate. Found the other hide on the front vehicle pretty quickly and gave me her pre-indication look and when I didn't call it, then she put her feet up on the bumper. This was all very weird, since putting feet up on the vehicles has never been a problem for us. It has happened on occasion, but never repeatedly in the same search. Gimme returns to the back tire hide and again doesn't indicate. I tried moving my hand lower on the leash to discourage going vertical and in this case it worked, though it is usually frustrating to her. You'll hear I tell her "good girl" when she brought her feet off the ground to sniff high, but without touching the vehicle. She did finally get the second hide
Clearly this instructor hasn't mastered the MM technique for providing constructive instruction without using a negative in the comment. "Don't let her" is negative and put in my head the image of Gimme with her feet on the vehicle. The positive comment would have been something along the lines of "encourage her to keep her feet on the ground." Since I believe animals have telepathic abilities, Gimme could have been reading that negative image and in her distracted state, trying to use it to make me happy. Of course, she didn't get rewarded on her first hide until after she put her feet on the bumper, so perhaps she concluded wrongly feet on vehicle was now okay. But, if this were the case, I would expect her to give it up after the first or second "off", unless she was getting a conflicting picture from my head.
Exterior search video - (undisclosed number of hides, 2:30 minutes) She was less distracted, possibly because we were on cement for most of this search. It didn't take her very long to find the hide, though I hadn't even noticed the little piece of scrap tubing on the ground. I really appreciated Dorothy's comment about me getting Gimme out to the edge of the search area, since it was a conscious decision on my part. Gimme didn't seem to be searching and was looking at me a lot, so I called "finish" and was right.
After these two searches I walked her more and she did poop. Possibly, the activity of moving quickly to the search area (75 yards at a fast trot) loosened up her need to do more than just pee. At least it certainly explains her distraction.
Interior search 1 video - (undisclosed number of hides) Gimme actually went right to the hide when she came in the room, but it wasn't caught on film because Dorothy had the camera and was shutting the door, and because I was in the way of the camera. There was shop-worthy stuff there, but Gimme was clearly looking for odor and not shopping. I can't tell you how I knew she was hunting and not shopping, I just knew. You will see her sniff the door to the other room and since I knew it was the next search area, I didn't get fooled into false alerting. Also Gimme wasn't fooled either. While she clearly knew there was odor through the door, she also knew there was something closer. She was very clear when she found the hide. Why did I call finish so quickly? I don't know, other than thinking it had taken her awhile to find it and she had checked the whole room, so it must be the only one. I admit I was thinking about calling clear when she indicated the hide on the shelf leg.
Interior search 2 video - (undisclosed number of hides) Dorothy comments about what a great video it will be and actually I think it is. Its clear from the video how full the area was: lots of stuff, three people and one very busy dog. It would have been very easy to crowd her, so I just focused on staying out of her way while still supporting her and watching what she was doing. I thought Gimme was brilliant in this search. After she found the first hide, can't tell you why, but I knew there was another hide. She was just too busy to be done.
Gimme was bored all day because I had a horrible cold. I was up and down a couple of times in the morning to talk to the windshield replacement guy, but otherwise slept as much as I could. Had to go to work for a couple of hours and when I got home I tried to take a nap before going to class. I had time for 1:15 nap, which ended after 30 minutes when Gimme proceeded to "entertain" me awake. Her entertainment consisted of repeatedly dropping a toy on my head. When this tactic didn't work she dropped the toy on my chest and pounced on it. When I rolled away from her hiding my face in the pillows, she then proceeded to lick my ear and chin and whatever face she could get to.
Since she'd been so bored, she was really disappointed to only have four searches and complained about her dissatisfaction all the way home. Loudly...