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C-WAGS trial reviews

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    • #4466
      Barb Herringshaw
      Participant

        Jazper is a 5 year old Weimaraner. We started NW 2 years ago. We did all 3 DOT ( equal to ORT) the first year but could not afford to go to a SDDA trial ( too far away for ” give it a try” ) so I have done the Level 1 C-WAGS trials which are available locally. Jazper finished his ACE title recently ( 14 Qs out of 15 runs). Since level 1 consists of 8 to 14 boxes on the floor with 1 scent ( birch and/or cypress) I have reviewed my notes and videos from those trials. Most were random patterns but we did do the straight lines, circles, ovals and square pattern searches as well. Line searches ( I am including circles and ovals as line searches) are no real issue for Jazper. He missed one threshold hide but caught it the second time past. The square he did miss 2 of the corner boxes but since both those boxes were cold it did not affect his find. I have worked corners a lot since that earlier trial although he will miss corners if the hide is fresh ( less than 10 mins) but not if the hide has been aged. The odour draws him into the corner hide/ box. I will do the rest of the patterns this weekend ( should be fun!) and then move on to 2 hides per search …this is much harder for Jazper as he often returns to the first find frequently. Line drills should help with this ???

      • #4469
        Kimberly Buchanan
        Keymaster

          Welcome Barb and thanks for the rundown on a bit of the C-Wags trials. ๐Ÿ™‚

          You might try more multiple hide searches so Jazper has more opportunity for success when he keeps hunting vs going back to an existing hide. Just a thought! Have fun!

          Kimberly Buchanan
          Joyride K9 Dog Training

        • #4472
          Barb Herringshaw
          Participant

            Those were my thoughts as well. I thought a straight line patterns that keeps him moving forward searching. I also thought minimal aging to avoid swirling/converging odour issues to start with.

          • #4473
            Deb (De) Frost
            Participant

              Hi Barb,

              Just a thought. When you mention not aging the hide so as to avoid swirling/converging odor – I’m just wondering if you are confusing an “aged hide” and a “cooked container” (might not be the right term for that – Kim?), which can be totally different things. You may already know and be doing this, but I thought it was worth mentioning, just in case …

              When you are using a “contained” hide (such as a box or plastic tub); be sure you DO load the box (put the odor in it) in advance so the odor has time to seep out the cracks and become accessible to the dog. I usually try to do this at least 15-30 minutes (sometimes as much as an hour) before I’m going to run a search – longer if I’m using plastic tubs and/or running a really novice dog (like my Abby). If you want to be sure (as you mention) that the odor stays with the individual container and doesn’t have time to swirl out, pool and/or get into other areas – putting the “cooking” box inside a plastic trash bag or a larger tub works well. Then you can get the box out and set it in the search area, knowing it is fully cooked but still “fresh” in the search area.

              Btw; I keep a couple of large trash bags used only for this purpose – I store my “odor boxes/tubs” in a specific marked trash bag in a separate part of my training area (hung on a hook on the far wall) to re-use. That way, even tho I don’t keep odor in them, the contaminated boxes stay organized and well apart from my clean supplies and I’m also not always throwing away perfectly good trash bags <g>). ๐Ÿ™‚

            • #4474
              Barb Herringshaw
              Participant

                These basics are always worth reviewing. I would describe myself as “rather anal” regarding scent. I have a small room in my house dedicated only for scent stuff….no dogs or family members allowed in! I did mean when I place the hide in the search area as aging….not the prep work ( cooking the hide). I normally do my hides 2 to 3 hours ahead of time,

                ( tins, small plastic containers, straws, and my recent favourite plastic flower tubes) these hot containers are placed
                ( everything is labelled) in separate and closed labelled glass containers until I need them. Boxes are done and placed in plastic bags. All these items are then put into a Rubbermaid closed container for transport. In this way, I am not messing with oils and Qtips when I do a search or practise with other club members. I refresh my Qtips monthly and they are stored in the official dark glass jars until needed ( placed in sealed storage container that was purchased as a kit) Rubber gloves are a staple in my kit and any container used for or near a hot hide is stored in my room or discarded. Since I have an endless supply of boxes, I usually discard hot boxes ( after removing the Qtips and placing the box in a plastic bag for the garbage). I have seen so many people struggle with multiple odours during the trials that I want to slowly introduce the concept of multiple odours in a small area with Jazper. Since I have the luxury of having 4 barns on my property, I have done multiple odours using stalls and hallways to search but this is different from 2 or 3 odours in one small contained room.

              • #4475
                Barb Herringshaw
                Participant

                  I should also mention that I have a Type A competitive personality. Not always a good thing !

