Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, 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), ADPL4GC), ADPGCH, ADPL5(2), RATCH, CZ8S, AI, TKI, AV, AE, AC, and AN... 59 and counting...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Parkour and Nosework (3/19)

We spent time on the weekend through Tuesday morning getting together the last of the videos we needed to submit for our Novice Parkour title.  Gimme was a bit on again, off again in working - regarding focus and ability to listen.  At first I didn't know what this was about, but then Monday night (early into Tuesday) I heard her nosing around in the closet, nesting.  So it seems she is finally (a couple weeks late) going into a false pregnancy.  There were several video's I had to redo.  There are things you don't see when you are recording or things in the background, or things I didn't think about.  I got them all submitted then was reading the rules in preparation for the class I'll be teaching and realized I'd made another mistake.  I contacted them and asked if they'd hold off on processing my title submission and fortunately they have agreed.  The changes I found I needed to make were:
  • A child was enamored of Gimme and following us around as we were recording.  At two points we were using playground equipment.  Since he was in the shot, it would have been an automatic NQ, so I went back the next day and re-recorded those two without the juvenile stalker.
  • My balance (board walk) didn't show all of the board walk plus a couple feet on both ends so they could see her get on and off.  In the video it also wasn't immediately evident if the board was narrow enough.  I re-recorded it from an angle showing more down the length of the board.
  • The one I discovered after I submitted the video was, I used the same kind of picnic table as one of her examples of 4-on, then again (though at the other end of the park) to do 4-on as part of her Creativity.  I recorded 4-on on a different obstacle.  I'm also going to re-record the Creativity sequence tomorrow morning since the camera p.o.v. doesn't completely show both benches and when Gimme is doing her 4-on at the beginning she is partly out of view.  
I also spent quite a bit of time making two compilation videos with detailed description of what each behavior entails, for Pawsabilities to use in promoting the class I'll be teaching.  I don't see it on their website yet, but I think they must be sharing them around the staff because one has 24 hits and the other 37, in just two days.  I only shared it with one other person.

On Tuesday we had nosework class and it was quite interesting.  The searches were not especially difficult, but what they wanted was for us handlers to give a running commentary of what behaviors we were seeing in our dogs and what it meant.  This is based on Dorothy's observations at recent trials.  She saw many people didn't really KNOW what their dogs showed when they got "in odor", but before they indicated.  So a dog could just be showing interest in something, probably because it was a novel smell, and the handlers would misinterpret it as an indication or being in odor.

It is surprisingly hard to verbalize what you are seeing, with interpretation, as you are moving and handling, being prepared to reward the dog - all in real time.

What I noticed most was the difference in how Gimme moved when she was in and out of odor.  When she is out of odor, she moves loosely, with a ground covering stride and happy tail wag.  I call this scanning mode.  When she gets in odor, her stride is quicker and shorter, often still covering the same amount of ground.  Her tail wag still wags, but is not as loose. 

There are so many things you can watch about your dog and every dog is different.  I remember a very long time ago in the old classes, Susan said Gimme "hunched her back" when she got into odor.  When I watched her after hearing this comment, I realized Susan was seeing how her stride changed, which brought her rear feet under her (moving with more collection) and rounded her croup a little.  And, this is entirely consistent with what I saw during class.  Some of the things to watch are:
  1. head carriage and gestures
  2. topline
  3. mouth open or closed 
  4. breathing or chuffing
  5. eyes and ears
  6. tail carriage, wagging or still
  7. movement style
  8. changes of direction
  9. tension vs. looseness
I was thinking it would be handy to do searches and focus on just one body part at a time.  Great minds must think alike, because this is exactly what Dorothy assigned us for next week.  We are to decide on a body part which we will focus on for our searches.  I presume we will do other body parts in other classes.  I plan to review some of our videos and see what I can detect ahead of time.

Gimme loved doing class, but was happy to get home to her toys. She hasn't selected a baby yet, though she pulled MrBigCow out of the bottom of her toy basket and he looked like the odds on favorite (until tonight).  At other times she has focused on InchWorm, SkinnySquirrel, SuperCow and PurplePuppy.  Any time we are away from home when we return she is obsessed with getting to her toys.  At the same time she pays no attention to the toys in her puppy pen in the van.  Tonight she was looking at the top of the bookcase whimpering - presumably hoping I'd get down Kermit (he's up there waiting for me to repair his neck).  Instead of handing over Kermit in his delicate condition, I gave her one of the new toys (new is relative, I bought it a year ago and he was hidden with 25 other toys I've yet to give her).  She's been obsessed with RockyRacoon ever since.  Time will tell...

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