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MW2016DEC: Sue and Biscuit (ChiWIener, CA)

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    • #8669
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Blackie and Biscuit have both been in NW3 trials since the last movie week, so I decided that we needed separate threads for each girl. Hence, I’ll post Biscuit’s videos here, and we’ll create a separate thread for Blackie.

      I’m going to go ahead and dive right in and post Biscuit’s Exterior video from our Orangevale, CA trial. It’s one we didn’t get, and I’m not entirely sure what we could have done differently.

      This is an element we missed, because I just couldn’t see where the odor might be. The single hide turned out to be under the window ledge on the right side of the search area — if I understood correctly, it was under the window near where you see the “walk zone” sign. Also, there was a fairly strong breeze while we searched, and the wind was kind of swirling in the courtyard.

      I could tell we were going to time out, but Biscuit hadn’t given me any clear indication, so I decided a timeout was probably less bad than a false alert, and either one was going to result in not titling.

      I’m thinking our pace was perhaps a bit too lackadaisical. Beyond that and the challenge of a high (for Biscuit) hide and the swirling wind, do you see anything else?

    • #8676
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      I think this is one of those cases where experience means a lot. The hide was not greatly elevated but the dogs cannot get “around” the hide to make a determination of where the odor is coming from and they really need to investigate the wall itself. Similar to Scout’s search, actually!

      There are a couple of places where we see Biscuit turn back towards the hide. It’s very subtle but important; (:44-:50, :57, 1:03, 1:06) and she turned back again at (1:27). It’s so subtle but these are the things you will need to read from her, respond to and give her permission to complete.

      Hard job for you! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #8700
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yes, with hindsight I remembered that she had been very interested back in that corner, but our pace was so slow that I was concerned about covering the entire area. Given the breeze and swirling air, I feared that she might be picking up a hide from up front back in the back (where it turned out the hide was actually). I guess that’s why I put the blame on our pace: had we covered the area a bit more speedily — not fast, just not as slow — we might have had time to get back to that corner.

      Now, just confirm to me that my decision not to worry about timing out (since I had received NO alert whatsoever) was the best course of action: clearly, I didn’t want to guess/false, and since we hadn’t found any hides and there’s no such thing as a clear NW3 exterior search area, there was nothing to lose by allowing her to work up to the end of time. Am I right in my logic?

      Similarly, if we had found a hide, I would have wanted to call finish before time ran out, in hopes that my expectation that there was still something to be found was wrong, and we had found whatever hide(s) were out there. Right?

      And at the Elite level (which is still a long way off!!!), we would want to call Finish before timing out, no matter what. Or am I misunderstanding the scoring on any of this?

      Will post another video in a minute…

    • #8703
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      It’s only fair to Biscuit that I post an excellent (and successful) search for our next video:

      Orangevale had an EXTREMELY low pass rate: a total of three titles one day and 1 the other — I forget which day was which. The element that had the lowest pass rate on Sunday, was containers, but Biscuit absolutely rocked it! She found the one hide in the middle bucket, and we continued searching because she hadn’t hit every single container at that point. We proceeded to check the containers she hadn’t previously checked (directly, that is), and got a 30-second warning. At that point, she was heading towards another container, so I let her check it out, and then, as she was heading to the exit and time was running down, we called finish. We were one of only 8 teams to pass this element!

    • #8708
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      The downside to keeping her in the search area is (a) it takes more energy to continue searching, (b) if she’s telling you she’s done but you’re not listening there is a potential degradation of the teamwork and (c) what if the timer forgot to give you a 30-second warning? If neither of the first apply and you are confident of your internal timing, there is no problem and you *might* actually find something. Tough call. 😉

      OH – and at the Elite level it’s a less egregious thing to time out. You only lose 1/2 hide. In NW3 you fail.

