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Monumental A to Z High On Liberty

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nosework (4/16)

We had a most interesting class Tuesday.  I didn't make diagrams, since I have videos.  Though actually *I* don't have the videos.  A classmate had them on her computer and sent them to me via Facebook through messages.  Sadly I've been unable to download them and transfer them to a more permanent record, so don't know how long they will last.

Gimme was much more motivated knowing I had real peanut butter (not PB chips) and this, despite being in full baby mode.  She wouldn't leave the house without the SuperCow-baby and whined and fussed when she was away from the car (and baby) and not searching.  So clearly the peanut butter chips are not enough motivation for her to work with focus.

Video of Searches 1 & 2

Search 1 - Interior - Gimme found the first hide in 34 seconds.  Unfortunately the frozen PB didn't stay frozen and was already very soft in the 20 minutes since it left my big freezer (perhaps the glass of the shot glass makes a difference).  With the open top of the little snack container she was able to get a sizable glob and spent 30 seconds cleansing her palate (licking her leg) before she could resume searching).  She had the second hide in 15 seconds.  Actually I think she knew basically where it was from her first tour about the search area.  I was careful to make sure she only got a little bit of peanut butter, so she was able to move on more quickly.  She did check other things, but after the third time she returned to one or the other hide, I called "finish" and was correct.  She did really nicely.

Search 2 - Container - You'll note she gives a strong sniff on the second box on the right, but didn't indicate.  She did the same on the black bag.  She came back to the black bag pretty quickly and indicate for the first hide in 42 seconds.  I tried to control the amount of PB she got, but she still spent 40 seconds cleansing her palate.  You'll see I got her to move, but she'd go back to the leg licking.  Once she moved on her own, she had to get in one last lick and naturally it was right as she went by the box she'd sniffed earlier (the other hide).  I spent another half minute getting her around the boxes and twice more by the box in question, but still no alert, so I called "finish" and was wrong.  After a small break discussing with the instructors what went wrong, we went up the right side and Gimme nailed the box immediately.

There were two more back to back searches, just more of the same.  Unfortunately the video for them didn't get sent to me before it was deleted.  Gimme did well on both searches and was nicely focused.  I went back to using the go toob and was very careful to make sure she only got a little bit.  It does take a little bit of time to control how much comes out of the go toob, so I want to find a better way to give her what she wants/needs/desires faster - since time becomes much more critical at the higher levels.  I've since had the idea to try using peanut butter in the snack container, but just dab a bit of it with a fingertip for a reward.  Obviously I want to try this in class first.

Video of Search 5

Gimme did an awesome job on this search.  Only one other dog was as fast as Gimme and she's a nice thoughtful hunter and her owner is a good handler.  Of course, she's not flashy and beautiful like Gimme.  Gimme nailed the first hide in just 3 seconds.  Normally she blasts past threshold hides, but there was a little delay while we were waiting at the start line, so she had time to figure out where it was. I always try to remember to hold up at the start line, and take a few deep breaths - we can use no more than 10 seconds at the startline before being faulted (not including if the handler is asking questions - something I always do at element specialty trial searches since you don't get any walk through).  Time to the second hide (including the first hide, being rewarded, a quick leg licking and then finding it) was 27 seconds.  From there to the third hide was only 15 seconds!  

This was a really difficult search, since the hides were set up in a triangle, close to the same plane - it was a really challenging three-way converging odor vortex.  Gimme was AWESOME to solve this puzzle in 42 seconds.  Of course she's always awesome.

Yesterday we met with our new chiropractor.  I've known for two weeks she needed a tune-up and was trying to get with our regular person, but getting no response.  I finally decided it was time to find someone else.  Dr. Powell actually does chiropractor-day at Pawsabilities every 2 weeks and the price is quite reasonable.  I didn't want to wait until the next scheduled day, so drove an hour to meet him.

Gimme liked him immediately, as did I.  He does a non-force style of adjustment, which I especially love for animals.  In addition to the non-force, he's also very aware of the dog's attitude and pauses here and there to give the dog time to get ready to continue.  There was only one place where Gimme hesitated with what he was doing, but he still stopped 5 times to stroke her and tell her what a good, brilliant and beautiful girl she is.  He's very thorough and tells me everything he's doing, what he's finding, how he evaluates it, etc.  He did find the warm spot I thought needed adjusting, though it was one of the last things he adjusted, since he has a certain system he follows to make sure he doesn't miss anything.  He checks each toe all the way to each and every vertebrae in the tail.  He checks and rechecks each vertebrae and each adjustment along the way - as I said "very thorough".  

He did find the top two vertebrae in her neck were out of alignment in opposite directions and said it might be causing headaches and could indeed be behind her lack of focus.  I haven't checked this with another training session yet, since I like to give 24 hours for an adjustment to get to full benefit.  He said he thought she was a little stiff in her spine, but not enough to be concerned about.  Then he went on to say most of his clients are border collies (he works a lot with the agility community), so her level of flexibility may be entirely normal for a Dalmatian.  I had already put her on the calendar for next Thursday, his regularly scheduled chiropractor-day at Pawsabilities, just in case we need it.  He doesn't think we will, but I've decided to take her in for the tune-up anyway, since we have barn hunt on Saturday.  

He also gave me suggestions of things to do every day to keep her spine moving so its less likely to have a problem.   And we discussed how to focus some massage to ensure things are staying limber.

Meanwhile I've noticed the warm spot is back to normal.  I also did the grape-test.  "Grape" is her cue to roll over, which she normally loves.  When she doesn't want to "grape" I know she is experiencing pain/discomfort.  It took her a bit to decide to do it, but then she did.  I think she may have been worried about it hurting.  Later on I'll cue it again and she if she does it more quickly - which would tell me it didn't hurt when she did it.

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