~JOYRIDE K9 *REMOTE* K9NW EDUCATION~

NW201: Sue and Blackie (All American, CA)

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    • #2502
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Blackie and I have been doing Nose Work for almost 4 years now and achieved our NW1 title at the end of March. So far, we’ve entered 2 NW2 trials and in both cases we succeeded on two of the four elements, with placements in elements that we passed. One of our problems has been seemingly definitive alerts from Blackie that turned out to be false. (I may have cracked the code on this issue in regards to Containers at our most recent NW2 trial.) We have also had difficulty with Vehicles: inaccessible hides/converging odors. And I think Blackie sometimes SOOOO wants to please me that she finds a bit of odor (perhaps drifting from the far side of a vehicle) and alerts because she’s in odor, rather than working it back to the source. She’s so definite in some of these situations that I accept it — and am wrong. Looking forward to achieving our NW2 title as a direct result of this course!!! (That’s not too big an objective, now is it?)

    • #2508

      Welcome Sue & Blackie! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #2558
      Gina Baker
      Spectator

      Hi Sue,
      Glad to meet you. It is amazing what you do to make sure your dogs have a good life. Kalli just needed more. I tried agility also – we never competed, but learned the dog walk, tunnel and A-frame. She loves it but she does not have the speed and she could never handle the environment of agility trial. I belong to a club and we run trials and they always seem to be just lot of confusion – people and dogs everywhere! BRAVO to Blackie!! That is another reason why we love Nose Work – when you have a reactive, shy, or just nervous dog, their rules for class and trials are HAVEN to the owner.
      I am really looking forward to class together- we have such similar situations, it is going to be interesting and fun to see how alike or different they work. I am also very glad that we found Nose Work! My husband – not so much! LOL! He’s a good guy.

      Class starts Monday – YAY!

      Gina

    • #2559

      Folks – GOLD forums are PRIVATE LESSONS. I love that you are already getting to know each other but please refrain from posting on gold threads other than your own. You are welcome to post in the Classroom discussion after the course begins on Monday – thanks! ~ Kim

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #2639
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      This video wound up going a bit longer than 3 minutes, due to trying to present all of the distractors more than once. Even so, I’m not sure we accomplished that objective. We had 7 distractors — all in boxes identified with little greenish post its. The 3 that most interested Blackie seemed to be cheese, salmon treats, and a box of her favorite toys. We had 3 odor boxes, one with each odor.

      When she enters the room, she initially walks right past the anise box without noticing it and checks out the first two distractors (prime rib and peanut butter). Then, she finds and alerts on the clove box at :35. She finally comes back around and alerts on the anise box at :52.

      Next, she investigates the salmon treat distractor box and alerts on it at 1:06, but returns to the anise box pretty quickly. Finally, at 1:30 she has a head snap as she “sees” the Birch box for the first time.

      At this point, I started “presenting” distractor boxes to her — and was initially pleased with how she responded. At 1:40, although I suggested the box with her favorite cheese in it, she starts to alert on the distractor and instead snaps around to choose the box with Birch. Similarly, at 2:00, I presented the box of her toys, which she initially agreed with, but then changed to select the Clove.

      At 3:00, I blurted out a badly timed “good girl” just as she alerted on an empty box. It was at about this point that her frustration really showed and she started alerting on empty boxes — not even distractors, just anything! Therefore, seeing her heading toward the anise box, I let her alert there once more, get paid, and then stopped the video. After that alert, she actually went back to the birch box one more time.

      All in all, she behaved pretty much the way I anticipated: once frustrated, she started alerting randomly. I was, however, pleased by the fact that she remained basically honest at the start: she showed interest in the distractors, but didn’t alert on them until I had kept her in the search area for too long. Another difference was that I usually only pay her once for any given hide — so being paid each time she alerted on the same (correct) hides was different for us.

    • #2640

      Good job, Blackie! So funny, listening to the commentary between you and your husband. 😉

      I forgot to mention this should be an on-leash search, but Blackie didn’t stray and seemed to continue working so it ended up ok.

      Part of this exercise is to put a little pressure on them to see what happens when you might inadvertently cue them to a box/container that isn’t odor. Blackie seemed to learn pretty quickly that she only gets paid at odor, regardless of what you do around the other containers, and that was the objective! She does show some frustration with the “Good Girl” and not getting paid which leads me to remind you to try not to say too much to her during the search. She is definitely taking cues from you! Since in a Blind Search you will not be reacting the same way I would recommend reducing the feedback you give her as much as possible to let her work thru a bit of silence, as well. A nice “Good Girl” as you pay is ok. That may be part of her insecurity in trial and something to think about!

      Good choices by Blackie on this search! 🙂

      Ok, onto Part B!

      (p.s. I fixed the video – make sure you select the “Share” link and just paste it as text into your post so it shows up in a little window without having to go to another page.)

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #2641
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Here’s our second search — this time on leash and, since there were fewer boxes and all could be seen from one stationary position — I opted to turn on the camera as we entered the room, instead of having Fred serve as videographer! Unfortunately, as we entered the room, I nudged the camera so that the distractor box of salmon treats is just barely in the screen — and that turned out to be the biggest distraction.

      Immediately on entering the room, Blackie hits the salmon box and alerts — you can hear her paw the box and can just barely see her in the lower right corner of the screen. At :28, she finds the Birch box — which was the last one she found in Part A, and therefore the only odor I used this time. It seemed like it took her a while to find it — especially given how close it was to our start line. (That was an interesting observation for me). At :42, she alerts on a now-empty box which had prime rib in it previously. She then returns to the salmon treat box at :54, and is quite insistent that she should be paid for it. She finally comes off that box at 1:09 — i.e., 15 seconds insisting on a distractor! Next choice is a completely empty box, followed by returning to the salmon treats att 1:43, but this time she leaves the distractor more readily and gets paid two last times for the Birch box.

