MW2016Jul: Deb & Baxter (Dachshund, AK)

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    • #6887
      Deb (De) Frost

      Hi Kim & friends,

      Baxter & I started taking NW classes in late 2012; he earned his NW1 (Pronounced) in Sept. 2013, NW2 in May 2014 and his first NW3 title on our 2nd attempt in Sept. 2015. We LOVE nose work. ? Looking forward to Movie Week – hopefully, my computer will cooperate this time.

    • #6896

      Yeah! So glad to see you and Baxter back again! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #6902
      Deb (De) Frost

      OK, I hope I remember how to add the video – it’s been a while! My first video contribution for Movie week is from a practice session we held at BetCo (our training facility) about a month ago. Our goal on this day was a combo one (team requests <g>); multiple hides, working moving/pooling odor and elevated hides … and TIMED.

      All except one hide was fully accessible, if I remember correctly, but some demanded more problem-solving than others. We used a fan (see the upright black object between two chairs on the right side of the room) to create air flow and placed the hide on the chair in front of the fan, allowing the odor to move past the chair and pool against the plastic bench – and beyond into the corner of the room.

      Other hides are located at the base of the “walker” and pile of boxes in the middle of the room, at the base of the WALL adjacent to the table on the left side of the room (the idea was for odor to pool under or against the table for the dog to work back to source), a hide is on the metal X-pen fencing at the far back of the room, and there is a hide up at the top of the metal POST towards the back/left of the room. We placed the chair where we did, between the pole and the table, hoping the dogs would work the elevated hide off it, but weren’t sure how well that would worked. I think we inadvertently created a converging odor problem for ourselves between the table/wall hide and the pole hide, even though they weren’t all that close together. We DIDN’T expect that. Ah well … EH? The chairs and other misc. objects in the room were placed with “working off them” in mind, plus just making the search area more interesting.

      I know, I know … less might be better, but I had help coming up with this one. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Baxter went just a bit over the 3 minute time limit, but he was working it hard and I was more interested in the dogs being successful than an arbitrary time limit, so we let him finish. Looking forward to your input.

    • #6910

      So much fun to watch Baxter search! ๐Ÿ™‚

      This is quite a complicated search but (a) You know where the hides are so you can support your dog as needed and (b) IT LOOKS LIKE FUN!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      In the beginning we see Baxter coming outside of the search area (in front) to investigate the shelving and you do not pull him off his quest. This is good IMO! You allow him to work odor as needed. The video starts after he crosses the start line so I have to assume he did cross between the cones? (For trial purposes this is important. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

      Your distance from Baxter is great. He works independently and you are able to get a good view of what is happening by not being on top of him.

      First tip: After Baxter finds the first hide (chair) you tell him to “find more” and move several steps into the search area. This is a GOOD MOVE if the dog is novice and tends to stick to the first hide. However, you and Baxter are a more advanced team and you need to start thinking about Baxter working from one hide to the next. My recommendation would be to pay Baxter and STAY AT THE HIDE while verbally telling him to “find more.” That way you are not directing him in which way to go or pushing him off another hide which he COULD possibly get from the first. I’m confident Baxter will go off on his own w/o your body pressure to influence.

      Baxter does make his way to the back wall and works the hide on the Xpen. Unfortunately we’re zoomed in from there on out so we don’t see the whole picture as Baxter starts to work the post hide. Your observations are very good. And what’s interesting is that as he works the post he catches the hide at the base of the wall. Then he works to the pole hide.

      One other thing I noticed (Tip 2) is that Baxter never gets into the corners of the space. You have objects filling the room and obviously you know where the hides are in this search. I would, however, encourage you to work those corners and edges. If a hide had been on the dark chair in the upper right and the wind was blowing towards the corner, he may have missed that one. Especially since there is a DOOR there (think air flow). Yes, Baxter got the Xpen and the Wall hides (yeah!) but corners are not only possible hide locations that may not be detected further out, they are collection points for odor so consider them PRODUCTIVE areas. It is easiest to encourage the dog to check those through strategic and successful hide placements in practice so the dogs naturally investigate those places and you don’t have to manage them. If you note from Sarah/Angie’s Elite trial video, Angie also doesn’t naturally go into the corners or work the edges so she did end up missing a hide. Great searcher but just didn’t go into a necessary location.

