Last Tuesday, January 30th, Gimme and I made our first visit to Meridian Park to video for parkour. When I went over two weeks before to assess the park and plan our entry, there was hardly anyone there and they left quickly. When I went back it was very busy (as it was today). This has been hard for Gimme because she hasn't been out as much this winter and she is just coming off a false pregnancy. So, it's been challenging, but I think we have the videos we need to put together our next entry.
In the evening we went to nosework class. The setup was the same as previous weeks, but none of the hides were on the expen fencing. After 3 weeks of all hides on the expen fencing, the dogs had very strong expectations for them to be there. Even though they were off leash and could search however they wanted... the dogs all continued to run their noses right over hides and not realize they were there.
Interior 1 video - There were two known hides. Gimme was the first dog in and so had the least amount of odor available, plus she had no pheromone clues from other dogs finding the hides. She was the most willing to check the rest of the room, but when she got in odor (on the low shelving by the back door), she left it to go check the setup, which goes to show how strong the effect patterning is on behavior. It takes Gimme over 2 minutes to find the first hide! She localized it to the red cart, but left it twice before getting back to source it. It takes her another 2 minutes to find the second hide. I never thought I'd see her spend 4½ minutes finding two simple hides. She was searching honestly and didn't give up, but you can see what a struggle it was for her.
Interior 2 video - This time there were four hides in a "square" at the far end of the room. She finds the first hide in 1:10 on the card table. She again gets near the hide on the red cart and leaves it two times. She gets the drift of odor on the upright beam in the middle of the back wall at 2:45 and then goes directly to the hide on the chair, taking 1:40 to find the second hide. She again goes to the red cart and leaves it. Then finds the third hide, taking 40 seconds to do so. And then 35 seconds to find the last hide. It was all very nice and honest searching, but really slow for Gimme.
I didn't pay much attention to the discussion going on while she was searching... but the one about her trying to figure out the new rules for the game is exactly what I thought was going on. Gimme is very inclined to have an idea of what the rules are, and once she decides what the rules are, she can be very tenacious.
I think the expectations and trying to figure it all out, on the fly, while searching acted very much like a huge distraction, affecting her focus. It'll be very interesting to see how it goes in class tonight.