      I’m intrigued by the possibility that she knew there was only one odor box, but because I kept her in the search area after she showed it to me, she inferred that I must want her to show me something else. The salmon treats are very high value — that’s what we use as nose work treats — and therefore she figured that must be the next best thing to odor. It also makes me wonder about my standing policy of not paying more than once for any given hide — it took longer for her to return to the Birch because she figured she wouldn’t receive a second payment. And since there was nothing else to find in the room, she was left not knowing what else to do other than give me some guesses.

    • #2642
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      And BTW, your comment about me cuing her to boxes/locations that have no odor has DEFINITELY happened to us. Our last NW2 trial, she showed interest in a box during the interior search and in my attempt to move away from it to see if it was curiosity or odor, I instead circled the box. That movement -apparently suggested to her that the hide must be in the box, so she gave a very definitive alert — and we missed that element.

    • #2660

      Ok, here’s what I’m seeing;

      Blackie comes into the search and immediately goes to the salmon, very insistent at first by pawing but leaves to continue investigating and showing a bit of interest in other distractors. You comment that she finds the Birch at (:28) but she GOES to it at (:26) and sits at (:28). You are inadvertently rewarding the sit, not the find. Take a look at the reward process. She only gets to odor twice in this search (I would have liked to see much more than that) but each time the reward is delayed by 2 seconds and not until she sits. She is rewarded twice the last time but again, not until she sits.

      Blackie sits/paws/looks at almost all of the boxes, offering behaviors. I recommend breaking that chain of behaviors because it will haunt you forever. For some reason, Blackie feels that these things are what earns her reward, not by going to odor so I think you need to back up a step.

      PART C of this exercise for you is to re-run this exercise with the 3 distractors (moved from the previous locations) and use 3 odor boxes. Off-leash will be easier and she’s not going anywhere. As explained in Part A, you MUST reward FAST. Do not wait for a sit, if she starts to go to the odor box, race her there to reward. (REWARD THE SNIFF!) Also, choose odor boxes that are lower. I think part of the issue is that your odor box is higher so it’s possible the odor is drifting onto a distractor box and confusing the issue. Mark the distractors with the sticky (remove the sticky note if it’s now blank) so we can see what she’s doing. Let her investigate “for awhile” so hopefully she is not even trying to give you any indication on a distractor but going back to odor only, ideally with enthusiasm since she knows she’ll get paid quickly. You might need to move your search area to a larger space so the boxes can be a bit further apart. Post the video so we can see how this goes! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #2777
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      OK… Here’s Part C. It’s interesting to watch it after the work we did in “in-person” class yesterday. (This was video’d a couple days before.)

      For this video/exercise, we moved to the garage, so as to have more open space. The orange post-its indicate distractors – salmon jerky, stinky cheese, and favorite toys. And the blue/green post-its indicate odor – one of each.

      When we first enter the room, Blackie goes directly to the anise (:04) so she sits before I can pay. After that, I was better at getting to her with a treat before she could sit, and out of 13 additional times she hits the odor, she only sat once (if I counted correctly) and I was already paying as she sat.

      I do, however, need to beware of the dreaded “Yes!” which you’ll hear numerous times in this video. I understand why that’s not a good thing to say – although one question would be what one does say in practice when a hide has been located – just “alert”? Or does that start to serve the same purpose as “Yes!”?

      It was also interesting to note that she frequently sat and/or pawed at boxes that were either empty or distracters. I assume that NOT getting paid for doing so will help break her of her habit of guessing (aka, offering behaviors).

      Another interesting observation (or at least I found it interesting) is that she more or less checked out from about 2:10 to 2:18, when she sits down for a good scratch. I suspect she was saying that she was bored, because after all there were only three odor boxes and she’d already hit each of them multiple times. So she checked empty boxes and/or stuff that wasn’t in play, but really wasn’t terribly into it all.

      At about 2:24 she starts working again, and after letting her hit all 3 boxes one more time, I ended the game.

    • #2783

      Interesting! The long, drawn-out “yes” isn’t as bad as what one would do to actually “mark” behavior (like a clicker) so in this case it didn’t seem to have a negative effect. Also interesting to note that Blackie didn’t sit much except at the distractors! 😉

      I think yesterday’s work will prove to be really helpful to solidify that indication behavior away from the sit. 🙂

      And yes, I agree, it could have been a little bit of stress, too, that made her scratch and check out for a bit.

      Good choice to end where you did! 🙂

      p.s. YES, the “Alert” call can act as a marker! If the dog seems to be taking it as a cue, I usually have my students stop saying it or at least not consistently. But you’ve got to be careful not to forget saying it in trial. Been there! 😉

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #2791
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        Thanks! And yes, Friday’s work seems to be carrying over. At Jo’s class yesterday morning, Blackie didn’t sit a single time and found all hides in spite of how unbearably hot it was oustide. YAY!

    • #2816

      🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #2946
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Ok… Here’s our lesson 2 video. I’ll apologize for the fact that it’s 5+ minutes, but I couldn’t figure out how to edit it, and was too lazy to spend a bit more time to figure that out. Also, some of the stuff that happens later seemed relevant — so even if I knew HOW to edit it, I’m not sure what I would have edited out. The hides are (1) under the little brass dog on the left side, (2) in the Ugg at back right, and (3) in the black glass case towards the front. All others are empty.