                • #4476
                  Deb (De) Frost
                  Participant

                    Geez … you sounds so much like me, it is a little scary! <L> My set-up and storage routines sound eerily similar to yours. Although I am SURE lacking the four barns – that would be NICE! ๐Ÿ™‚

                    I store most of my odor supplies in my spare bedroom upstairs – a room we don’t use much and which has a door I can keep handily closed. Most bulkier supplies that I don’t have to worry about freezing (boxes, plastic tubs, etc.) are stored on a nice dry shelf or on pallets in the barn. I don’t know what people do who don’t have “out-buildings”! ๐Ÿ˜‰

                  • #4494
                    Kathryn Dobyns
                    Participant

                      Well, I am not quite so particular! Used hot containers and stock odor get kept on a shelf in the garage. Clean containers stored in the basement and also in the garage on a different wall from the odor. I have occasionally had a lot of interest in a supposedly clean container, which then was either discarded or added to the hot box pile. Since Hunter often gets confused by pooling/converging/lingering odor in containers, I actually don’t worry too much about the cross-contamination in training. I know where the source is and I want him to learn the difference between source and okay there is odor there, but it is not source…

                    • #4499
                      Kimberly Buchanan
                      Keymaster

                        I think that’s good that you know that, Kathryn, and a good way to think about it. Unfortunately some people just get upset with their dogs when they indicate on a supposedly clean box which may have been contaminated. I also have a dog who had a big tendency to alert on pooling odor and I think we’ve gotten over the hump. (I hope!) But it can be very frustrating!

                        Kimberly Buchanan
                        Joyride K9 Dog Training

                      • #4506
                        Barb Herringshaw
                        Participant

                          Did the rest of the patterns today. H, X and N. Did 2 runs of each pattern at my training centre with one hot box. Hot box ( hide was a scented tin placed inside a box to minimize odour contamination to floor) was moved for each run. Did the runs off leash. Jazper simply scanned the room at the start line and trotted over to the hot box and alerted. No wasted motion at all. I did just finish Scent Theory online class with Lucy Newton in which we were finding small scent hides in a 5 acre pasture and other outside open areas with no visual clues to help the dog. So I think this is what he was doing….straight line to odour source totally ignoring the cold boxes. I did notice that on the last run he did acknowledge a box beside the hot box but no alerts on it.

                        • #4516
                          Kimberly Buchanan
                          Keymaster

                            Excellent! For the Scent Theory class did you have live applications to test the theories or was it simply classwork?

                            Kimberly Buchanan
                            Joyride K9 Dog Training

                          • #4538
                            Barb Herringshaw
                            Participant

                              I had a gold spot. It is a DFSA course. So I had to video and do homework assignments. Our first assignments were to place a small scent container in a wide open area ( hidden). Then we had to record the conditions and wind directions using a smoke wizard toy or matches to learn how our dogs searched up/down/side wind. Not once did Jazper ever take off despite being off leash in wide open pastures. I would drive the truck into the pasture to drop the hide to avoid my scent leading him to the hide. So cool to watch him search 5 acres and find that single Q-tip in a tin placed in the grass. These exercises helped him to reduce the wasted motion that beginner dogs have and really understand that odour can be any where……not just in boxes or containers.

                            • #4540
                              Kimberly Buchanan
                              Keymaster

                                Sounds awesome! I wish we had that kind of space here in Southern California! Well, we do but the farmers tend to kick you off their land. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                                Kimberly Buchanan
                                Joyride K9 Dog Training

                              • #5029
                                Susanne Howarth
                                Participant

                                  Wow! Interesting to read just how anal Barb and Deb are regarding odor handling!

                                  Kim: I’d be curious to know your thoughts on this topic as to what level of fanaticism ๐Ÿ™‚ is necessary and/or appropriate for training. I can understand it being essential in a trial setting, and I can also understand that odor contamination might affect our dogs’ searching and successes, such that especially for baby dogs it might be better to be more precise. However, it also seems to me that it could be useful (for more experienced dogs?) to be a bit less careful and thereby allow the dogs to experience lingering odor and learn to ignore it and go to source.

                                  Am I on the right track? Or just rationalizing my own laziness?

                                • #5063
                                  Kimberly Buchanan
                                  Keymaster

                                    I have somewhat of the same theory as you, Sue, but I try to be a bit more vigilant with containers since we’re setting up inaccessible hide problems for the dogs every time we use them. I try to store my odor containers well away from the non-odor containers and if there is a question of contamination it turns into an odor container.

                                    Having said that, I do think that it is good for dogs to work thru lingering odor, just as it is beneficial to work thru different strengths of odor. The dog should always try to find source (bracketing in an inaccessible hide, trying to round up the source) and if source is not there, to look somewhere else. We don’t really know how the strength of lingering odor differs from pooling odor so for the dog to really find success with lingering odor it’s best to have a hide nearby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                                    Kimberly Buchanan
                                    Joyride K9 Dog Training

                                  • #5081
                                    Kimberly Buchanan
                                    Keymaster

                                      I will mention that really the most important thing is to KNOW that there could be some contamination so not to discount if the dog gives an indication, even a weak one, someplace unexpected. I teach in a location where we’ve had a lot of instructors for several years. Our dogs always work thru lingering odor and the occasional lost hide. But we know this and work with it. Just harder to do clear rooms. ๐Ÿ˜›

                                      Kimberly Buchanan
                                      Joyride K9 Dog Training

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