Thinking ahead the Elite trial weekend to come, I decided to work on close-together-converging-hides. Typically, in NW2 and NW3, multiple hides will be spaced apart. HOW far apart, depends on the environment. There could be 2-3 hides in a small room, or 2 hides spaced apart in a larger area, however, due to the air or wind currents, the 2 hides that look far apart, are actually converging. This can cause the dog – and handler! – some confusion. My dog is in odor, but spinning, circling, heading one direction then doubling back only to head in another direction, then spinning back to the middle where he started – what is he doing?!? Hopefully, this helps clarify things for both dog and handler!
So, to build some experience for the dogs in sorting out 2 odors, and to build some experience for the handlers in READING their dog when they are sorting out 2 odors, our set up and exercise were as follows:
2 tables flipped on their sides
2 hides – one birch, one anise
variable levels, same level – we did some runs where the hides were at the same level, and other runs where one hide was low to the floor, and one was nose level to a Golden.
All hides were across from each other
Closer and closer – I moved the tables from about 10ft apart to ultimately 4ft apart
We worked on standing still after the dog found the first hide, and allowing the dog to realize that they got the reward for one hide, and there was another reward waiting for them if they moved on. Rather than the handler coaxing, talking to, and gesturing the dog to move on.
Something that cropped up was the crumb distractions on the floor after my basic manners class. By showing the dog the reward they were working for, and sort of teasing them with it to pump them up, and then re-cuing the dog, we saw some of that crumbing behavior disappear.
Here are the videos:
Logan was resting up for his Elite day on Saturday, and nursing a sore wrist. He looked great on Saturday! More on that later…