      As for what I saw (and/or anticipated):

      – We had a lot of trouble with whether to re-treat or not, and as a result of my inconsistency, I confused Blackie.
      – I definitely kept Blackie in the search too long: the longer we stayed, the more she asked if I would accept this one… or this one… or…
      – Along the same lines, the longer we were in the area, the more she looked at me like, “What do you want? Is this it? Or this?”
      – When I stopped and stood still, Blackie would come over by me and “ask” about the closest container to me – I need to keep moving. However, I think I’m noticing some behavior differences in how she falses from when she is really alerting. Not sure I can define that difference just yet, but I am feeling as if it’s there — and I just need to read it better.
      – One thing I liked about what I did was that at :49 I noticed that she was ignoring the front half of the room, so I moved there and she followed.
      – I’m still saying the “dreaded yes” — although hopefully not in ways that are too problematic. After all, we have to say something to praise the find, and something other than alert…

      The hide in the beer bottle turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated, perhaps due to an upright bottle almost as tall as her nose; perhaps also due to residual smell of the beer. (The bottle had been emptied a day or two earlier and was dry inside, but still might have beer odor. Unfortunately, at 1:52, when she first shows interest in the bottle, I ignore the head snap and look to me, then she sits, so I don’t pay. After that, she ignores the bottle and gives a couple falses before finally coming back to that bottle at 2:29 and getting paid (without sitting).

    • #3029

      Ok, so you had 4 hides, not 3?

      Boy, you surely can see where making a decision to not pay at the beer bottle when she first noticed the odor backfired! I think if you were to do it over again, first try to pay as soon as she noticed it. If you missed that reward timing, I’d still pay when she sat but reinforce the find by rewarding w/o a sit. The other hides were great!

      Also, since you’re newly working on the “sit” issue, I would continue to pay Blackie every time she goes back to a hide. You risk adding more confusion when you do not pay again at odor. You also risk a lot by keeping her in the search area after she’s found all the hides but especially not paying again. That exercise is best reserved when you can have someone coach you in real time and very infrequently, mostly just to know what happens. Well you found out! She starts to false and sit again! So don’t do that! 🙂

      Ideally, I’d have ended the search after Blackie located and was paid at that final hide at (2:47).

      I think things are progressing with Blackie’s lack of a sit indication so keep up that process for awhile more! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3034
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        Thanks. And yes, I guess I did have 4 hides — I’m obviously unable both to count AND to keep time! Will move on to the next lesson and this time will set my phone as a timer — it will be good practice for trials and will also keep me within the appropriate lesson time.

    • #3036
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yes! Four hides, not three — I simply can’t count…

      As for that beer bottle, you give me too much credit, Kim: when Blackie first noticed it and I failed to pay, it was because I didn’t notice until it was too late that she had done anything when she walked past it. It was only when I reviewed the video that I realized that she really HAD noticed it (because she sat…), I was totally conflicted as to what to do — and made less than the best choice.

      Oh well! this wasn’t our best work, but as the CO at this weekend’s trial commented, “you can’t ‘break’ your dog [by screwing up from time to time]…” On to lesson three…

    • #3054

      Great lesson from the judge! 🙂

      Just keep learning from these “oopses” and it will all work out. Good reminder to not take your eyes off your dog! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3065
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      I could have sworn I posted this yesterday… but it’s not showing up yet, so I’ll try again. Blackie says, “I’m good at high hides! Can’t fool me!” We started with Part B of lesson 3, because it was late in the day and I wanted to take advantage of daylight for our exterior search.

      I actually set two hides in the back yard: one in line with the camera, precisely 4′ up on the left side of the grey post, and another that I thought was far enough away to be considered a second and separate search area. Silly me. Naturally, the wind was blowing from that direction and Blackie wanted to work that one first — she pretty much made a bee line towards it, but wasn’t too bothered when I limited her from going all the way over there. She comes back at about :09 and starts working the intended search, first off the chair to the left and then in the garden (probably pooling there) and off the lavender bush. Her pattern for working it was interesting to me, since Biscuit also worked it in pretty much the same way.

      From the lavender bush, at :21, she goes directly to the post — but bypasses it to the front, and doesn’t look up. At :26 she looks up on the front side — not the left, then at :29 looks up on the back side, and finally at :30 makes a decision for the left side and is paid — before sitting. (Yes, I think she might have been starting to sit, but not quite.)

      When I reviewed the video, I was a wee bit concerned that my body position might have “sold” her on the post as being the location of the hide: I was a bit flat footed in that area, observing her, without moving either feet or shoulders very much and with feet and shoulders both pointing towards the hide. So we redid the search with the hide on top of one of the lounge chairs on the opposite side of the pool. That time (which I did NOT video) I focused on not pointing out the hide, and it went equally well.

    • #3084

      Good job, Blackie!

      It appears the odor is dropping onto the Lavender bush because she sniffs the ground, change to pavement and the bush then heads towards the pole. It’s something to note that dogs work off of objects in the search area and may appear interested (not too much in this case) when odor is coming from somewhere else. Some handlers might “notice” that interest and sell their dogs. It looks like she may be trying to make a decision about the other hide far to the right when she looks up the pole. 🙂

      It’s hard to know sometimes where to stand. Had you moved you may have pushed her off the pole, too. I think your reward timing was good and reinforced odor and not a sit. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3099
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        Yes, that’s kind of what I thought with the lavender and garden area — that the odor was blowing in there and getting caught by the bushes. Interesting observation regarding her decision making between the two hides. I hadn’t thought of that issue, but it makes sense: she clearly was in the far right odor the moment she entered the search area!