      Lots of good stuff here! But now we need to step up the game! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #6931
      Deb (De) Frost

      Dang … you sound a lot like one of those instructors at K9 Nose Work Camp.

      Oh WAIT. You ARE one of those instructors! ? And what you say makes a lot of sense, especially in hindsight.

      OK, tip 1: Yep, I see it. I think, knowing where the hides were, my focus (consciously or unconsciously – maybe both) was to open up the way to the other hides. There IS habit here, from early on, to “move him on” and I agree it’s no longer necessary. So, I need to figure out how to move instead … which I thought was easier to do when I knew where the hides were. Maybe not. Ack. Still (always) learning.

      Tip 2: Hmm … maybe subconscious again? I knew where the hides were, so never even noticed in this search that Baxter didn’t check the corners. ? Good point. This is an area where I guess we really should go back to basics for a bit. In beginner NW classes, we make a big deal out of the VALUE in making sure your dog LEARNS that corners are valuable and productive areas. We worked them hard early on. I’ve gotten a little lazy as a handler – I count on Baxter’s nose too much. I need to be a better teammate. I guess Baxter and I need a refresher course.

      Darn. I hate it when you are right! ? Well, not really … ? THANK YOU!

    • #6963
      Deb (De) Frost

      OK, video number two: simpler and done off-leash (removing me from immediate control, hopefully). In this video, I did purposely allow Baxter to pretty much “do his thing” with as little interference as I seem capable of. He was REALLY eager to get out there and search – this was his first search after coming home from NW Camp. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The three hides had been out about half an hour. It was around 7:00 PM, the temps were in the low 70s, with a light breeze blowing on an angle to the search area (blowing away from the start line, but also sort of right to left as well, probably carrying the odor towards and around the edge of the wood shed).

      There is one hide inside one of the white PVC pipes on the ground, one hide under the piece of birch bark (the tan blob on the ground near the furthest pipe) and one hide is off to the left, deep in grass. I expected that Baxter would have to pass beyond the hides in order to pick up odor, and that the direction of the wind would LIKELY have odor pooling either against the wood shed wall or even past it and on around the corner.

      I thought Baxter worked the problem pretty well, all things considered. I did re-cue him initially (just concerned that he was going to hare off on a jaunt – I probably didn’t need to do that.) And YES, we definitely need to MOW. This is the lower part of our driveway down near my husbands metal shop, and not a high priority for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #6979

      Ha-ha! We do lose the long dog in the grass for a bit, don’t we?? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Baxter makes good use of the building surface and corner to help determine the grass hide. AND, note that he does go back to the birch bark hide at about (:45) after finding the second hide. It doesn’t appear he is expecting payment, just verifying the scent picture.

      Did you notice Baxter make a change of direction at (:06) toward the pipe hide? He kept going and of course we don’t know if he is headed out to find critters but I think he was working the area. My guess is that he would have come back on his own but you do re-cue and he heads back to figure out the first hide quickly.

      Nice change of behavior at the pipe hide and good work on the final hide. ๐Ÿ™‚

      This was a Fun search with great ground level challenges! One caution about using equipment from other sports or activities; (Agility uprights?) With lingering odor it can be confusing for the dogs. If others also use the equipment they may not understand why their dog shows interest. Of course, this is your equipment at your house but a good opportunity for a reminder about items used by others. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #6983
      Deb (De) Frost

      Yep, I should’ve made clear that the PVC pipe was from an old, BROKEN set of agility weave poles no longer in use for their original purpose (I finally scored a nice set of channel weaves! Yay!). These particular poles have been added to my NW supply pile. The one with the hide has a black “X” on the back-side and lives with my other “odor items”. ? I’ve always been big on re-purposing.

