Unfortunately, there was no videographer at Quattro’s NW2 trial, and I so wish I had video from it. He had earned his NW1 in June, and his NW2 was in October, so he was just under 2 yrs old, pretty wild and crazy from car to start line and into the search. I remember there was an inaccessible hide in the Exterior search area, in / under a big barrel. He worked all around it, and I waited and waited for him to “make a decision” and “tell me” about it, but he just kept circling, jumping up on, and moving around the barrel, before finally moving off. I did bring him back to the area, and he did make his decision by picking an area to freeze on (his alert behavior) and I called Alert. That indecision on my part – afraid to call Alert and hear “Where? “ – cost us a pronounced designation, and since we had received ‘P’s in the other 3 elements, we would have earned a Pronounced designation and ribbon. So, I learned I needed to work some more inaccessible hides to help Quattro make a faster decision, and to train my eye to feel confident to call Alert, to understand when he was working inaccessible vs sourceable.
Coach’s NW2 was a lot of fun, too. Sort of a blur! He is really fast, and I called Alert pretty quickly on every hide, not waiting for anything fancy. It was fun to be so free to trust him and just call it. This was when they were still not videoing the Interiors, so no video of those 2 rooms, but I do remember I kept him in the front half of a room for too long… I was assuming he would move on if he cleared the area, but finally realized I needed to step into the room more, to draw him to the back side of the room. And of course, that was where a hide was. This was the first NW2 trial where I had to call Finish. Prior to this, you said Alert, heard yes (hopefully!) and would walk out. Now, you need to call Alert, hear Yes, and then call Finish. This was also the first NW2 trial I did where there could be 3 hides in a search area. Prior to that, you had one or two hides per search area, so I had to remember to keep searching after finding 2! Another first, was having the off leash option in the Exterior search at NW2. I had that option once in NW3, so it was fun cutting him loose. I was mildly worried about him peeing, since he is not neutered and is pretty young here, but his focus is so strong, I tried to put that out of my mind. You can see, he is working the whole time and doesn’t even think about dog odors in the search area. Overall, it was a fun day running around with my little blue dog!