        OK… back to part A now.

    • #3100
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      For our interior search, I initially decided on one hide: taped to the outside upper rim of the large blue vase at the left of the screen. Then, in case that was too high and/or too hard, I added what I thought would would be a super simple one — wrong! — sitting on top of the back of the armchair at the right of the image. Finally, after setting those two, I noticed a perfect spot where I could set a container ON the cactus — about six feet up in the air, on a broken off branch — and decided to include that one as well. All were Anise this time.

      Interestingly enough, Blackie finds the vase and cactus hides pretty readily, but doesn’t find the chair hide, although she knows it’s somewhere there. At the three minute mark, I decided she’d walked past it enough times without a correct alert, so we should just end, and she simply wouldn’t find that one.

      Blackie enters the search area from the kitchen (off to the left), and first checks the powder room (at right) briefly, then continues to the entry foyer. She first notices the cactus odor at :11 and looks up at :15, but doesn’t alert and keeps on moving.

      At :24, she goes to the living room and to work on the chair hide, but by :40, she goes back down the hallway and as far as the powder room, from which I gently called her back. My guess is that air conditioning currents may have been carrying odor that direction. At :46, she’s in the foyer and again looks up at the cactus, but keeps moving. As of :58, she’s working on the chair problem and looks up at the wall, so no reward.

      She then moves to the living room, between the chair at left (no odor) and the vase, and at 1:04 she sits (behind the chair, barely visible to the camera) and looks up at the vase, pretty much right where the hide was, so I rewarded her as fast as I could get there (1:07). She works the chair hide a bit, but returns to the vase and gives a lovely alert at 1:30 (i.e., no sit and with her clearly going up), which I finally notice and reward at 1:36.

      At 1:37 we have a bit of comic relief: Fred and Biscuit come out of the room at the end of the hall and he goes into the kitchen. Biscuit, no doubt notices the odor and comes down the hall as if she’s going to join in, but fortunately Fred calls her back into the room from which they originally came. Blackie (who was searching the living room) doesn’t seem bothered. I get over being bothered and return to watching Blackie at about 2:04. 🙂

      At 2:16, Blackie tries an alert on the desk — clearly that’s NOT the chair hide (though I think she was hoping it would be), so no reward. She returns to the entry foyer and finally makes a decision on the cactus hide at 2:35. She does sit, but I think it was only as a precursor to standing up and putting her paws on the pot — reward! I’m 5’9″, so that hide was at least 6′ above her head, maybe more.

      The last alert is at 2:55 and is a very clear alert on the vase. At that point, I decided we’d leave the problem of the chair hide as an unsolved mystery, and ended the game. However, I was pleased and intrigued by how she was clearly working on the converging odors between all three hides, and super pleased that she found the two I thought would be the harder ones!

    • #3126

      Hilarious! Biscuit wanted in on the action!! 😀

      You can see Blackie throwing her head up quite a bit at various points but each of the high hides is merging with the next so it’s hard to see where she is catching each one. Personally I think having the same odor is more difficult for the dogs since I would think it harder to separate the scents. I’ve done it and the dogs can have success but especially with them all elevated and non sourceable it can be a challenge for dogs to make a decision.

      Blackie did a great job with the two hides but the 3rd seemed to be just a tad too many challenges. I think you were brilliant to end the search where you did!:-)

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3140
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yup. Biscuit said, “How come I don’t get to be on the videos that you post?” She did get her turn later, AND she found all three hides. Note that to her, the chair hide was quite sourceable: she climbed INTO the chair to go to source 🙂

      As for Blackie, that’s an interesting observation about the difficulty of three converging hides, all with the same scent. Just for grins, I think I’ll set this same search up again tomorrow morning, but with one of each.

      In a trial situation, do COs tend to use different scents in situations like this, for precisely this reason? OR do they tend to use the same scent just to make it more difficult. (I’m guessing the answer is that it depends on the CO, the trial, the level, and about 15 other criteria…)

    • #3145
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      As promised, we redid the search this morning using all three scents. Anise was on the chair, Clove on the vase, and Birch on the cactus. All three locations had 4 Qtips, so all should have been quite strong.

      This time, the chair was the first one Blackie found. Next was the vase, and finally, after a bit of struggle (due to distractions from someone else moving around — not Biscuit, this time! — she finally found the cactus/Birch hide. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of this on video — I thought I started the video, but obviously must not have. Total time was probably about 4 minutes, including the distractions.

      Anyhow, my takeaways from this are (1) I think you’re absolutely right about the increased level of difficulty when the dog needs to sort out converging odor from two hides with the same scent and (2) Blackie seems to be a bit weaker at finding Birch than the other two. On to the next lesson!

      …well, that is, on to the next lesson as soon as it’s posted!

    • #3157

      🙂

      I will post the next lesson this evening after I get home from my travels! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3218
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant


      Well, we are a perfect example of practice not necessarily making perfect! We actually tried this lesson three separate times this evening, in three different locations, and boy is my sense of time off! Based on what one sees in the videos, I opted to post our first attempt here: it’s in our side yard and the three hides (one of each scent) were placed (1) on the gate at the far end of the narrow yard, (2) behind one of the random boards leaning up against the wall on the right, and (3) on the wrought iron fence at the left. Numbers 1 and 3 were accessible; number 2 was inaccessible.

