Getting caught up on blogging again.
This is the last class for the year. We were told the week before to bring a Christmas container with a distraction in it. I brought a large Christmas tin with an open container of cinnamon in it. The key thing with distractions is for them to be novel scents. None of the dogs were taken in by my cinnamon.
Containers 1 video - This was a blind search of 16 chairs with 16 boxes. We were given just one minute. Gimme only found one hide. To me she was still struggling to follow her nose, which I attribute to her being on antibiotics. She has another 8 days before she takes the last of them. We were told after these searches that we all showed a disinclination to go between the chairs, especially between the row of backs. I see on this video I went through a row of backs and the row of fronts.
Containers 2 video - This is the search with our Christmas containers and distractions. The hides were all in the green brick boxes. Gimme did better with this, partly because these boxes have loose seams (especially compared to the red boxes), so I think there was more scent available. She was still a little distracted by non-container things, but wasn't sucked in by any of the intentional distractions. Not even the paper bag with the chicken sandwich in it! Good girl Gimme!
Containers 3 video - For this search, the green box hides were replaced with hides in large "candy canes". Because the hides were inside the canes (toward one end or the other), they tended to channel and direct the scent. It was interesting to watch all the dogs. Gimme did a really nice job at this, indicating the first hide in 13 seconds. This time Gimme did show attention to one of the distraction containers, which happened to be the one I brought and was close to one hide. Whether it was the cinnamon or my scent on the container, we don't know and Gimme isn't telling. It took 25 seconds to find the second hide and then 13 seconds to find the third hide.
Containers 4 video - This time we got to repeat the search of 16 chairs with 16 boxes. After we were done, we learned there were 8 hides out there - two per row, one in each red box. This time Gimme found two hides, doubling what she'd done before. If you watch the video carefully, you can see she spends a fraction more time sniffing the red boxes, but doesn't commit or indicate. I think the antibiotics were interfering and with these tight boxes, there just wasn't enough scent to convince her they were source.
I'd love to do this search again when class resumes next year, to see how she does when her abilities aren't being interfered with. In any case, I made sure everyone knew "Gimme doubled the number of hides she found". They were impressed... I didn't give them any other details. Its all in the presentation, doncha know.