Monday, January 23, 2017
I'm showing you the searches for this class out of order (grouping interiors, then containers), because of the discussion about each.
We had a series of three interior searches and four container searches. For the interior searches, they weren't hard, in fact the hides were pretty obvious. After the first search Dorothy explained the idea was to test a concern from the last class where the dogs had so much difficulty with odor in small plastic containers. They all had holes, so scent should have been plentiful. The other instructor thought maybe the dogs were unfamiliar with odor-in-plastic. They've not shown any trouble with odor in plastic tubing or in water bottles, but there are many different kinds of plastic.
Interior search 1 video - You'll see Gimme sniffs the odor container almost right away, but then leaves it. Hard to believe it took her 1:09 to find it in this little room. I thought she was goofing off. While it did look like it, Dorothy said all the dogs were having trouble with this search. We discussed the purpose for these searches after everyone went through the first one.
Interior search 2 video - We didn't have any reason for why she was acting so silly. It might be because Auntie Janice (Freedom Kennels) was there and it was such a small room - it was her pockets Gimme tried to raid. It just seemed to take a bit for her to get to work. Even including the silliness, she still trimmed her time substantially, getting the hide in 44 seconds.
Interior search 3 - There is no video for this search. Dorothy wasn't quite ready for Gimme to burst across the start line and by the time she hit record, the search was over. It was a don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it kinda search. Great job Gimme.
The other searches were all box container searches. I told Dorothy before we started I planned to work Gimme's over-exuberant indication. Not surprising to me was the other instructor's feedback - she and I have disagreed on just about everything, so I've come to expect it. I found Dorothy's feedback very helpful and spot-on, as always.
Gimme has been faulted exactly 1 time for pawing (over 11 trials) and the judge who did it explained her stand was to fault any touch. It was actually one of the gentlest paw indications Gimme has ever done. I see no point training toward every possible rules interpretation by judges, just as I wouldn't train obedience next to a moving forklift just because its "possible" you could see one at a trial. This is Gimme's natural inclination and I'm not going to require her to completely change for a dog sport - she isn't working as a bomb detection dog. I'm simply training toward a gentler version of it. If she morphs to no-touch on her own and its still clear, I'll go with it, I'm just not going to require it. This is my philosophy and I'm sticking with it.
Container search 1 video - Just 1 hide. Gimme did a nice job stopping me for the odor box, even though we were moving at a pretty good speed. Her first indication was pretty vigorous. I did have to ignore the second one, but then she got milder with each subsequent one. Overall I thought she did a very nice job.
Container search 2 video - 2 hides. This time I ignored the first two indications because she was raking her foot across the box... on the third one her paw (while still a strong "bap") wasn't moving so I rewarded it. With just that little bit of warm up, you'll notice on the next hide (blue box), her indication is deliberate, a bap, but not raking at all.
Container search 3 video - 3 hides. Hide 3 was challenging because it was so close to hide 2. Gimme was more reasonable in her indications. No raking with any of these.
Container search 4 video - 4 hides. Gimme is completely unfazed by getting her head stuck in the first box hide. She did a nice job on all her indications, with no raking.
I need to work this system in all her searches, all the time (not just containers). What was particularly noticeable to me, was how she got more and more excited with each search, but was able to carry over what she was learning about modifying her indication from one search to another. In the past when we've done multiple box searches, she's gotten more excited with each search until she just starts trashing boxes without even checking for odor. So this was a huge improvement. Its nice to work with a genius.