      My guess was that Blackie found the first hide (the inaccessible one, interestingly enough) at about 15 seconds — it’s more like 30. Then, when we finally find the 3rd hide (#3 in my list), I guessed we were at the 2:30 mark — but we’re actually at more like 3:22, so I was WAY off!

      On the video, you’ll hear the noise of our air conditioning units which are running at the start of the search. At a little after the 3:00 mark, at least one of the two units shuts off, and that’s when Blackie finds hide #3 along the side fence. I had intentionally placed all of the hides away from the AC units, but I think they must swirl the air in that space more than I realize — once the AC is off, she goes pretty quickly to the last hide, whereas up till then, she had walked right past it several times — even when she was working.

      On our second attempt — not posted here — I stopped the search without finding the 3rd hide, which was proving too difficult (taped to a counter about 4 feet up). My guess was 4:00 — video said more like 3:00. And on the final attempt, I guessed that we finished at 3:10 and it was more like 3:40. So clearly I need to get a better sense of time on these searches before we’ll be ready for NW3! Thank goodness we’re still only at NW2, where we know how many hides we need to find…

    • #3230

      Amazing, isn’t it?? I think you need to consider the time it takes the dogs when they get caught up in crittering or food smells or anything else that is NOT productive. Blackie spends a significant amount of time below the 3rd hide, sniffing the dirt. I think if you go back to the video and time those parts of your search independently and extract it from the overall time you may be more correct with the actual search time. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3321
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Wow, but this is clearly a lesson I need to practice routinely. I’m posting this as if it were my second try at the lesson, but in reality I tried it four separate times in four separate locations throughout the day before getting a video that wasn’t too embarrassing to post! A couple times, I had hides that were simply too hard. Another time, I got completely tangled up in some of the worst leash handling imaginable, and finally, we achieved what I consider to be fairly reasonable results.

      There are three hides, all of which are pretty easy in this one: (1) in a crevice on the frame of the left lounge chair (Birch), (2) inside the round black PVC pipe (this is as inaccessible as I went this time and was Anise), and (3) truly in the grass — under a small pile of dead grass.

      You’ll hear me call my estimates of time, which are intended to include the time it took me to walk from the camera to the search area. I know my start line wouldn’t be quite that far removed, but as long as I’m consistent in my measures, I figure it’s OK for the lesson. Here are the results:

      Chair: Me = 13; Actual = 12
      Pipe: Me = 25; Actual = 23 at first alert, 26 when she confirms
      Grass: Me = 60; Actual = 53.

      She did look at me and sit for the chair hide, but I think that was partly because it was a bit crowded having gone between the little table next to the chair and the chair itself. Looking back kind of created that particular sit. On the other two, she stayed at source quite nicely, without sitting in spite of my delays getting to her to pay.

      So I’m ending this day of practicing on a high note, but I clearly need to continue reinforcing this lesson. If you hearing me call times in future lessons, you’ll know I’m still working on it along with whatever else you add in!

      One other note is that I’m pleased she worked the grass hide as readily as she did — i.e., without peeing and without any undue worry about searching in the grass. That wasn’t the case with my other dog, Biscuit, who clearly needs to work on that type of hide location!

    • #3339
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Kim: were you going to review my redo of lesson 4? If so, I’ll wait to post a video for lesson 5, but I got impatient and marked lesson 4 “complete” so as to be able to start working on lesson 5… Instant gratification IS my middle name, after all!

    • #3348

      Yep… you are a bit quick for my ability to respond! 🙂

      I think you posted the wrong video? This is of Biscuit, not Blackie?

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3351
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        Darn! Right you are… I’ve fixed the link and put Blackie’s video in now. I just know you have a busy weekend of teaching coming up and was hoping to get a couple more videos reviewed before then. Well, maybe ONE more at this point… 😛

    • #3361

      This was fabulous! Your timing was great and Blackie was spot-on! Your leash handling was good and the “not sitting” by Blackie was so great to see. The communication was still there yet she didn’t think it was the “sit” that paid! Yippee!

      Very nice work! Practice makes perfect, right?? 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3374
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        I sure hope practice makes perfect, but I have to tell you that I’m still totally non-confident of my ability to tell how much more time I have. You’ll hear me call times on upcoming videos — and they still vary wildly from reality most of the time. I think perhaps what I need to start thinking about is how much time it will take me to cover a certain amount of space and certain number of hides with each of my dogs. Then, look to see whether I accomplish the search in that amount of time. I’m hopeful that that exercise will translate into being more able to figure out how I’m going to cover the search area in a trial within the time allotted by the CO. Next up: the first vehicle search, which went quite well!

    • #3375
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      I have two videos of this search — one from the “hide side” and the other from the “other side”:

      When I placed the hide and at the beginning of the search, there was virtually no breeze whatsoever. Unfortunately, a couple minutes later, a nice breeze started blowing from the passenger side to the driver’s side. So, since my hide was at the top of the rear driver’s side wheel well, the breeze did NOT blow back under the car. We’ll have to hope for that experience on a subsequent search.

      It took me roughly 22 seconds (:06 to :28 in the “wrong side” video) to circle the one car once, with Blackie not particularly noticing odor. (Yes, she notices it at :18, but isn’t sure and continues on our circuit.) I’m thinking I may be able to use that as a rule of thumb for estimating time on future searches – sort of like my agility rule of thumb regarding the number of obstacles my girls can complete within a specified amount of time – allow 25 seconds to circle each vehicle once; consider the need to circle more than once plus time for problem solving.

