I had a 3 1/2 hour workshop with both Mickey and Divine. I will write about both of them here on Mickey's blog.
These are mostly notes to remember what we covered today.
We did an exercise with 6 boxes against a wall, all paired. This was to get the dogs to move on and realize there are other odors to find.
- Mickey worked this fairly fast, but I did have to encourage him to move forward. Same for Divine.
Next exercise, not paired, but we would treat when the head came up.
- I had a challenge feeding Mickey as he wanted to move on fast. Many times I would put my hand down and Mickey would raise his head. Ouch. Smack my hand. It's a dance and will need more practice. I will practice with feeding earlier.
- Divine did really well, but after a few runs, she would just put her head above, like waiting for the treat. There are several ways to look at this, she is being conditioned for the treat, or she knows the odor is there, why put the head down in the box?
about 25 or so boxes, sit in a chair, and send your dog off leash. Wait for dog to find odor, stand up when they do, but if they leave box, do not proceed. Only proceed if they stay committed to box. This is kind of a game of, if they stand and indicate on the odor, proceed (reinforcement) to pay. If not, stop or depending on the dog turn your back. Sometimes you will walk from the dog to see if they stay, if they do pay.
- Mickey is extremely sensitive with me turning my back. As noticed, Mickey would prefer to leave odor to be with me, so as a handler, I have to be careful how I use this. don't use it to pull him off odor, but use it to search another area that I know doesn't have odor in it.
- Divine did VERY VERY well with this exercise. She committed to the odor and wouldn't move. I turned my back, she would stay. I even went back to the chair and she re found and committed to the box. This was an easy exercise for her.
Probably about 30 containers of small little bags, to backpacks, to suit cases and a variety other things. Both Divine and Mickey had to explore all the little containers. Both brushed over odor. They wanted to explore the environment. They eventually got the odor. This was a new exercise for Divine and it was increasing her bar of difficulty. Mickey has had something this difficult int he past, but needs more practice.
Two hides in a configuration of tables, chairs on tables, carts etc.
On odor on a chair on top of a table, the other about 15 feet away, low on a cart. converging odor was definitely happening. You could see dogs going back and forth trying to sort the two out, not sure which one to go to first.
- Mickey and Divine found the high hide first. Mickey understood looking up, but it did take Divine some time. She really needed to work and problem solve. She was tired form the day, but still working and searching. This exercise was also raising the bar for her. For Mickey he has had similar in the past, but it has been awhile and he needs practice.
I thought the odor was on a different part of the cart, so when Mickey found it with his nose, I didn't see it as an "alert" but the instructor said Ah there it is pay. I did, but I had no idea that he "found" the odor. I usually like to see a distinctive alert. What the instructor said was to work a lot of sourcing. Which is my goal. I won't be doing any Sniff 'n Gos for awhile. I will be skill building and exercises. This is what I did for NW1. Did VERY little blind hides before NW1.