Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nosework Fun Match

The fun match turned out to be an education. It was the first time that Chandler and I searched for scent dipped q-tips that were taped to objects.. The hides were not as easy to access as we had worked with thus far in class. I think Chandler was a bit confused because nobody from his class was present, and we were searching areas that were unfamiliar and also not scattered with the Nosework boxes he is accustomed to.

Run 1- The bathroom.

Most notable in this search is the LOOK that Chandler gives me at about 36 seconds. Apparently, it is his way of notifying me about a find when he can't pound on a box with a paw.

Run 2- The office

I imagine that most real Nosework trials would not occur in areas where yummy dog treats and interesting dog toys were immediately accessible. We had some problems with the cart because Chan knew there was GOOD STUFF on it. I had to step between him and what I think was a treat pouch that had been left on the cart's lower level. As can be seen in the video, Chan is very persistent. Perhaps he considers the food a valid find after having trained for weeks using food. Because of the amount of distractions, this was a very tough search.

Run 3- Building exterior

Distracted dog strikes again! Well, we were the last team to run through the course. I think Chan was more interested in sniffing out the trails of the 20 or so dogs that had searched along the building before he did, and he was most interested in the crumbs of treats that he found just below the hide. Obviously, I need a bit more practice getting his nose off the ground in distracting circumstances.

Run 4- The car

I think there might have been some initial confusion where Chandler thought he should be searching the building again. However, we did get back on track and eventually found the hide in the car's body behind the right front wheel. I don't think Chan did too badly, considering that was only his second car search.

Overall, the fun match made me realize just how much more practicing we need to do, especially with distractions. However, I am very proud of Chandler. At about eight months of age he went through a fear period where he decided all men were EVIL. He's mostly over it, but occasionally will have a barking fit over some person that he considers suspicious or somehow intimidating. His breed does have a significant suspicious/protective streak. I consider these occurrences a glitch in his judgment about what is really dangerous. Both the judge for this fun match and our timer (who kindly also consented to video our run) were very tall men. Chandler did great, even when we were working in small areas like the bathroom or office.

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