Chandler and I are in some sort of K9 Nosework limbo right now. The rest of our class did not move on, so we essentially got tossed into the group that was doing a beginner's class. It is an intermediate class for them, but the trainers are making it a bit more challenging for Chandler. (Or perhaps I should say they are having great fun being diabolical about where they hide the scent.) The two other dogs in class are a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Maltipoo. Unfortunately, neither of them seems to be very dog social; the Pointer seems uninterested and the Maltipoo greeted Chan with a curled lip and airsnap while his nose was still at least a foot away. Of course, that could have been a resource guarding issue, as Chan was busy snuggling up to the Maltipoo's owner at the time.However, from the amount of whining that Chandler did, I think I can safely say that he misses his Whippets.
I will admit to wondering what happened to my Nosework dog during this run. The scent is in the third box, but Chan seemed to have some problems finding it, although he gave that box a few extra sniffs. He just seemed to lose focus. I've thought of two possible explanations. First, it is possible that he was still overly excited and distracted by having two new dogs in class. The other possibility is that the q-tips were hidden in a new container. Most of our finds have been in metal containers, either Altoids boxes that have been altered for Nosework, or purpose made Nosework containers. This time the scent was contained within a plastic hummus tub that had holes punched in its top. It is possible that the different plastic scent of the container threw Chandler off.
Woohoo! My Nosework dog has returned!
...and he still loves to pound on those boxes.
By the third run, Chandler seemed to have settled back into his job. He was systematically checking boxes as he swept through the room.
This was an interesting adaptation of Chandler's alerting technique (translation: box pounding) to an elevated hide. I really am beginning to suspect he enjoys making as much noise as he can with the boxes.
This run had two hides, and ended up being shot in two parts. In this run Chandler suddenly transformed into Distracted Dog. The culprit was a set of clear plastic bowling pins that had colored balls inside them that rattled. Chandler thought they were great; maybe he does like making a lot of noise and commotion. One nice thing about Chandler is that he does redirect well without getting upset. Of course, he is persistent and had to be shooed away from the toys multiple times. I think it took him a while to find the hide under the basket simply because those wonderful bowling pins were nearby. I'm rather torn about this. I do like that he lives with a lot of joy- or as one of my friends has put it "Chandler has gusto." However, play breaks are a bit problematic in the middle of a Nosework course. I'm not sure what to do about this. Maybe I can teach him that he can rattle the toys after he has finished the course?
Woohoo! Bowling pins! *sigh* This video has a better view of the infamous bowling pins. However, Chandler did settle into doing his job- or at least he did after being directed away from the food that belonged to our classmates that was sitting temptingly on the table. His thoroughness checking the basket where scent had been hidden during a previous run was amusing. I also find it notable that he reared up against the wall to check the spot where scent had been hidden in previous weeks. After the run I was told he might have showed interest in the blue block because they had hidden scent there, but they had moved it because they were afraid he'd tumble the block around and they would not be able to get it back out.
Our third car search was very successful. In retrospect, I find it rather ironic that Chandler had already caught the scent and was beelining toward it at the time I was instructed to refocus him upon the cars. The boy works fast when bowling pins aren't involved. :)
Overall, this was another fun week of Nosework. I'll have to work out what to do about the bowling pins, but I'm happy as long as Chandler is enthusiastic and wagging.