Monday, February 20, 2017
Several class members got into a trial this weekend, so the plan was to have one search of each element. Dorothy was the "judge" for the interior and container searches. The co-instructor judged the exterior and vehicle searches. It was set up with searches going on in two different places, just like a real trial. There was also one extra search at the end.
Exterior search - This search was of a large L-shaped area, with a lot of stuff creating barriers and challenges. I asked the "judge" to video us, but she must've hit the button twice, because there was only 4 seconds. Gimme did a really nice job and I let her make her own decisions about where she went. She found two hides, and then I took her back to an area I didn't feel she had really given any attention to - as opposed to seeing her briefly check and then discount it. She gave it a quick sniff for me and then tried to drag me to a hide we'd already found, so I called "finish" and was correct.
Interior 1 search video - So Gimme races in and nails the first hide in 4 seconds. Quick or what! I learned later the sniffing she did at 25 seconds was where a dog had bloody diarrhea the day before - one of our classmate's dog got totally stuck there and couldn't leave it. Gimme nailed the second hide in 27 seconds, including the time spent where the accident had been. When I said "find me 'nother one", Gimme went to the gate between this and the other search area. Maybe she was trying to tell me something. She diligently continued searching for me and was at least rewarded by getting a treat out of the plastic shoebox on the grooming table. Knowing there was nothing else, she tried to tell me about the chair hide she'd already gotten and I still wasted another ten seconds. I could have saved 35 seconds of search time had I taken her word for it when she pointed out "nother one” was in the other search area.
Container search video - This is a good example of me not-working our indicator; despite recently saying I was going to every time <sigh>. I also didn't work my container plan when she got to the bag. I should have kept moving around her and then she would've been more likely to leave it and not have sucked me into her interest in the Butterfinger distraction. You'll see once I said "alert" she's pretty insistent she should get rewarded even though I caught her in a lie. When we got moving again and she went to it, I kept moving and she didn't even pause.
Vehicle search video - Sorry this video is so hard to see; it's very dark over there. She finds the first hide in 44 seconds. She finds the second one in 50 seconds. Then I call finish because "we can only have three". Except we only had 2 hides, so they made me keep searching. There were only two hides and after I had her check the whole area again, then they accept my finish call.
I normally can count beyond 2, so I think there were two things going on. First, I noticed her tail was getting droopy looking as we walked over there, so I was distracted. Then between the two hides she paid a little attention to the back bumper on the truck and I made a mental note to get back there... hence three hides in my distracted head. BTW I wasn't really aware of the rain, but you can clearly hear it on the video.
Interior 2 search video - You can clearly see in this video how droopy her tail was. It just droops limp behind her and while she can wag the end of it, much of the movement you see is caused by her movement. When she moves faster, the tail comes up a bit and she can almost wag it normally - which goes with Doc's idea of it being a "power" issue, caused by interference with nerve transmission.
You can also see she is still eager and happy to search and nails the first hide in 10 seconds, the second - 18 seconds later, and the third 24 seconds out. Droopy tail and all, she is still significantly faster than her classmates, by half a minute or more.