Overall I thought Gimme did well. It was very challenging for her and most of her known behaviors deteriorated considerably. Class started with 20 minutes of everyone working on heeling and/or LLW. From being able to heel 25 steps on one treat, we had to start over with one step. From time to time we needed to stop and just do "whazzat" so she could get her bearings and know where everyone was.
After that, everyone met on a very large cement pad to train other behaviors. It had several picnic tables, public grills and trash cans and today, 7 dogs. To start with we stayed further away and just worked on doing her chill behavior, giving her a break. As I saw that she was ready, we moved in closer. We practiced sit stays, down stays and recalls in the vicinity of the other dogs - about 10 feet away from the nearest. She did a long-line recall past Tor, a dog she's seen many times before. At the very end of class she did a long-line recall between 2 dogs she didn't know (10 feet away).
I really expected her to be exhausted after class, but she's been her usual self ever since we got home. So that tells me I did a good job of managing the amount of challenge and stress.
She isn't real obvious in how she displays stress - for instance, her tail just never stops wagging. I have to watch her eyes for a certain look, her ears are carried a little different, and the corners of her mouth are "stretched" looking. I noticed (after reading it on another blog) that she gets a bit sharky while taking treats. When she's getting too far over the edge (but not yet over threshold), she gets "needy" and insistent about wanting/needing all the treats now! Now that I know the drill for this class, next time I will pre-station our RP blanket, so we can use it more.
Yesterday Gimme and I met with Susan and Tucker for some nosework practice. The container drills were too easy for Gimme, but she thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the exterior search. Tucker is the dog having the challenge with the food distractions and you can see his searches at Tucker 051913. We are also working on increasing his speed/enthusiasm. These are Gimme's searches.
Container 1: We started with three container drills... all waaaay too easy for Gimme. Its interesting, if we are doing nosework and she doesn't think she's getting enough search time, she'll carry on the whole time (which you can hear in the background of Tucker's videos). Give her one good challenge though, and then she settles down. She really does thrive on challenge. [hope that carries over to her Public Dog class]
Container 2: Watch for a lovely change of behavior at about 17 seconds. She couldn't be more obvious without carrying a sign. She definitely had odor at 19 seconds, but you'll see I waited until she gave me the whole 4-part package - which took another 12 seconds. That's as much for my training as for hers. I am finding the "look at Mom" to be the last of the four parts to her indication and that's the one that distinguishes it from intense distractions. These were all pretty easy food distractions, but I don't want to develop any sloppy habits.
Container 3: You will see her purposely ignoring the odor bag a couple of times during this clip. She really does not appreciate short searches and if there are too many in a row (like 2), then she will start making them longer on her own. If you watch really carefully, at 24.5 seconds, you can see her sniff in the direction of the odor bag, right before her nose tilts away and she veers off - pretending it isn't there - doncha know. She put off finding it as long as she thought she could get away with it. Imagine her surprise to find it right where she first discovered it 40 seconds earlier...
Exterior: Gimme did a great job on this. Two were challenging hides - underground. Gimme found the easiest one in 24 seconds. You'll note she starts to pee (after all my bragging from class last week) and I stop her, which doesn't phase her at all. She turned on a thin dime at 1:04 when she caught the drift of the second hide. Nice! And she did a good job getting the last hide, which was placed intentionally in a spot where the dogs would be likely to round the corner and miss it.
This girl sure has a lot of scenting ability. She just never seems to get tired of doing it... and luckily, I never get tired watching her excel at it.