~JOYRIDE K9 *REMOTE* K9NW EDUCATION~

MW2016Jul: Kathryn & Hunter (mixed, VA)

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    • #6865
      Kathryn Dobyns
      Participant

        Hi everyone! I am joining you from the lovely, but currently miserably hot and humid, Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Hunter is a 9 year old mystery mutt who landed in my house at about 1.5 years old. We have worked through a ton of reactivity and fear issues through a zillion obedience classes, which led to rally competition, which led to agility (he just earned MACH2 in May ?), and finally we discovered nosework! Hunter earned his NW1 in December 2014, his NW2 in May 2015 and we have competed once at the NW3 level in December 2015 (passed 3/4 elements – falsed in containers). I am hoping that we will get the chance to play again at NW3 this fall/winter.

      • #6885
        Kimberly Buchanan
        Keymaster

          Welcome back, Kathryn & Hunter! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Kimberly Buchanan
          Joyride K9 Dog Training

        • #6889
          Kathryn Dobyns
          Participant

            Thanks, Kim!
            Now on to posting video ๐Ÿ™‚
            This is the vehicle search from our NW3 trial last December. The videographer kindly located the hides and the distraction off camera. I have described this search in other forums here, but now you can see what I was trying to do. We started with a perimter search around the outside edge and when he caught odor he beelined around the second vehicle to the odor in the third vehicle. I realize he never really covered that second vehicle, but it turned out there was nothing there. After working around to the hide on the front of the Jeep, I worked him back around the Prius because he had been getting a lot of odor interest there (from the hide on the Jeep). On the second loop, he was clearly confident he had already found that source, so I called finish. Overall, I am really happy with this one.

          • #6892
            Kathryn Dobyns
            Participant

              One other note about this search – you will see at :21 I call the alert but I did not hear the judge respond. I said it again thinking the judge did not hear me the first time and I still did not hear a response, although I did get a small smile from him. At that point I decided my dog was right and I needed to pay and move on. Turns out I was correct, but that also was an unexpected stressor in trial!

            • #6907
              Kimberly Buchanan
              Keymaster

                The alert call and non-response from the judge was odd! Did he just nod and smile because of audible issues from nearby competitors? Yeah, that would be a little unnerving!

                Hunter does an admirable job, especially with the deer carcass nearby! ๐Ÿ™‚

                This is one of those searches, however, with angles and wind such that had a hide been on the HHR (2nd vehicle) Hunter *may* have missed it since the draw from the 3rd vehicle was strong. It doesn’t seem as tho’ you fully covered the Jeep?

                Now, one could argue that Hunter is a strong searcher, very very dedicated to finding source and if hides had been on those other vehicles he’d likely have found them. However, IF the wind was taking odor in a different direction it’s *possible* something could have been missed. I’m thinking Hunter doesn’t often miss hides in trial?

                If you ever get a chance to do this 4-leaf, or 3-leaf clover arrangement, try a similar hide set-up with strong odor on the back wheel area of the furthest vehicle as in this search. Add a hide to the side panel of the car in the HHR position (facing us) and then work the perimeter as you did to see if Hunter notices that odor and works it or goes to the wheel area. If he works out that hide convergence then you can feel confident that HE won’t miss anything, regardless whether you purposely make him hoover every vehicle or not.

                I think you were smart to recheck the Prius just to be certain (this is a trial after all!) but what did your gut tell you before that time? Were you thinking “I think we’re done but one last loop around to check!”?

                ๐Ÿ™‚

                Kimberly Buchanan
                Joyride K9 Dog Training

              • #6908
                Kimberly Buchanan
                Keymaster

                  Oh – and I love the graphics! How did you create those? Coach’s Eye?

                  Kimberly Buchanan
                  Joyride K9 Dog Training

                • #6912
                  Kathryn Dobyns
                  Participant

                    The videographer put the graphics in – not sure what program she used.

                    I was thrilled with his lack of interest in the deer carcass – I thought he might have been chasing odor in that direction, especially when he turned back to the vehicles so quickly. I had no idea the carcass was there until the debrief at the end if the day.

                    I was pretty sure when he found the Jeep that he was done, and he only other place I saw odor interest was on the far side of the Prius – on the last loop around, he did not even sniff at the Prius. I was happy we had found two successfully and consciously chose to leave anything else unfound (I was looking for a happy search after falsing in containers first thing in the morning!)

                    I like your ideas for recreating this in training – I just need to track down enough vehicles to practice with!

