What a great practice today!
The first hide was four Anise. Wow, that many? I've never done that many, after two "I" got a bit frazzled, wondering what area have I traveled? Do I need to hit an area I missed? Where did I miss? Mickey is also use to doing two hides and quitting, so doing two more was a good practice. He needed help with the last two, but for these, since he was starting to "loose interests" I did pull out the toy. Then he found the last one and his toy again!
Some factors to note in this search had....many plant clumps where you know dogs have peed, so I watched Mickey carefully. We were also by tennis courts and yes, one time Mickey did pick up a tennis ball I acted uninterested and got him into search mode again. He did go back to search mode. Found another ball, he was distracted, but we got on track again. I was pleased. The other two handlers have a trial in 4 weeks and have been practicing a lot more than myself. So this push to improve was good for me and Mickey.
The second hide was the one I did and all three dogs had a bit of a challenge on the one on the pole with a lot of vegetation around it. I probably shouldn't have placed it around a lot of vegetation, but then again, these dogs are training for NW2, life is getting harder.
The last hide was with containers. Cute little plastic baskets with grids. Mickey found his hides FAST! Nearly ripped apart a basket. When I asked him to show me the odor (source it) he kept attacking the basket. I think the odor must accumulate in the basket and Mickey felt it was still there, I food reward him by the tin. Whew, this was one exciting find and here I was trying to get Mickey revved up again with his toy since his interest in Nose Work did drop a little prior. But bringing out the toy today, using it lightly and not as a sole source of reward I think helped his focus. Even when there were bushes with pee, he didn't go, so I"m pleased that I think if I keep lightly using his toy, this keeps the focus and we don't have to worry about peeing. But a caveat to myself, I should "always" watch out for the pee behavior.