Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, RATI, RATN, RATO, NW2, L1I, RATS, L1E, L1C, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM, R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADPL1, ADPL2, TD, UWP, ADPL3, NTD, TKN, L2V, ADPL4, SDS-N, ADPL5, ADPCH, ADP1(2), ADPL1(GC), ADPL2(2), ADPL2(GC), VPN, AP, UWPCH, ADPL3(2), ADPL3(GC), NC, NI, NE, SCN, SIN, SEN, CZ8B, NV, NN, ADPL4(2), ADPL4(GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2), RATCH, CZ8S, AI, TKI, AV, AE, AC, AN, R-FE/X NW3-V, NW3-E, SI, RN, R-FE/NS, CZ8G, SC, SV, SE and SN. 70 and counting...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nosework (5/14) & Public Dog (14)

It was pretty hot for nosework class, so Joyce set up drive-building drills for us.  Also they were all on grass, so we had to be alert to the possibility of the dogs wanting to mark.  It went so fast, Gimme never even thought of it. 

Drill #1 - Consisted of 4 open boxes, set 4 feet apart in a straight line.  Each box had odor and was paired.  The idea was to let the dogs pull us to the box... then continue to reward them for keeping their nose in the box for 5+ treats, after the pairing cookie. 

Drill #2 - This was the same 4 open boxes, set 6-8 feet apart.  Each box had odor, but only the first and last boxes were paired.  Again the idea was to let the dogs pull us to the box... then continue to reward them for keeping their nose in the box for 5+ treats.

Drill #3 -  This drill was set up along a curb, with odor every 6-8 feet, in the space between the curb and the grass.  The second and last hides were paired.  Again, encouraging pulling and then continuing to reward them for 5+ treats.

Needless to say, Gimme thought these were all brilliant games.  She was definitely dragging me along and having the best time with the self-serve cookies.  After her speed on the interior and exterior elements at the recent trial, I'm not thinking she actually needs to have her drive built upon... but at least she had fun.  The most challenging thing from the handler perspective was making sure I could still be delivering the last couple of treats, while getting my hands ready on the line so she could pull me to the next hide.

Then Joyce set up a "real search", with a hide about 4 foot up a small tree and another under the base of a fire hydrant.  Honestly those were pretty simple even for NW1 and Gimme found them without even having to think about it.  The only challenge for her was trying to get her feet on that little 3 inch diameter trunk to steady herself while getting cookies at source.

All in all a very simple class - which is sometimes a good thing.  I think all dogs benefit from going back to the basics now and then.  We have one more class left in this session, then we'll be taking 3 weeks off between this and the start of the next session.  That'll give us three classes to get back in the swing of things before the Bend-Oregon trial, which Susan and I both hope to get into.  Susan and I plan to resume our weekly practices starting with the first break week.

After class Mary and I took Gimme and Grafton down to walk around the lake.  At one point a person nearby dropped her flexi-lead and the little dog came right for us at a dead run.  I had noted how the lady was holding the flexi handle, while yakking on her cellphone,  and surmised, obviously correctly, that if anyone was going to lose control of their dog, it was going to be her.  So being prepared, I cued "Let's Go" and did an emergency u-turn and ran away, ending with "treasure hunt" at the end.  Treasure hunt is where I scatter a handful of treats on the ground and Gimme gets to scarf them up, which she thinks is a fantastic game.  As we went to resume our walk Gimme watched that little dog with interest.  Not because she was concerned, but my impression was that she was hoping the lady would drop the leash so we could do "Let's Go" and "Treasure Hunt" again.  That Gimme, she's always working the angles...

Tonight was Public Dog class.  All the behaviors we worked on were pretty easy.  The set up I had worked well for Gimme and she stayed relaxed and ready to work almost the whole time.  Mostly we stayed in our cubicle or went outside now and then for water, pee breaks and just a little training in the shade.  We went out on the floor with the other dogs one time, after Ursula had them all turn so no one would be facing Gimme as she came by.  She did very well handling their proximity and did well on the three variations of the exercise.  Though, truth be told, she was clearly relieved after we completed the exercises (envision spottie-dottie pulling) to get back to our cubicle.  Its the best she has worked since the false pregnancy began.  I really feel like the seminar weekend was a break-through for her and now we are on our way back to where she was before this all started...  Phwewww... its a relief to see her do so well.

Tomorrow we are going hiking with Frank and some of his dog friends.  Frank's dog is Tor, an Alaskan Malamute.  We aren't telling Grafton, but Ursula is sure she saw Gimme throwing some flirty looks at Tor during Monday's class.  He's nice and calm, so will be a good walking buddy for us when time permits.  And as it is, they accepted my military disability, so I now have a lifetime pass to all National parks - so we'll be going to try some of them out.  I even bought a book, "Creaky Knees", devoted to identifying bad-knee-friendly hikes.

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