Class was really motivating last night. There were lots of hides, with challenging setups. Gimme thought this was the best fun EVER and was easily the star of the show.
We walked in to see this very challenging setup and were told there were between 1 and 7 hides and we'd have 4 minutes to search. There were two hides under tables (white boxes), one in the foot pedal of the recycle trash can (grey box), one in the wheel of the grooming table (box w/G), one on a chair and one 7' high between two water pipes.
August went first and found 4 hides. Two novice dogs came in to play and found a couple hides. Gimme was the fourth dog to play and the only one to find all the hides. She was on fire to find all these smelly hides. She immediately went to the threshold hide, which she normally
saves for later.
She spent a lot of time going back and forth between the hide on the grooming table and the one on the chair, with occasional sniffs at the water pipes where they entered the wall at just above nose level. The way she kept going back and forth between the two lower hides I really thought she was caught in a converging odor vortex. I tried moving her away a couple of times, but she always came back. Then she put her feet up on the wall between the pipes and gave me the "get over here" look, holding the position. I was so pleased she held the position to emphasize her find. Only one other dog, the last novice dog, found the high hide... he was rewarded for simply looking up toward the hide. The two low hides were both birch and the high hide was clove. If they'd all been the same odor, I'm not sure she would've found it.
The second search was the same setup, but on leash. We were told to follow the dog and when they got into the vortex and pipe area to gently use the leash to keep them there until they did something to indicate the high hide.
Gimme came in and immediately sniffed the hide on the recycle can, but moved away without indicating. I did see her look up at me, as if to be sure I'd noticed. From there she moved toward the nearest table and did pretty much the same thing - moving away without indicating and looking at me to see if I noticed. She's the only dog in class who isn't rewarded when she goes back to a hide she's already found during a search. After I reward her, I say, "Thank you, find another one." If I see her heading back to a hide she's already been paid for, I say, "Find another one." I think she thought she was supposed to find a new hide, because normally they change the setup between searches. So I gently held her near the table until she sorta indicated, then paid her. Then she happily went around the room finding the others again. I'm sure she had them all in under three minutes. She was the only dog who didn't have to have one or both of the converging odor hides removed to get to the high hide on the pipes.
For the third search they removed the high hide and moved all the hides except the one on the grooming table wheel. As we came in the search area, Gimme turned left and without sniffing the spot where it'd been, immediately knew there was a change. From there she went down the left side, scanning here and there, across the back and up the right side to find and indicate the hide on the new location of the recycle can. She didn't sniff much along the way, she mostly trotted along with me in tow.
I thought it was funny for her to "go the long way around" to get to the recycle can. She's had a lot of experience with them moving the entire object instead of just the hide (because otherwise it would leave behind too much residual odor). So now as I think about it, I believe she really needed to resolve where the dang recycle can hide had gone. Immediately after getting paid, she went down the right side, indicating both table hides. Then across the back, indicating the new spot for the chair hide. Then she went straight to indicate the grooming table hide without so much as looking up at the pipes.
I am constantly amazed at how incredibly skilled she is at using her nose. She was very content after this class with all the fun challenges. Finding seventeen hides is her kind of evening.