      In the “Hide Side” video, it’s interesting to notice that she first encounters and recognizes odor at :19 – but continues on around the vehicle, perhaps because I continued walking. As we come back around a second time, she’s out ahead of me at the front corner, and ranges out to the edge of the pavement, most likely because the breeze has started blowing and is pushing the odor that way.

      As we hit the back corner of the car (:52), I get a bit ahead of her and corral her a bit closer to the car, resulting in a head snap towards the wheel well at ~:55, with bracketing from 1:00 to 1:03, ending with a definitive sit/decision at 1:04. I move in to pay at 1:06 and estimate that the search time was 40 seconds, as opposed to the full minute it actually took… Like I said before, I need to continue to work on lesson 4!

      As for this search, the work we did in connection with the inaccessible hides class made this one fairly easy for my girls. Yay! A not too hard lesson!!! 😛

    • #3396

      How fun to have 2 different views of the same search! Very creative 🙂

      What I see in the Hide Side video is that Blackie showed a slight change of behavior (:19) but because you didn’t respond to her COB she deferred to you and continued walking the direction you chose. It did look as tho’ she was waiting for you to notice. (This did occur at the (:55) mark the next time she went by.)

      You continue the same direction a couple of times rather than reversing your direction around the vehicle. If the wind is moving a certain way, sometimes the dog need to approach it in the opposite direction.

      The other thing I noticed is that Blackie is not actually searching the vehicle for a good portion of time (:40-:55) but you continue forward rather than waiting for her to redirect herself back to the vehicle. Coming off the vehicle and checking the areas adjacent can work, surely, but I have a sneaky feeling that Blackie was just sniffing grass and may have been distracted. We’ve seen thru a few different videos in this course and others that a dog like Gracie really IS working the hide(s) even if her nose is on the ground. How did it feel from your perspective?

      Keep that in mind when you think your dog is searching an area/object/whatever but is momentarily distracted. They *probably* didn’t actually check the item you thought they did.

      What are your thoughts?

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3415
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        Thanks! As usual, interesting observations.

        Regarding keeping going when she notices the odor at :19, my thought was that if it were a blind search/trial, I wouldn’t want to STOP at the first place she shows interest, but would likely keep my same pace (to avoid “telling” her it’s at that spot) — if she truly knows where it is, she won’t leave, and if she’s only just catching it for the first time there, maybe it will be stronger when we turn the corner.

        Your observation about approaching the car from the opposite direction is also interesting. I know this trick and have used it successfully in the past… didn’t do so in this search. As I reviewed the videos again this morning, our first time ’round, with the wind blowing from passenger side to driver’s side, I should have understood (even if I didn’t know where the hide was) that it was NOT on the passenger side of the car. She is close to the car and working, but not enthused, no evidence of a whiff of odor yet. Then we have the COB at :19 and after that, as we come around the back corner of the car and start round 2, she gives me a brief look at :25 on the Other Side video, which I now understand must have been, “Really? You think there’s something on this side? Gosh, I didn’t notice it before…” and second time around time, she super details the passenger side of the vehicle, once again not finding anything. I could perhaps have noticed that glance at :25 and accepted it as a request to solve the problem she identified at the wheel well, and could have finished sooner.

        As for the grass, she was definitely working, not crittering when she went over there — too bad she’s out of camera range at that time. The breeze was fairly consistent at that point, and blowing in that direction, so I wasn’t surprised she went there, and she pretty much went just to the edge of the grass and then followed it back to the wheel well.

        So, the lesson says this one will unfold in multiple stages. What’s next for us? (I know you’re teaching all day — have fun!)

    • #3437

      My “plan” was to continue with the inaccessible hides on vehicles. Since we have some parts of the country with inclement weather, I’m going to interject some Interior searches first. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3501
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Thank heavens for better success this morning! The first search (of 5) in this video is our only success yesterday. The left side of the BBQ cabinet has a vent to the outside, making it reasonably uncontained (for an inaccessible, contained hide) – a good place to warm up! The other four are from this morning, when I used my nice fresh birch Qtips, with 3 or 4 in each location. For the bedroom dresser hide (#5), I also cracked the drawers ever so slightly to ensure that the odor would be more likely to escape.

      The hides are as follows:

      #1 :00-:47 BBQ1 – left side
      #2 :48-1:12 BBQ2 – right side (no vent – but not a tightly enclosed space)
      #3 1:13-1:58 File box on front steps
      #4 1:59-2:40 Storage drawers in front foyer
      #5 2:41-3:38 Mini dresser in guest bedroom

      Consistent with one of the themes we’ve been working on, as I reviewed the videos, I watched when and if Blackie sat. Although she often sits in this sequence, it has a different feel to it – as if by sitting she’s saying “I really have made up my mind and I’m not budging.” So it’s marking a decision rather than offering a behavior. Also, on a couple occasions (in the 4th and 5th searches) she initially sits, and then stands up again, as if to say, “oh that’s right – Mom wants my nose on source and my butt off the ground.” So the sit becomes more useful: if followed by standing and staying at source, then I can trust it.

      It’s also interesting with these inaccessible and contained hides to observe that she notices odor – with a slight (or even not so slight) change of behavior (:11, :24, 1:17, 2:15, 3:05) but then continues on, in some cases for several seconds before suddenly noticing and going directly to source. Of course, in the final search (mini dresser), the amount of time she spends bracketing the drawer makes me really glad I cracked it open just slightly!

      All in all, I thought she did quite well! Anything we should work on at this point, Kim?

