Today was our first try at Sniffing Dog Sports (SDS) and it was lots of fun. It's another flavor of nosework and a trip back to novice, so pretty easy stuff. Since there was a lot of walking to get from parking to where the searches were, they set it up so you came in once for back-to-back searches. This was great for Gimme, though I can see where this might be a challenge for low-energy dogs.
Our first search was a set of ten boxes, one hide, allotted 2 minutes, with a physical barrier in the middle (a stand-up coffee bar). Gimme did a great job and I was really happy with her. She chose to go to the left: checked two boxes, skipped three to go straight to odor. She did paw at the box so I thought we might have earned a deduction, which would have put us out of the running for a placement. During the debrief the judge said she didn't give out any deductions, so then I figured we were in the running. Gimme's time was 11.18 seconds and four dogs were faster, 3rd and 4th by a couple one-hundredths of a second. It was a lovely search and Gimme quickly forgot about how slippery the floor was.
The game was called Goldilocks and we had two search areas with one hide in the first area and 2 hides in the second area. We were allotted 4 minutes and time didn't stop while we were moving about 30 feet from the first to second search area. The first area was small, about 12 x 15 feet of the cafe. The hide was on the bottom of a trash can. Gimme found and sourced it quickly. Then we moved across to the second area, a sunken 10 by 40 rectangular pit. The first hide was low on a silver box shaped thing and Gimme sourced it really fast. The second hide was on the far bottom corner of a trash receptacle dolly (3 trash cans on it) placed against the wall. This proved a bit challenging, Gimme knew it was there somewhere, but couldn't decide on source. Scent seemed to be drifting underneath the dolly, which she checked in a couple places. It was also coming out between the trash cans. She did nail it, getting 4th place in the class with a time of 1:10.59.
Apparently a number of dogs early on had difficulty with the trash bins hide and the judges decided it was too much challenge for novice dogs, so they gifted the hide to any dog getting the other two. Only those dogs getting all three hides were in the running for placements. I've shown a detail of what scent seemed to be doing. Pink is the scent Gimme was getting under the dolly on the front side and orange is where the scent was coming out between the trash cans. I also think based on where Gimme was checking relative to the other hide, it may have become an unintended converging odor puzzle.
Area Search This proved to be a challenging search because of how warm the room was. It was in the women jockey's locker room, two hides and 3½ minutes. Along opposing walls were two wood open-front lockers. In the center of the room was a large wooden cabinet with lockable lockers on one side. There were chairs and fake plants, with one chair in the hall opposite the door, to indicate where the search area ended. By the time all the ring crew got in the room it was pretty crowded. Gimme immediately went to her left and was all over those lockers, looking for the hide. She kept putting her feet up trying to find it, but I knew it couldn't be where she was looking because novice class hides are 2' and below. The heat in the room was making scent rise. She did source it and indicated when she did. Then she moved around the center cabinet and I followed, but she kept going around and out of sight, so I stopped until she came around to be on the same side with me. She paid little attention to the cabinets on this side and quickly got over by the chair, sourcing the floor level threshold hide. As is her typical style, she'd blown by the threshold, which she probably wouldn't have caught from the doorway in any case, because the room warmth would make scent rise. Gimme finished this search with a nice solid 1:03.31 and placements were significantly faster. Gimme loves a high hide, so she probably wasted more time than necessary on the first hide.
Overall Gimme's searches were pretty fast, as you can see by comparing her search times to the time allotted. Her slowest search (area search), she used less than one-third of the time allotted. She was only in the placements 1 time and was beaten in containers by only a couple one-hundredths of a second. While there were dogs faster than her to get placements, her solidly fast searches earned her Third Place in the overall rankings. Nice!