This makes Gimme the first Dalmatian to achieve two level 2 element titles and the first to achieve the L2I. [there was nothing special about these layouts, so I didn't spend the time to diagram them]
Sunday – Interior Level 2
Gimme was a little frustrated going into the first pair of searches, because this club has decided you can't toss treats on the ground in the waiting areas, so we couldn't play the ping-pong game. This was announced during the briefing for the second trial Their reasoning is because it might distract a dog who comes after and smells treats on the ground while waiting.
Personally I think if owners haven't trained their dog well enough to get their focus back between then and entering the search area, just possibly they need more training. Not to mention the dog likely isn't odor obedient and isn't ready to trial at this or any level. To cap it off, this is level 2. For NW1 they don't sanitize the search area to remove distractions. At our second NW1 trial, there was an open bag of Fritos in a child's desk, so even then food smells as distractions are present. At NW2 level, they also don't remove existing distractions and purposely add distractions to container searches. So, prohibiting an exhibitor from working their dog's activity needs in a holding area because it might distract a later dog - well its just plain foolishness.
**Train - don't complain.**
Anyway I usually use the ping-pong game to bleed off any frustration while waiting. I was trying to come up with things I could get her to do on cue and then reward from hand – had to be simple stuff. I did toss her a few treats – most of which she caught. Fortunately the wait for this pair of searches was minimal. I did better for our second set of searches.
Interior Search 1 – There were two hides and 2 minutes to find them. It was a school room with lots of tables. I waited at the door to see if she wanted to come back and check the threshold, but she didn't. She found the hides quickly and I even remembered to say "finish" without looking at the timer first.
Interior Search 2 – Again two hides in a small narrow room with 1.5 minutes to find them. They were on chairs right across from each other – so the hides were only about 3 feet apart. Gimme was a little stuck on the first one and kept going back to it. So I got her attention and then directed the search from there. When I got her to check close enough, she was able to source the second hide. This was a really tough converging odor challenge. Again I said "finish" without looking at the timer.
Interior Search 3 – This was a small room with just one hide. Gimme found it very quickly on the edge of a trash can. I remembered "finish" all on my own.
Interior Search 4 – This was a medium size room, with a long conference table down the middle and lots of office type stuff around the sides. There were three hides. Two were at the far end of the room kinda close to each other and presented a converging odor challenge. The other was actually pretty close to the door. Gimme found the first two quickly. Then I walked with her to the end where we'd entered and paused briefly. Gimme came near me and found the third hide. I said "alert... finish", almost like one word.
I was really pleased to have remembered ALL 8 "finish" calls today. This has been an issue for me before.
As soon as we got home, I wanted nothing more than to lay in a dark room, since I'd had a migraine all day, thanks to sun reflecting off stuff and giving me eye-zaps. Gimme made it perfectly clear she hasn't done anything interesting in ages... "WEEKS!" she says. Sometimes she exaggerates doncha know...