    • #3533

      These were super, Sue! I’m sure it became easier to read as Blackie showed more confidence working this type of hide. She made a pretty quick decision on the 2nd BBQ search! I especially loved watching Blackie work the guest bedroom search. She bracketed that down so nicely, even getting on the bed! Very clear where that hide was!

      I think your non-sit-sometimes-sit is working as intended and she’s not offering it randomly anymore, which is great. I think you were a tad delayed in rewarding for the 4th search (in the front foyer) but I understand why you delayed payment after you opened the drawer and that’s ok. 🙂

      Next lesson is now posted!

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3536
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Yay! Thanks! And last night in class (with Chris Mason) we did an exercise that is also helping to get her to go and really stay at source. It’s a variant on red light/green light, where you walk back and forth past a relatively easy hide at a fairly quick pace until such time as the dog INSISTS that you stop and pay. We worked that exercise a couple times this morning and once Blackie said, “No, really, it’s HERE,” if she sat, I waited until she put her nose ON the source and then paid. It seems to be helping her understand that I’m not always going to recognize when she says she’s found it and she’s really going to have to point it out to me. Clearly not the kind of thing you want to do all the time, but it seems to be having the desired effect for now.

      Will have to check the next lesson and see when we can work on it… definitely today or tomorrow!

    • #3557
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      For lesson 7, I went a bit overboard. I set up four hides in separate locations around our house – each of which was far enough from the other not to create converging odor challenges. You’ll see the following searches in this combined video:

      1. A plank that was up against the wall at the end of our pool. On top of the wall, you’ll see a wobble board in about the middle of the board. Directly below that wobble board and behind the long board (near the top of the long board), I stuck 2 Qtips of Birch (one of my good, strong, fresh odors) into the wall.

      2. In our side yard, I placed a tin with 3 Qtips of birch behind the table near the center. Note that there’s a hole in the middle of the table, so three possible exit points: both sides and that hole in the middle.

      3. Along the walkway to our front door, I put 2 Qtips of BAC – my weakest odor – inside a PVC pipe.

      4. Outside the door to our back yard, I placed a tin with 1 Qtip of birch inside the metal frame for our old teeter.

      For the plank search, I was very intrigued by the fact that Blackie immediately started searching along the top edge of the plank – where odor would also escape – and quite quickly found the spot precisely above where the odor was hidden and alerted there. No bracketing needed on this one! (And my guess of 20 seconds for her to find the hide was pretty darn good – although had we had additional hides to find, I don’t know if I would have taken guessed a second or third hide quite so accurately.)

      Similarly, with the table in the side yard, it was cute to see her check the hole in the middle, although in this case, she decided NOT to alert there, even though the tin was just below that spot. For her, the odor was much stronger at the two ends.

      We did the second search, of the table in the side yard, off leash. (At the start, I’m just winding the least up in my hand.) She initially ran along the garden area on the right, first noticing the table on her way back, with a very pretty head snap at :51. Unfortunately, as I reversed direction and headed back towards her, she came off the odor, so I didn’t pay and continued to the near end of the table. As we passed the far end, she again looked behind the table (:58) – a payable alert – but when I started to move towards her to pay, but she moved off the odor, so I waited and she bracketed to the other end (1:05) and gave me a definitive alert on the end closest the camera – but she did so on the leg rather than the space behind the table (1:08 and again at 1:12). Because her alerts were on the leg as opposed to the space, I didn’t pay. As a result, she moves back to the far end, stopping along the way to stick her nose in the hole in the center (1:16) – very cute! At the far end, she again alerts and sits (1:24). So I waited to pay until she again stuck her nose in and looked at me without sitting (1:27). I was glad to see her stick pretty firmly on this one!

      For the PVC pipe search, she again chooses the “wrong” side of the walkway at first, such that we go all the way to the front door before circling back towards the hide. Unfortunately, that garden near the stairs seems to be an area of intrigue for the girls, so we lose some time crittering along there, and finally hit the pipe for the first time at 1:51. She looks at me and stands there, but again, as I move towards her to pay (1:55), she moves off source and into the garden (2:00). So I held off payment, and she bypassed the pipe for a moment before circling the entire area again (complete with crittering), finally returning to the pipe, alerting nicely (at 2:42) and being paid. In hindsight, it’s not surprising that it was harder for her to stick on this one, given that the BAC would have been relatively weak in comparison with the prior two hides.

      I actually videotaped the Teeter frame search twice, because I was intrigued by how quickly Blackie chose the far end of the frame – which was both the end into which I had inserted the tin and also the end towards which the breeze was blowing. Unfortunately, in merging the 5 videos into 1, I made the second version of this search into the first one…

      After Blackie did that search VERY quickly and chose the far end without hardly considering the near of the frame, I put her up briefly, turned the frame around, and brought her back to search again. Both times, she correctly chose the upper edge of the hollow frame, which is where the odor tin was placed. After paying her for her alert on the second search (the first in this video sequence), I invited her to check the near end of the frame (which is now the end closest to the odor tin), and she was quite uninterested. Interestingly enough, this hide had birch in it, but only 1 Qtip, so weaker than the first two, but probably stronger than the PVC.

    • #3578

      Ok, I just spent 1/2 hr trying to review these and it somehow got deleted…. I will try again but it won’t be in one post….

      **I didn’t expect to see 4 different searches! Sue is really trying to go out with a bang! 🙂

      Sue – I had a hard time following your comments at first. Watched the videos and then went back. I’ll do my best….

      #1 – Blackie followed scent along the top of the board, texture in the wall certainly helped!

