Today in Bloomington, CA irwas a beautiful day. Sun bright with warmth. I wouldn't say it was hot, but the temps were rather warm.
Since we only had 4 people, instead of our usual 6, our workshop was only 2 hours. We did three different hides.
First: Container search, outside. All but one item was in the sun. It was next to the building where there was an inlet of the building, creating a corner where odor could pool in the corner. This corner was in the shade. The wind was blowing at a 45 degree where the wind was to our backs of the start line, but slightly crossing over to our right. This would push some odor to the building and possibly up, under the over hang and push back down on the containers. The left side went to a grassy field.
The first odor was in a young girls back pack and the other odor
was on top of a suitcase that was standing up right. Mickey got these
two in about 35 seconds.
Second: two searches. A and B but one area. We
did not know the number of hides. There are lines in the floor that was
convenient to separate each section into four quadrants. For Trial A, once we left a
quandrant, we could not go back. This was on leash. They did this set up in Nationals. For
the second part B, we did the same search, but off leash and no quadrant
restriction. Both times we had 4 minutes.
There were tables, chairs, some chairs
folded on the ground, a box with twine, a turned over bucket, hand
truck, cart, step stool etc. Some of these items were stand alone or
folded on the ground, while others were bunched together to create an
First trial A: I went into the first quadrant, not knowing if she had a total of 8 hides or more. Mickey was knocking them off. When he kept hitting more it was like WOW there are many here!! I lost count. We worked systematically and did well. I like how to get into the practice of breaking up a search area and working it. It made the search less overwhelming. One issue was, Mickey kept going back to the hide he just did. This looses time. he did this with about 5 hides. We were not told yet how many we got.
Second Trial B: This was harder for me. I lost track of a lot. I did remember a hide and pushed Mickey over to find it. It's like I was trying to remote control him. I didn't like this but he did nearly just as well. He did go back to a few hides he found, but I tried to be more active to pull him away without it being too aversive. Towards the end I thought I missed a hide, but what happened when I kept pushing him to find something, he got frustrated. Kept hitting what he knew and right after that he started to false alert. MANY TIMES.It was interesting to see what happens with this kind of set up and to know when and why he false alerts.
At the end I found out that Mickey found 10 of the 12 hides in the first go around. He would have gotten 11, but he left a quadrant, then caught the odor, head snap, and went to that quadrant and hit on it. I did reward him. So he did find 11. I was extremely pleased how he did the first go around. The last time in class (workshop) we had 8 hides and he only found 2. I say we improved our game!!
The second go around for trial B, he found 11 of the 12. I felt more frazzled and frustrated. I didn't feel I worked the area as systematically. I thought we found less of the hides, but we found 11!! But what tripped me up was on leash and remembering where the hides were located. Interesting how I tend to "trip" myself up than needed. When I focus, I do well.
Good lesson today. 4 weeks until our next trial!