The weather was cool (low 40's) and the grass was damp. No breeze to speak of. I asked for a longer pavement crossing, since Gimme has figured out to just cross sidewalks and look for the track in the grass on the other side. Nadine set this track and we ran it about 15 minutes later.
I thought the pavement around the restrooms would work. However, Nadine laid it so we were on the narrow pavement side and Gimme's solution was to follow the scent where it pooled on the grass at the edge of the pavement. She had zero difficulty with the three sidewalk crossings.
Gimme rounded the third corner, and angled herself up onto the actual track. Where I've placed the "X" is where Gimme stopped to watch a jogger with a large dog (red line on sidewalk). She went right back to work after they passed, but had a bit of a challenge finding the track again. As it happened our pause was in the middle of a bunch of evergreen trees and so the ground was covered in pine needles. It took her awhile to find the leg and then the corner. If she had continued to struggle, I would have encouraged her to search and would have "organized" it to present her with the track on plain grass (closer to the sidewalk crossing).
The last 2/3 of the last leg was a terraced amphitheater (we were going downhill) and she tended to track parallel to the actual track on the uphill side. I would have expected just the opposite. In any case, as she got close to the end, she angled in and came up right on the article. She's a good girl and I was thoroughly pleased with her efforts, especially since she was deep in Mommy-brain.
I sent Sil an email asking his advice about what we did the prior week. I wrote, "I had Nadine space 3 treats across the gaps, start sock and end article. Gimme got the first two treats, but tended to overrun the third one. I was holding her back until she found it. But I'm not sure I should hold her back. What do you think? Another option is to simply put down two treats, spaced closer to the first half of the gap. Then when she gets the scent off the curb she can go for it."
His answer, after he got done acknowledging how brilliant Gimme is, was:
- if Gimme is paralleling the track across the gap within 6-10’ of it, don’t hold her back. This is a shaping exercise where the dog learns that there is a track on the flat.
- nothing wrong with putting 3 treats across the gap plus the one on the far side curb. It is a form of luring which is OK so long as you drop to 2 treats, then 1 treats then none and she continues to focus on the track across the flat gap.