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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great Weekend

It was a great 3-day weekend. We went to Longview/Kelso for a barn hunt trial and as it turned out, there was a weight pull there too. So Gimme and I did 9 events over three days.


Barn Hunt Trial 1 - There was only 1 rat and since Gimme prefers to find all the rats before she shares with me, so she didn't tell me where it was until after the 4 minute mark. That didn't leave us enough time and we ran out of time before she came out of the tunnel.  I wish there was some way to get her past this hump. She used to do it in nosework, but has pretty much quit since I raised the value of her treats. We can't have treats in the barn hunt ring, so I don't see how to get her past this. Hunting and our play with the rat tube is all the reward she gets and I think she doesn't want it to end.

Weight Pull day 1 - Gimme got to pull on dirt this time.  Because dirt is harder to get the cart moving than a smooth surface, the weights are a bit lower than when she got her UWP. She pulled 420 pounds, which is plenty for 5 points toward the CH. Her next time was 500 pounds and then 580 pounds. Anything over 564 pounds earned 10 points toward the CH. We had to do multiple pulls to get the last weight going, but she did it. Right now she is pulling just because I ask her to and she likes doing stuff with me (and she loves marshmallows). I want to protect her enthusiasm.  Gimme has to pull roughly another 200 pounds (depending on what her weight is on pull day) to get the next level of points, so I won't ask her to do any higher weights until we have our own harness and can do some training and conditioning. BTW there was a guy who took video of us on Friday and has promised to email it to me. When it comes I'll upload it.

Barn Hunt Trial 2 - There were 5 rats and Gimme got started a lot sooner telling me where they were. She really had fun and it went fast. She had 48 seconds to go (so much faster than 1-rat runs). This is the first of ten legs she needs toward her barn hunt CH.


Barn Hunt Trial 3 - We found 4 out of 5 rats. I think the one we missed was my fault. It was on the far side of a small pile of straw and I spent a lot of time standing with my back to it. Gimme has gotten rats on small piles with me standing in front of them, but this time the rat was on the far side, so I don't think she smelled it and I didn't do anything to help.

Weight Pull day 2 -
Pulling 420 pounds video - She did a nice job, pulling confidently. The lady who took our videos came over and coached me between each pull. For instance in this pull, I took my hands off Gimme as I was hooking her up. You are supposed to have contact with the dog at all times until the pull starts. It can be by leash, collar or otherwise touching the dog. They pull without their leash on and if you take the leash onto the lane with you, then you have to throw it back onto the cart.
Pulling 500 pounds faulted video - Its not clear from this video perspective, but I had her leash looped around my wrist while hooking her up. I don't know why she found this pull challenging, but she wasn't getting it moving, so I told the judge I'd take the fault and put my hand in her harness to give a little tug to help her start it. After the assist, she pulled it all by herself. It may be the tire was stuck behind a little bump in the dirt - starting the cart is the hardest part. The judge said in the future I should just ask the judge to give the cart a nudge.
Pulling 500 pounds video - The judge suggested I run with Gimme down the track so its clear to her what the goal is. Not sure if it works, but can't hurt. I find it interesting that Gimme is completely unconcerned by the spreader bar bouncing against the back of her hocks - something she's ignored since minutes into her first pull at a workshop. She asked for and got some reassurance from me, then was ready to go again. She did a nice job pulling this time.
Pulling 580 pounds video - After her struggle with 500, I was ready for Gimme to have difficulty with 580 pounds, but she pulled just "like a big girl". She earned another 10 points toward her weight pull CH.

Barn Hunt Trial 4 - There were 5 rats and Gimme steamed through them in 3:18, with 1:12 to spare. It was a very nice job. She really had fun. Now we need just 8 more qualifying legs to get her barn hunt CH.


Barn Hunt Trial 5 - There were 3 rats and Gimme found them all, then did the tunnel on her own. I took her around the ring on one last sweep. I was about to call "clear" when Gimme started barking at a tube on the ground. I was mostly sure it wasn't the real deal, but she persisted, so I called it. It was indeed a false alert. I'm sure she knows the difference between a rat tube and a dirty litter tube, so I'm not clear what was going on here.

Weight Pull day 3 -
Pulling 420 pounds video - You'll see Gimme starts to pull and then when she meets resistance, she looks back at the cart. Even when the cart comes with her, she tends to drop her effort until she almost has to restart the cart. She doesn't quite understand yet how to get the cart moving and to keep pulling even after it starts to move, until I stop her. Getting the cart moving is the hardest part. The woman who runs these trials lives about 45 minutes from home and has volunteered to work with me, teaching me how to teach Gimme what she needs to know. So once I get Gimme her own harness, then I'll contact her about getting together.
Pulling 500 pounds video - Gimme again turned to look at the cart. Its like she is looking back to see what is wrong with the stupid thing. Doesn't it know its supposed to follow her lead? Still she did a good job - she clearly gets better each time.
Pulling 580 pounds video - This was her best pull of the weekend. Mary (my videographer) suggested I keep my hands low to encourage Gimme to keep her head low. It worked really well and we earned another 10 points toward her weight pull CH. We only need another 70 points to get a UWPCH.

Barn Hunt Trial 6 - This time there were 4 rats and Gimme did a nice job of finding them. She indicated 3 rats, one after the other and then didn't seem to have any more. So I cued her to tunnel. She got a couple feet inside the tunnel then turned around, coming back out. I was about to cue "tunnel" again, when she jumped up on a bail right above and just a smidgen to one side of the tunnel entrance and quickly indicated a fourth rat. Then she did the tunnel and I called clear, with 45 seconds to go. This was our third masters leg toward her RATCH and we need just 7 more.

Once we get the RATCH I plan to try her out on Crazy-8's. Its a interesting game and its a hard title to get. It'll be interesting to see how she responds to having 8 rat tubes in her ring. 

BTW one of the last runs I watched this weekend was a guy and his BC who got 5 rats and called clear in 58 seconds. Unbelievably fast...

Gimme was happiest about the funny looking toy I won in the worker's raffle. Here's a picture of Gimme with all her loot (and all I got was a t-shirt).

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