Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH, ADP1(2), ADPL1(GC), ADPL2(2), ADPL2(GC) and UWPCH... 34 and counting...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nosework (4/26)

We only got two searches, but they were extensive (especially the first one) and both were interesting. 

Interior 1 video - There were three hides on chairs (in four groups of 4) to be done off leash. A ground level fan and both ceiling fans were running, so adding to the challenge. The nearest to the start was at seat height, the next group was ground level and the farthest at seat height. The idea was to watch your dog and note their preferred search height and after finding a hide at one level, if the dog tended to search at the same height. Knowing Gimme I expected her to look at nose level or higher, her preference. When we were discussing this, I noticed a toy on the floor, so I made sure I brought my own, but Dorothy had picked it up, saying it wasn't part of the lesson.

Gimme found the seat level hide of the farthest group first - about 50 seconds. She found the other seat level hide 1:30 later. At about 3:50 into the search she is so close to the final hide (floor level), but doesn't stick to it. She is at 6 minutes when she finds the last hide. Her nose had gone down well away as she was moving toward it and then she just went straight to it.  Despite the heat, her condition and the challenge - I have to love her willingness to work over 6 minutes to solve this puzzle. 

Interior 2 video - For this second search, it was pretty much the same, except the hides were moved in location within their grouping and two of them changed height. We were looking to see if they had noticeable expectations about where the hides should be.

She finds the first hide, again in the farthest chair grouping and at seat level in 40 seconds. She finds the second hide, second grouping at back rest height in 53 seconds. This is her preferred height. She finds the final floor level hide about a minute later. Overall she was MUCH faster this time. The thing that fascinates and perplexes me is how her nose can pass within two inches of a hide (twice this time) and her not immediately find it. It seems like she should, but clearly scent does things we don't understand.

The last two classes have presented hides which were similar to what our dogs have seen a hundred times before, and yet all the dogs find them a challenge now. Partly, I think the fans do weird things with the scent. I think the ceiling fans suck scent up and away from the hides. What scent is left is then pushed down the room on a plane that tended to obscure the floor level hides. I also think when the dogs are really warm, like they were on this 89º day, they are already panting, so it has to affect how they move scent in their mouth and nasal cavity. Plus I think panting all day tends to dry out their nasal cavity, which negatively impacts scenting ability. No matter how much we give them water, there's only so much we can do to compensate. 

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