                  • #6916
                    Kimberly Buchanan
                    Keymaster

                      The search looked really good! But it’s good to recreate this particular challenge since it can get a lot of teams. I didn’t really see any interest in the deer but as you, mostly chasing odor. ๐Ÿ™‚

                      Kimberly Buchanan
                      Joyride K9 Dog Training

                    • #6928
                      Kathryn Dobyns
                      Participant

                        Okay, here is video 2 – this is our exterior search from the NW3 trial last December. I was slow to call his alert on the threshold hide on the fire pit. I actually pulled him off it briefly but my good dog worked it a bit more and the second alert I was comfortable calling. We then worked the perimeter, he showed some interest in the woodshed, which was probably blowing odor from both hides and then he gives a beautiful change of behavior at 1:00 when he starts working the second hide. We finish the perimeter and then start back through the center to see if we missed anything. I re-are warded at the fire pit, but after that he goes into “let’s go visit the photographer and videographer” mode, which is a pretty clear signal to he that he is done sniffing, whether he had found everything or not. He really does have a very marked change in demeanor when he decides he has found everything.

                      • #6946
                        Kimberly Buchanan
                        Keymaster

                          Hi Kathryn – have we watched this video before? I know I’ve seen this search – could have been with a different dog!?

                          Kimberly Buchanan
                          Joyride K9 Dog Training

                        • #6952
                          Kathryn Dobyns
                          Participant

                            I am pretty sure I have not posted this one here previously, but maybe another student has?

                          • #6962
                            Kimberly Buchanan
                            Keymaster

                              How funny! Yes, it had to be a different student, same search! ๐Ÿ™‚

                              Ok, let’s take a look….

                              First off, good boy Hunter! ๐Ÿ™‚

                              What was it that made you hesitate at the threshold hide? Just that it was so fast? I know how hard it is to make those fast decisions! However, Hunter had a very clear change of behavior responding to odor and looked at you for communication. He is sensitive enough, however, to be pulled off of odor. You were smart to stick with the problem and support him the second time.

                              I think the fact that Hunter investigated the front half of the search (from the video angle) and then went back to the threshold hide said that there was nothing more in that area. I might have even paid him again (:43) and again at (1:33) after finding hide #2 and clearing the rest of that back half.

                              Had you seen a change of behavior of just wanted to be certain before calling “finish” at (1:54)? What is interesting is that Hunter also goes back to hide #2 and then starts looking at you at (1:24, 1:28), goes back to hide #1 at (1:34-glad you paid him), looks at you at (1:38) and (1:54). He’s more than willing to keep looking for you but he seemed to be saying he was done and as you say, he went into visiting mode. ๐Ÿ™‚ Did you feel like you were done before then or no?

                              The only suggestion about covering your search area might have been to go behind the woodshed(?) since it was a definite break in the search area. But it really didn’t seem as tho’ it would have made any difference in this search. Good job! ๐Ÿ™‚

                              Kimberly Buchanan
                              Joyride K9 Dog Training

                            • #6971
                              Kathryn Dobyns
                              Participant

                                Yes, that first alert caught me by surprise, and there was a bit too much thinking on my part – would the CO really put a hide on the fire pit? I have learned that if I pull him off a hide but allow him to rework it, he will confirm it pretty readily. It is a delicate balancing act – if I pull him off and keep going he will go with me (I have done that in container searches particularly).

                                After he found hide #2, I did see the looking at me on the far side of the search area but just wanted to be sure we had covered everything. He has in training been known to blow past a hide and not find it on the first pass, so I am trying to get into the habit of revisiting at least the first third or so of he search area before calling finish. Although in this case, knowing he got the threshold hide right away, that probably wasn’t necessary! The only place I saw odor interest other than the hides was on the woodshed, which he was no longer interested in on the last pass – confirming that interest was blowing from the two found hides – pretty much the same scenario as the vehicle search earlier.

                                Walking behind the woodshed was never on my radar – that would have been going outside the search area! The things we learn in training do not always translate to searches under trial pressure ?

                              • #6989
                                Kathryn Dobyns
                                Participant

                                  Okay, here is my last video. It is a bit on the long side, but hopefully not too long! It is a compilation of container practice from Saturday. Containers are our weakest element, and this series of searches shows several of the issues we deal with.

                                  The set-up is a mixed container search – the first part is a straight line followed by a circle. In the first run there is one odor in the second box in the line and one odor in a briefcase on the circle. On the line search, I had to restart him several times to focus on the containers and not go after the cat food in the dog kennel adjacent to the search. I’m not sure if restarting was the best strategy, but eventually he did focus on searching. When he gets to the circle part at :47 you see the “quick sniff and look” that gets me in trouble in trial. There is no odor in that box – and he was content to leave it when I kept moving – but in trial I tend to call too early… At :53 you see a quick sniff and alert on the bag with odor but he leaves it when I keep moving, sniffs the next paint can and returns to the hide which I reward. Then he doesn’t want to leave it!

