Ok, these videos are much better than the video from our first NW3 trial in February. I was a little more in control during the Container search, and the Vehicle search was a lot prettier than the one in Feb. And thankfully, there was no repeat of our Exterior search in February, although there was definitely a distraction out there that had me worried!
Always room for improvement, especially when you watch things back. Here is what I missed in the moment. “Trial memory” is certainly different than real-time reality.
Containers – first search of the day. There was a lumpy bag in the middle, that he stopped at, and I don’t know why, but I didn’t think it was an alert. Yes, he sort of freezes at it, but even watching it back, I’m not sure why I didn’t think he was on odor. From what I remember, he was slowly moving and sniffing, tipping his head ever so slightly, and something made me think he was sniffing dog, not birch anise or clove. I also thought we had skipped the green bag in the corner, so made a big effort to get back there. Turns out, he had skimmed it and gave it a little interest already. I was glancing up, looking at my next move, when he did that, and he came along with me. When I brought him back to the green bag, that I thought we’d missed, he did a freeze, but now I was spooked after the lumpy bag – was it a real Alert freeze? Then the bag starts sliding around on him, and he moves around the bag, and gets his nose under it and lays down! I finally call Alert, but I wish I’d called it quicker. “Trial memory” made the freeze on the lumpy bag seem longer than the freeze on the green bag. The first 2 hides I was very quick to call it, although my delay probably saved me on the lumpy bag. I guess those last 2 bags were just gut feelings.
Exteriors – well, you can see him dive into the mulch – which was out of bounds – and you can see he is not following blowing odor. There was a ton of goose poop around, so I imagine that is what he was going for. I don’t think I’ve ever pulled him that hard in a trial before! I was just worried he’d pee on it. In watching this back, I noticed that I missed covering 2 benches – we never even went by them! That could be trouble at Elite, where the # of unknown hides can be many more than 3. On the porch, I wish I’d worked it like a small room, and just stood at the opening. I get in the middle, and have to circle and spin as he works it out. There were several places in this trial where I am spinning – thinking he’s crossing in front of me or that he’s coming along w/ me, and he crosses behind me.
Vehicles – I was anxious to see this, since when they talked about this search in the debrief, Sergio said many dogs alerted on the far side of the car from the hide. He gave it to them, (which Jean said was generous) based on what the wind was doing (blowing from the red mini van down hill) He said he allowed a wide area for an acceptable alert, but that dogs should work to source and not alert so far from it. I couldn’t remember where I’d called Alert! My comments were “Dog worked to source” but I honestly wanted to see what that looked like. Yes, he did alert to the correct side of the hot car, good dog! I could have called Finish :10 earlier – I don’t know why I finished the white car and headed back towards the hide, but oh well. The one thing that makes me sad watching this video back, is watching us leave the search area. I call Finish, and am so happy we got out of our trial (this was the last search) w/ no No’s, that I’m not even looking at my partner. I’m sort of hauling him out of there, and that last frame is sad. I should be celebrating w/ him, or focusing on him, as we walk out. I know I did on our way back to the parking lot, especially since there was only one dog behind us. I knew I didn’t have to worry about walking into dogs staging or getting ready for their runs, and I talked to him as he pranced all the way back to the car. But that moment leaving the search area, needs improvement.