      Biscuit gave a big tail wag when she went to the bucket on this search. 😀 Good job you two! Congratulations! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #8743
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Here’s a final video for Biscuit. This one is our “SOG” video from the K9ABCGames on 12/4:

      That weekend was our first experience with K9ABCGames, which felt to me more like an agility show-n-go than a trial. I suppose that’s how they are supposed to feel… kinder, gentler, faster. Anyhow, “SOG” stands for “Single Odor Games,” so we knew that there were 4 hides, all of which were birch, one in each “element.” With K9ABCGames, the four elements are all searched together: we had 6 minutes to find the 4 hides. You’ll no doubt get a good laugh at the “vehicle” search — you’ll see us find that one at ~1:45 (and in the thumbnail for the video)! (They define a vehicle as anything with wheels. Right…)

      Biscuit did a nice job overall on this and we got our SOG1 title. Another amusing moment (for me) was the way in the exterior, after jumping off the porch into the grass and working back to the wall, she almost perfectly followed the line of white cones that marked the edge of the search area. I joke on the video with Penny Scott-Fox that Biscuit must have listened to the briefing, because she clearly understood that those cones marked the boundary of the search area!

      What really intrigued me with this search was our last find. After finding three hides outdoors, we moved indoors — since all three elements were present (counting that toy truck…), the fourth hide HAD to be an interior hide. Therefore, in we went at 2:33. My question to Bisky as to whether she remembered the room was because the day before it had been included — as a clear room — in the TOG search (Triple Odor Game) that we did. At 2:45, she starts investigating the bookshelves on the wall, and gives me a pretty solid alert at 2:57 — even including a “sit pretty” to definitively mark it as an alert. However, somehow, I knew not to call the alert at that moment, so I moved a bit sideways (I think you can catch my motion in the reflection on the sliding glass doors), and sure enough, she looked behind herself and changed her alert to the step stool behind her, which proved to be right.

      I’ve been looking forward to receiving this video, hoping that it would shed some light on what I saw that told me NOT to call alert when she sat up at the shelves, but I still don’t know! Any insights?

    • #8756
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      Interesting search. You did a very nice job moving her along. I noticed on the first reward she jumped slightly not not on the rest. 🙂

      Vehicle? Um, ok… 🙂

      Ah, the interior… It seems to me that she did only a cursory nose touch on the bookcase and then did a behavior. She did not strive to put her nose on source on the shelves. It was clear she was in odor but not really showing what she did with the other 3 hides: Standing, wagging her tail madly, and looking at you in anticipation for payment. So when you do not pay, she checks harder, finds the odor on the stool, stands and looks at you with anticipation with her tail wagging madly. CLEARLY more animated on the stool.

      Do you see that?

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #8771
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yes, I think it’s pretty silly that they even bother including a “vehicle” search, based on their definition of vehicles! Our other searches used a bucket on wheels as the “vehicle” or a trash can with wheels… Silly! Just make the vehicle search optional, instead of broadening the definition of “vehicle” this much!!

      Regarding that interior: yes, I think you’re right about her offering a behavior as opposed to truly alerting. I hadn’t thought of that, because she does — once in a while — sit pretty as her form of alert. (And I do love it when she does this! Nothing cuter than my Bisky sitting up and waiting to be paid!) But in this case, maybe that’s what was “missing” for me, that made me question her as to her certainty about the pseudo-alert.

      I’ll have to watch this going forward. It’s so hard when I’m in the moment to identify very explicitly what behavior I see that cues me in as to what to call or not call. I seem to be making the right choice more often than not lately, but I can’t always verbalize the cues that got me to that choice. Instinct is nice, but clarity is more reliable — or so it seems, anyhow!

    • #8777
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      At least by shifting your weight she can then say “no, it’s really here” or she might keep staring at you for payment or if it’s not there, she might then move on to where source really is. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #8780
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yup! I think Biscuit and I will be in the “no placements for us” crowd, but that’s OK with me, as long as we make it into the solid titles crowd! And for that matter, as long as she does her little happy dance when she sees her nose work harness come out, I’m even OK with not titling — just playing the game!

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