Deb (De) Frost

Oddly enough, considering his size, Bax usually does pretty well with higher containers in general. I just don’t have the energy to haul enough suitcases and/or boxes up from our basement and out to the barn to make a good search area. 🙁

I did manage to set up a fairly good sized LOW container search this morning though! Here is the “LOW OF IT” for you.

I hope they are low enough. Btw; I usually do not do searches in an area with agility equipment set up, but gees … it took me ages to haul and dump enough shovel-fulls of dirt to secure that darn weave set deep enough in the floor for Baxter not to have to JUMP the side-supports and center pipe (a PVC weave-pole set isn’t ideal but was all I could afford – and it seems to be working!), so we’re just IGNORING it for now.

Anyway; the hides are (as I’m betting you can guess <g>) in the little pink purse on the left (the other is blank), the white box Bax POUNCES on towards the back of the room, and the red vinyl bag near the door.

In case you’re wondering; the ROCK he is so interested in (between hides 1 & 2) is my “Post-it” today – yes, that was where a hide was placed in my previous search (with Abby). It figures Baxter would know right where a box with a birch hide in it WAS, an hour earlier. Sheesh. At least he didn’t actually ALERT on the rock, eh? I did cook these hides for the full hour you requested – even came inside and checked email while I waited. It really does make a difference, doesn’t it. I’m pretty sure he knew where all 3 hides where right off the bat, or at least the first two.

The red bag was a bit of a challenge for him to pin down, but mainly just to decide which corner he wanted to call it on. I think I would have called Alert on that bag anyway, but was waiting for him to make a decision and let me know. Was that the right thing to do there?

Baxter’s alerts have been going through a major change-up this past six months or so. I think I am reading him better in general, and I believe he could be really awesome fast if I could just keep up with him and get his rewards to him faster. He stays at (or pops back to) source until I get there and he is CLEAR that he is on them, but there is so much bouncing impatiently in place that it looks sloppy and I find myself wondering what the judges will think <sigh>. Seriously – we earned Pronounced ribbons in 2 of the first 3 trials we ever entered. I don’t know that we’d earn any right now. 🙁

His alerts are not nearly as “pretty” as they used to be, and I’m guessing that has at least some to do with us practicing inaccessible hides a lot this summer … or it may be just the way I’m responding to his alerts? Am I ALLOWING him to be sloppy? Should I work on that, or just keep working on “reading” him? I honestly don’t care about training a specific final response behavior – I’d much rather see the eye contact and clear back and forth communication that we are building. It is just SO MUCH FUN to work with this little dude.