We've started videotaping the practice runs we do when Mary, Susan and I meet for nosework.
Threshold 1: These threshold hides were done inside the quilt shop where Susan works. She brings her dogs in on training class days and they spend the day in the shop, so Grafton and Gimme found it very distracting. Here, you can see how distracted Gimme is, how she doesn't start searching until about 35 seconds into the video and then around the 40 second mark - a dramatic change of behavior when she caught the odor.
Threshold 2: I am using these practices to introduce controlled levels of restriction. Enough that she notices it, but not so much that she is getting frustrated. At the last practice I did containers and an exterior on a 6 foot leash, which isn't nearly enough. My plan is to mix it up and carefully nudge her into accepting these things. I don't know if I'd ever hold her at the threshold in a trial, since there might not be a threshold hide and I'd be wasting time. But I do want her to get used to looking around the threshold.
Threshold 3: You can see that by this third search she has lost interest in the distraction of the environment and is all about the search. Verrrrry nice!
Threshold 4: This is a particularly hard search, as we discovered when we ran it. All three dogs had a lot of difficulty and when I did the wet-finger test, I discovered the air was not moving at all. So the dogs had nothing to go on until they happened to get their noses close to it. Also, this is the room where the dogs spend the most amount of time, so it is more distracting. Again she gets in odor at around 40 seconds... but then leaves it to go behind me and hit again on the odor from our third search (55 seconds). Even with all that, she found it in 1 minute. We want to do this search again, off leash as an interior search and see if the dogs ever get back to that hide and how it works for them.
Threshold 5: For the second set of 4 hides we were experimenting with how the dogs did if we moved in the room with them and then just kind of kept them in the area. Grafton and Tucker both improved noticeably, Gimme didn't seem to care. You'll note a dramatic behavior change when she catches odor at the 24 second mark.
Containers 1: Starting from the approach end, bags 1, 2 and 3 have food distractions, 4 is a blank and the 5 has odor. Gimme does a very nice change of behavior around 18 seconds on the odor bag. You'll note that I wait for all four behaviors - sniffing, sticking, pawing, and looking. Its what she does on containers, but not for any other element. Also note that I keep walking around her when she sticks on a container, until I get the whole package.
Containers 3: The bag nearest the edge between pavement and gravel is odor. The small one with the handle is blank and the other three have food distractions. You'll note she gets quite persistent with one of the food bags, but she never looks up at me. She knows I'm not going to help her get it so there's no point in looking at me. And, once I walked all the way around her, I was confident she was "goofing off" and called her away from it.
Our next practice will be back at the closed store. We will probably repeat the exercise Joyce did with us last week, but will use the rock wall so it can be more spread out. We'll always do containers. Susan and Mary can't be there on the same day, so it'll be two practices for Gimme.