I came to class with a migraine (a mild one I've had for a week) and let them know if Gimme had any issues, to blame it on the tall end of the leash, since I wouldn't be as focused or quick to respond. Actually Gimme did quite well and didn't seem bothered by my issue - clearly she doesn't need much input from me, eh.
Interior 1 video - We again had all the dividers set up, but more in rows so it was less intimidating. We had to explain our strategy for working this on leash. I said I would let Gimme burst into the area and go with whichever side of the middle she picked, and then would encourage her to check that out before moving to the other side. The first thing she paws at is a hand on the floor, just like last week - this was unpaired, so it seems to fit with what Dorothy said about her being more inclined to get into toys or shopping when the hides aren't paired. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this information. She did a very nice job.
Gimme was the third dog to search this week and we noticed all the dogs tended to find the bucket hides first, then the ones on chairs. I shared my idea, which Dorothy agreed with: I think the buckets "concentrate" the odor and the dogs find it rewarding to stick their head in the bucket. Kind of like the way dogs stick their heads out car windows, for the rush of scent they get. So I think when buckets are available, they check them first and only after they've found all the in-bucket-hides, then they switch gears and look elsewhere.
Interior 2 video - This search was off leash and my strategy was to simply stay upright and not get in her way. Gimme continued her strategy of checking all the buckets a couple of times before checking anything else. I don't recall noticing this with other containers, such as boxes, but it maybe be more pronounced since the buckets are novel and they see open boxes all the time. Its kind of interesting on the video to see how she worked the final hide off the bathroom and stack of step platforms. Plumbing tends to suck odor to it (as do drains outside), so it makes sense to see her work it so directly after she checks the bathroom, then to the platforms between the bathroom and the hide.
Interior 3 video - This final search was all blind hides and we were told they weren't going to answer if we said alert. The hides were visible when we got there, so we didn't need their confirmation, but I didn't ask what the purpose was for not answering. Knowing Dorothy, I'm sure there was a reason. Gimme did a nice job on this search. She stuck with her buckets-first strategy.
She always does so well in nosework. I'm glad to see she wasn't negatively impacted by my migraine and muddled head. I love her independence and take-charge approach.
Since then I've entered her in our first (and only) barn hunt trial this year for Thanksgiving weekend. I've also entered two tracking tests on the same day (mid-November). One in Bow and the other in southern Oregon. I really hope we get into Bow. For one thing, I'll see a bunch of people I know and I'd love to have them there for celebrating (or commiserating). And since Gimme has tracked there so many times in all the various seminars and workshops, its a good area where I know she'll be familiar with the environment and challenges. Cross your fingers for us...