I know it’s not Thursday, but this video is a compilation of Thursday night classes, from June of 2019 going back to October 2016. It’s 41 minutes long (a video of Gemma got in there twice, so it should be a tad shorter). There is a brief instruction to start it off from my nephew, Marco. Of course he said it beautifully when I didn’t have the camera rolling, and was shy when I asked him to repeat it, but it is basically what we do in a nutshell. Leave it to a 6 yr old to boil it down for us!
I chose clips from various classes, some because they were funny, some because I really liked the searching, some because there were quick finds, and some because Gemma and Macy were SO LITTLE! I don’t always video, and not everyone is in every class that I do video, so you may not recognise a set up, or wonder why I didn’t choose your dogs’ search. I only chose searches that were no longer than roughly a minute and a half, many were only a few seconds long.
As you look back, think about handling things you may have changed since then, or things you want to change now that you look back with more experienced eyes. I know there are things I look back on and wish I had done differently as a trainer, whether it was waiting for the dog to pinpoint precisely (when looking at the video, it looks like the dog did), or talking while a dog is searching and confusing the handler running. I say Yes! at one point during Cruz’s search, meaning, Yes, Cruz was at source, and HE looks up at me, and Christina thinks I’m just talking and doesn’t acknowledge / pay him. She realises quickly what had happened, but I felt bad that we missed rewarding him right away.
And when Gemma comes to visit me during a search as a puppy, was that a precursor of what was to come? What could I have done differently early on, to maybe prevent or change that? DOES it need to be changed? How do we take the joy she has visiting, and apply it to searching? I don’t have a definite answer, but video always lays things bare.
One thing I noticed on a lot of searches, not all, is a lot of releasing the dog to search, before the dog has paused to take in the search area. I know everyone is conscious of keeping things moving, but, I think there were several times where taking a few seconds at the start, would have been made up for in their search time. Just waiting a beat or two for your dog to focus into the search area, watch their nose work and see where they are oriented to, before releasing, will help the search become more efficient.
There is a video of Sarah and Max, the last video, where Sarah holds him at the start, waiting for him to focus. He is barking and barking and barking – and she releases him during a pause. Because I know he’s excited, and I like that, and I don’t mind the barking, but how much sniffing can he be doing when barking? And how much thinking and assessing the search area can he do when he is barking at the moon? I like that Sarah took the time to wait for him to quiet, even if it was only for a beat, before releasing him. It is one of my favorite clips, so if you are missing class, you’ll get a nice reminder of Max, and you’ll get to see him puzzling out converging hides. It’s a fun one!
I also love the one of Beth and Lela – it was a maze set up, and Lela wants to go left, but Beth wants to go right. You’ll see who wins that battle!
And there’s one of Isaac going from weave poles to odor, and Libby and Midnight being quick, and Miso air-scenting a hide when we were working w/ fans, and Reo doing a beautiful container search, and several quick Vehicle searches, Teddy having fun before putting on his down to business attitude, Molly being quick and efficient in a small search area, Aspen being clear on a chair search, Sam on his way to visit me before peeling off to work odor. All good stuff! And I think a lot of these videos were pre-trial, before anyone had trialed their young dogs, many of whom are ready for NW3. It was fun for me to look back, and even in the videos, see the progression.
I hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane! For those of you who have been watching NW webinars during our break, you’ll have lots of things floating around in your mind as you watch them back. My timing was off! Why did I wait so long to reward? I should have paired! I was getting ahead of the plane of my dogs shoulder and taking control! My leash handling was a mess! At least, that’s what I think when I look back at my videos! It was so easy when they were just finding food in boxes. But now we are in a deeper partnership with our dogs, trying to “hear” them and respond to them. Sometimes I need Miracle Ear, and sometimes we have a great conversation. Its those moments that keep us hooked.