                                  The next time through is actually a blank search – I removed the odor and waited about an hour. On this round you see more of the “quick sniff & look” but again, he leaves everything he sort of shows interest in. After he goes down the line sniffing but not trying to alert, I rewarded him away from the containers and then moved on to the circle part. I have heard various theories on why you should/should not reward a lack of finding anything on a blank search, but
                                  I like the “reward the dog for making the effort to search and not find anything that was not there”.

                                  On the final run, I put the odor back in (new locations) and I got much better communication on each part of the search – he sticks the box at 3:26 and shows a nice head snap to the bag at 3:40. That last time round the circle, he checked every container except the small paint can by the pole – at the time I did not notice that he missed that one…

                                • #7014
                                  Kimberly Buchanan
                                  Keymaster

                                    He’s such an eager boy! ๐Ÿ™‚

                                    Ok, I see a few things that might be helpful;

                                    One – and you can give more detail here – is since you are re-using the search areas and it seems these searches are fairly quick after each other, it appears that you may be setting non-odor containers on top of where odor containers have recently been? It’s possible you have shifted things. But if this is the case, this can create a lot of confusion for the dogs, especially in containers. Consider that they are contained hides so harder (or unlikely) able to put their noses on source. Then a lingering odor in the same place. In the dog’s mind: “Does that container have odor or does it not?” Hunter checks in with you to verify.

                                    Hunter checks in with you a lot to see what cues you will give him. I know you’re at a much more advanced level, but I think I might take a few steps back and not “test” for awhile. Meaning, dive in and pay at the very first hesitation at an odor container and don’t move away to see if he’ll stay. There is something going on that is giving you two a disconnect and I think that’s part of it. (We don’t see this in any of your other searches.)

                                    Also, Hunter passes by many containers w/o checking them. The paint cans especially. I would suggest you experiment a little bit in not moving forward until he checks each container. This is counter to how you are working them now, but it might give him the sense that he needs to work what is in front of him while he’s there. You could also experiment with a little bit of presentation. Just don’t stand there waiting for a response. Present and shift/move slightly so you’re not “selling” anything. (Dave/Bodie have a good example of this.) I will use this if I think my dog wants to skip something and I really do not want to repeat a search area. Number one, I get lost. Number two, I can’t count. So I really don’t know if it’s the same or different container my dog is indicating when we go back. It’s bitten me in the behind way too many times. So now I’ve changed how I work containers! ๐Ÿ™‚

                                    I also wondered if both search areas are set with odor at one time? Hunter seems determined to head to the far side to gather up the odor rather than checking what is immediately in front of him and that may be partly what is happening. ?

                                    Thoughts??

                                    Kimberly Buchanan
                                    Joyride K9 Dog Training

                                  • #7041
                                    Kathryn Dobyns
                                    Participant

                                      Your suggestions sound a lot like “back to basics” ?. I do try to mix some early reward work in training, and occasionally will do open paired containers, but I probably need to do that early rewarding a lot more.

                                      As for the search area – yes, both searches are set up simultaneously in different parts of the basement, two different odors. When I removed the odors for the blank run, I made sure to leave those spots empty – no blank containers on top of lingering odor in the carpet. Maybe there was some odor lingering on the neighboring containers, too?

                                      Thanks for the ideas! I am hoping to get to trial again this fall and I would really like to step up our performance in the container element. I think we got into a rut after NW1 of practicing all the other elements and not doing enough container searches – and containers were never paired once we started working distractors for NW2, but perhaps occasional pairing with containers may not be such a terrible thing? I still pair a lot of searches in the other elements and I think that may be why he is so much more confident than in containers – when he sources a paired hide he knows he is correct, but maybe with containers it is not so clear to him?

                                    • #7042
                                      Kimberly Buchanan
                                      Keymaster

                                        With containers at the upper levels I prefer not to pair, just because you do have the distraction factor. But absolutely pay early and don’t wait for more than a hesitation. I find that people don’t practice containers enough and they can be HARD with all the additional challenges! People have a high expectation but not as much training. So yes, back up a few steps and get some good solid success. Proofing is good but only when you’re confident your dog knows his part. ๐Ÿ™‚

                                        So, regarding the other area being “set” already, consider what you would do if you had two Interior searches set similarly? ๐Ÿ˜‰

                                        Kimberly Buchanan
                                        Joyride K9 Dog Training

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