Last weekend I did another fantastic Nose Work workshop with my instructor Kim Buchanan. Driving to the facility, I could tell I had energy and felt good. Mickey seemed to be in good spirits as well.
Our first exercise was environmental sensitivities. Kim had put down a tarp, flattened folding chairs, flattened ex-pens and other obstacles of misc. origin. The odor was put in the center. Most dogs walked right through to the odor. I think it took me longer to try to treat than it took Mickey to get to the odor. This exercise is good to get dogs to walking over anything odd to get to odor. You never know what you will face in atrial.
The next exercise was a slightly broader arrangement of "stuff" for the dogs to walk through to get to the odor, but this time the handler would sit in a chair and wait until the dog got to odor. As long as they stayed there, handler would get up and go treat the dog. If the dog moved from odor, handler would stop. Mickey has done this exercise before, so this was good. exercise to teach a dog to stay at source.
The next exercise was practice in a pee zone. Not that difficult other than a lot of pee. three hides. Mickey got the first two fast, the last one he did multi-task of sniffing pee and then catching odor. Reward fast that he recognized odor in the middle of pee and got paid for it.
The next was an outside search of three odors in an area about 80 feet by 65 feet. All were ground hides, blind. One in a tree base and two out in grass with one grass hide by gopher holes. I was debating if I should have Mickey on or off leash. I saw that he caught odor and just let him go and leaving the leash on. He found the hide in the base of the tree at :08 seconds, ran out to the grass and found the grass hide at :35 and went further out towards the gopher holes, crittered a little, then went to odor. I said alert about 1:33 and said finished at1:35. That was a fantastic run. He was in odor the whole time except for maybe 5 seconds of searching, but all other times you could tell he was following odor. Just amazing work by Mickey. I was flying high and happy after that search he did so well!
The last search was the 12 odors of Christmas. Twelve odors in small boxes scattered around tables, on tables, on chairs, under chairs, under tables etc. Mickey only found 5. Ok, didn't do that well. It was on leash and I could tell that I got pressured and unfocused during this exercise. In the past we have gotten more on these multiple hides. we haven't been doing that fantastic on containers, we blew our L2C (containers) title, and blew container element in his last NW3, so not sure what this is about, but we need to revisit doing containers.
All exercises were great. Solidified his first three exercises, the fourth one was a good shot in the arm of confidence, and learned from the last one. Now that is a great day!