Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nose Work Week 3

Last night was another fun class. I was really glad class was held. The weather forecasters around her had been predicting "Snowpocalypse 2011" for some time and everyone was canceling things left and right for fear of dangerous conditions. Yay for Shelley for not canceling our class. We were all pleased and ended up with conditions being dry and the sky moisture free until around 7:30 pm.

We started off with four finds along a wall and some vending machines in the main area of the armory. There was one odor source on a bicycle, another in the landing slot of a soda dispensing machine, a third on a square pole situated right between the soda machine and the candy machine, and a fourth on the far, outside of the candy machine. Vegas was up last in our running order and, per the norm, sang to us from the truck the entire time. That girl has quite the repertoire in her (possibly increasing) separation anxiety. Fortunately the vocal is nearly the extent of it - no damages other than a bit of extra hair loss and slobber.

When it was our turn, the object that had been more difficult for some of the dogs was the bicycle but she honed in on it fairly quickly. From there she moved down the length of the machines and quickly found the one on the far side of the candy machine.

Our next search was in another hallway/area we hadn't used yet. It was your typical hallway with a laminate floor, quite a few doors running the length of it, a hallway off to the right, and no furniture to break up the odors wafting. One hide was on a metal door to the outside behind the handle. The second was on the frame of a large, floor-to-ceiling window. The third was on the floor right at the juncture of the two hallways. The last was on the door frame of a door several doors down the hall. Vegas found the one on the metal external door first. She then bypassed the window frame one in a quest to move down the hall. After poking her head around and requesting to go on a walkabout in the right hallway, I held her back and she almost immediately found the floor hide. She then made her way back to the original area, checked the doors again, tried to garner attention from everyone else, and then found the one on the window frame. The last find took a bit longer and we had to try a few things including going further down the hall and repeating the "find it" command and gesturing toward the wall. She ended up working her way toward the hidden item, beyond it, back, and then had a little help from Shelley and found it.

Our last activity for the night was to try an unpaired odor test. We used the large room of the armory and set up a huge circle of boxes. One of the boxes held the odor.
Unlike last week where Vegas beelined straight down the boxes and "got it," last night she seemed very nonchalant and uninterested. She quickly took me around the entire circle with nary a glance or sniff at the boxes. In the end she didn't get it and Shelley had to guide us to it (since I didn't know which one held odor either). It was kind of a bummer but she gave us some homework tips to work on helping her find the odor more easily.

Tonight we went for a walk after a stressful day at work. I had really hoped to come home from work and get to play with the dogs in the snow but, per the norm, the weather people got little right about the weather and the smidgen of snow we'd had was already melted. So, brisk walk in the brisk cold was all we got but the dogs enjoyed it and I got a little decompressed. And that's all I can say about that or I'll start steaming up again about work. :)

1 comment:

  1. I really like the way that this Nose Work is sounding! A lot of people have explained it improperly, giving the idea that it's just sniffing boxes or something. It's really much more involved than that. It sounds more like what a drug-sniffing dog does than tracking. Very cool! I really might have to start doing that. It looks a lot easier than finding tracking areas.

    Thanks for your comment regarding my weave issues. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one! I really do need to buy a set of weaves for myself. I got one of the PVC sets, but they're too flimsy and can't hold up to a large dog weaving. I need actual weave poles, but they're so expensive. Even the used ones at the trial were a lot ($385), which I just don't have. I'll try to figure out a way to get them soon, because it would help immensely.

    Also, I was talking to a woman at agility class last night about herding. Her two poodles took a herding instinct test. I'm looking into it with Layla - thanks for the inspiration! I feel better knowing that she goes into the pen on lead so the tester can step on it if necessary.