Well, since the current weather seems to be telling us it’s there for us to practice in – Baxter, Abby and I managed yet another Rainy Day search yesterday after I got home from work.
What the heck – the rain was there, we may as well utilize it, right? 🙂
I had a ladder leaning up against the house already, so pulled it out and set it up in the yard. Looking around, I found a couple of old traffic cones, an piece of plastic pipe (about 12″ diameter and 6′ long), and pulled the lawn mower out into the area. I decided t place the hide up on the ladder, but didn’t want air movement to carry it TOO far, so placed it on the back side just the 3rd rung up. to make sure there was a solid surface for the dogs to work the hide off of, I pulled a portable table down from the porch and lay it on its side, about six feet from the ladder, down-wind of the ladder.
It was about 7:30 pm, raining lightly and about 60F with light air movement. I started them at the side of the search zone, figuring they would need to get into the area before they would hit odor, but since they were harnessed and leashed, they both knew it was a NW search. 🙂 I ran Baxter first and then Abby.
Abby actually found the hide quicker than Baxter did this time!! She checked each item in the area, showed quite a bit of interest in the table (I was afraid she was getting stuck there, but let her work it out in her own way) and then after circling the ladder several times, getting higher with her nose each time, she alerted on the source. Yippee!
Baxter was less eager (raining <sigh>), but headed into the search area at a jog, ears drooping. He checked the cones first, then headed for the table, where he picked up odor (that worked really well). He detailed the table for a minute, but ruled it out and went to check the plastic pipe. He didn’t work the odor from the table to the ladder (possibly the scent cone was still over his head at the table, so inaccessible to him?) and wandered off into the grass briefly, but then came back and went to the ladder. As he circled the ladder, he picked up odor again and at that point, fairly quickly worked to source.
He was NOT enthusiastic about this search, probably due to the rain. I rewarded him with a PARTY of his favorite beef summer sausage when he found the hide, and that perked him up a lot (temporarily). But as soon as I told him, “All done!”, he headed for the porch. 😉
I doubt Baxter will ever ENJOY even nose work in the rain, but at least he was willing to work it!