I made sure to get to class really early so Gimme and I could go for a walk at LOTTS park, which is part of the water treatment facility. Things went well until we came up on the path from out in the fields, to see a loose dog, 50' from its owners. I just backed us into the field and a couple minutes later when they went by, the owners had leashed the dog. What I found interesting was how intense Gimme was about this dog. She's seen a number of dogs since the incident in Parkour class and hadn't seemed any worse for wear. This dog was large, lanky, blonde retriever type. Gimme was really certain we needed to catch up to them and "do something". The dog she had the incident with in class is a white standard poodle. So it would seem she has concluded large light-colored dogs are a problem.
This night's nosework class was all container searches, in different configurations. The handler challenge was to do the searches using only 6' of leash. Gimme seemed to do okay with the shorter leash.
Container search 1 video - This was a traditional ORT setting, two rows of 6 boxes, and one hide. Gimme did a lovely job, finding her one hide in 10 seconds.
Container search 2 video - The second search was three rows of 4 boxes. We were all told before this search started by the co-instructor, "If your dog puts paws on the boxes, I will kill you." Which really means, get in there and reward quickly. You can see the way Gimme did her find, dashing over to the hide unpredictably, there was no way to prevent her from pawing at the boxes. Thus my comment, "You are getting me in trouble, I'm dead now." Gimme found this hide even faster, 3 seconds. We were instructed to be sure we covered the whole area, even if they found it right away.
Container search 3 video - This search was set in a circle, with two hides. Gimme found the first hide in 3 seconds, again. The co-instructor made a snarky comment again (and from time to time I get the benefit of seeing her eye-rolling and hair-tossing in the video, which is so unprofessional, mainly because she's behaving this way in front of other students). I thought Gimme did a great job in this search. It is really hard to handle a fast dog, manage a shorter leash than usual and have food in your hands all at the same time. Thus, food in the hands didn't happen. I started working my indicator training plan in this search, with or without support - I just have to do it.
Container search 4 video - This search was a giant "X" shape, with three hides. Gimme finds the first hide in 4 seconds. I worked all her indications this time, so it was a longer search than it needed to be.
I continue to be annoyed about this whole business about indicator styles. NACSW is adamant about not teaching the dogs an indicator. Their idea being if the dog has a learned indicator it keeps the handler from learning to read their dog. While there is some merit to this idea, it also leaves those teams with paw-oriented dogs up a creek with no paddle. If I'd been given some constructive help early on, then we might not be facing this. Instead all I got was negativity. Thus I've had to devise my own plan, which works when I work on it. BUT the drag is... I'm not supported when I work on it in class.
I would caveat this with the fact of my starting nosework with another instructor. However, another dog in our class has done all her nosework training with Dorothy and the co-instructor, and she has every bit as vigorous of a paw indication. So it doesn't look like we would have any different issues if we had started here.
In reality, indicator style isn't a big deal unless the dog is damaging things. There is some variation among judges; some are unusually strict, while others are very lenient. Also, the rules say you can only be given a particular fault one time per search. So even if the dog paws every box in a container, you only get the fault once. Some judges will assess another fault of a related type, such as the one about disrupting the search area. You are allowed three faults total for a trial. Gimme has never faulted out because of pawing. I don't live for nosework, so its hard to find the motivation to work on this outside of class, but I guess I really should.