      As my Grandma used to say;
      “Use it up,
      Wear it out,
      Make it do
      Or do without.”

    • #7000


      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #7050
      Deb (De) Frost

      OK … I’m going to finish out Movie Week with a giggle and a groan. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Please go ahead and watch the video before reading the comments that I make below the video, OK? The INTENTION of this video (set up and run two days ago) was to try to do what you (Kim) suggested – try to reward at source, then send Baxter on to keep searching WITHOUT moving away or gesturing him away from the hide he is on.

      There were three hides along our stairway and upstairs hallway (we only get to two of them before all heck breaks loose … :)). You’ll note, I hope, the baby-gate at the bottom of the stairs. This was in place to keep our other two dogs (Abby and Falki) OUT of the search area. That was the idea, anyway. It USUALLY works fine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The three hides had been cooking for several hours – the dogs and I had agility class, so Falki was out in the play yard while Baxter, Abby and I were at class. When we came home later, I gave everyone a break, then set Baxter up in his NW harness, got my treats out (sorry about the plastic bag of cheese – I’d misplaced my treat pouch at agility class), and we got started.

      Baxter took off at a dead run as soon as I opened the gate – my opinion is that all that odor, cooked for several hours, was really pouring down the stairs – or, at the very least, he was well aware that it was up there. As so often happens, he headed for the highest, furthest hide first and pegs it before I ever make it up the stairs. That was beautifully done and I was very happy with him. I stayed in place after rewarding him, and told him to “Find More”. He dithered for a few seconds (he is not used to me NOT moving away, I think), then went to check out the bedroom. He cleared that room in about 8 seconds (am I wrong about that? Boy, a clearer “Nope, nothing in here” would have been hard to find, eh?), then returned to the first hide (again, not his norm) and then finally started checking his way back down the hallway.

      THEN … oh my. This next part was NOT intentional. Sigh.

      But you have to admit, Baxter IS a persistent hunter in the face of distractions, isn’t he? <L> I had to finally turn the camera off before we (all of us!) ended up in a heap at the bottom of the stairs – and before we got to the third hide.


      My question persists though – what would be the best way to transition Baxter into getting me accustomed to NOT making my usual (to him) back-up and move on “moves”? He normally does NOT return multiple times to the same hide(s). I see this behavior as a confusion reaction to my sticking to a hide and not (again, in his mind, I think) not releasing him to keep moving and continue the hunt. He acted like he thought (distractions aside) that I WANTED him to stay there. ?? Hmmm ….

    • #7063

      LOL! Yes, Baxter worked well with all the chaos! My dogs would have been arguing over who is working and who is getting rewarded. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do think having the other dogs in the space affected how he worked the search, tho’, as I note regarding the 3rd hide.

      Not directing which way to go after finding a hide;

      Baxter moved off beautifully from the first hide. He did not hesitate to investigate the bedroom. Cleared it, came back to the first hide and then moved off down the hallway and found the second hide. Kind of hard to stay out of Baxter’s way and with the other two there in a tight space so it’s not really a good indication of this method. Trying to get the other dogs out of the way interrupted the process. Also, based on the angle of the camera, it appears you may have been blocking Baxter from going down the stairs where the 3rd hide was located? Your body position would tell him to stay up there. Yet, Baxter not finding any more, goes back to a previous hide. GOOD DOG!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I would experiment again with the same thing. You should go and support him as you would normally when he chooses a direction and moves off the hide. It’s just a matter of not directing him in which way to go initially.

      I see Baxter’s confusion in this search more a matter of circumstances rather than anything else and he returned to what was there. I think had the other dogs not been there he’d probably have made his way down the stairs to the final hide. OR, possibly that hide was drifting down and not up so that Baxter didn’t fully detect it as he ran past.

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

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