      #2 – I see Blackie’s initial interest and I think if you’d stopped or slowed your momentum (“I hear you”) she may have stayed there. It seems there were just a few missed moments, possibly due to a couple of factors; (a) An expectation of where she would indicate, (b) that she would stay there and (c) I know you just worked an exercise where the dog needs to stay at source no matter where you are. I think when the dog is gaining confidence finding a hide that isn’t sourceable it’s especially important to respond to their subtle signals rather than insist they lock it down. ANYWHERE around or behind that table would have been good. Where she first noted odor (and stayed, as she moved on we see a little stress-stretch), at the other side (again, she stayed – and communicated), in the middle, etc. Perfect case of “expect less to gain more.” I would have paid this early as she showed the interest and most especially when she tried to communicate before she had an opportunity to leave.

      IMVHO – Until a dog is strong on inaccessible hides, I think we need to be careful what we’re communicating to the dogs and at this stage and it’s important to let them know we’re listening. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3579

      #3 – My comment on this search is the same about rewarding early. We want Blackie to gain confidence and I’m afraid, watching her choose to leave a hide rather than stay to get paid, she’s not quite confident enough yet. Yes, we need to get there, but in order to help her know she’s correct it requires a tad more support. Just reinforce the acknowledgement of odor consistently for awhile. Better to pay early than to pay late. Soon enough she’ll EXPECT you to come in fast and then when you don’t she’ll get more insistent.

      #4 – Nice job, Blackie! Interesting that she is showing just how much the air current is taking that odor to the far end!! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #3612
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Thanks, Kim. Yes, there were several spots on those middle searches where I had a moment of, “darn it, I wish I’d moved in faster.” Valuable counsel also in regards to paying early on the inaccessible hides, to build confidence so she’ll DEMAND payment later. Now let’s see if I can apply that counsel for our vehicle searches!

    • #3618
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      OK… Here’s the start of a marathon of vehicle searches. This will be our search for Part B of lesson 5, “It’s Wheely Far Back.” Our wagon doesn’t seem to have a leaf spring, but there was a convenient spot actually on the inside of the wheel itself, so that’s what I opted to use — on the rear passenger wheel, since that is where the wind was coming from — i.e., it’s blowing towards the front of the car where we start.

      Blackie comes out a d looks like she’s excited to search. (We did an interior search — not videoed — on our way out, so she’d already be in search mode when we got to the car. However, on our first trip around the car, she blows right past the wheel — probably due to direction of the wind and her nose being up instead of down as she turned that corner. At the front, we reverse direction and head back, and I think she probably started noticing the odor from the front bumper and worked it back to the wheel, alerting nicely when she got there. Her alert was towards the front of the wheel, whereas the hide was smack dab in the middle (behind, of course), so I rewarded in the middle at the closest point to the actual hide. (The way the wheels are designed, there’s a little vent through to the hide from that point.)

      On to load the others — see if I can get more up here before the Hollywood Bowl tonight!

    • #3619
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      OK, here’s the first part of 201.5C — Bumper Cars. First up for Part C is a hide in the middle of the front bumper — tucked underneath. This time, Blackie came out and gave a bit of a yip as she approached the car — not sure what was distracting her, but she definitely wasn’t working the first time and a half we circled the car. (Although I now see her show some mid-bumper interest up high on the first pass — but she keeps going and totally misses it the second time around.) You’ll hear me say to her something about “Are you working now?” at about the point where I sensed that she had clicked back into search mode and was carefully detailing the car. After that, it was pretty quick to an alert on that front bumper.

    • #3622

      REVIEW FOR FIRST VIDEO ABOVE:

      Very nice job with your pacing, letting Blackie choose her path, even if it meant missing the hide location. Also, good choice to reverse direction and bam, she gets it!

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #3633
        Susanne Howarth
        Participant

        REVIEW for video 2 above:

        Sometimes you just have to keep moving! I do like the way you are using your body pressure to keep her on the vehicle. I know she skipped the hide a couple of times but I think your movement helped her to work out the problem. 🙂

    • #3634
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant


      I couldn’t decide which one of these two gives the better perspective on the search, and since they’re both VERY short, I’ve just posted both. Needless to say, the corner of the bumper posed no problem whatsoever for Blackie! She chose to walk along the driver’s side — i.e., not passing either of the two earlier hides. Still, nice quick decision and definitely working from the very start.

    • #3635
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Hehe! I had so much fun watching both videos at the same time with dueling “Good Girl!” in the audio! I know it’s only 19 seconds but I had to watch it a few times! 😉

      Excellent work! Good girl! 😀

    • #3636
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Hard to believe, but this is my final video post of the class 🙁 Boo hoo hoo!!! Anyhow, for this one, Blackie opted to go clockwise around the car, such that we passed the locations of all three prior (very recent) hides and had to deal with some lingering odor. (All four were completed within about 45 minutes this afternoon.) As a result, you’ll see a long pause as she investigates the passenger side corner of the bumper — the most recent before this one — but she also briefly checked in at the front bumper and the wheel en route.

      When she does get to the driver side corner (location of the hide), she’s a bit tentative at first, but — trying to learn from prior exercises! — I rewarded her quickly. Then, I decided to do another circuit of the car. The second time around, when we hit the driver’s corner, she gave a much more solid alert and stick. So I think that was probably a good strategy.

      So that’s it from Blackie and me! It’s been fun!

    • #3757

      I figured these last few would be pretty easy and a good way to finish up! It’s been fun with Blackie this session! Thanks for letting us learn from you both! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

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