Saturday, October 2, 2010

Continued Nosework, Week 4

After last week's challenges of a novel search area, blowing wind, and possible critters, it was pleasant to back up a bit and continue practicing indoor searches in the training room. This week's challenge turned out to be dying camera batteries. Oops. We did make it through all the searches, but in the last three the camera kept turning itself off, so I ended up with some choppy video. I spliced everything together using Windows Movie Maker, but some image quality may have been lost in the transition.

Run #1

I'm glad to see that Chandler seems to have gotten over his inability to focus during the first run. That is a bit improvement over last week. I think I should try to minimize his distractions in new search areas until he gets a bit more reliable. Accordingly, I also need to work on his drive and the difficulty of the searches in areas he is familiar with.

Run #2

Chandler is a bit hard on boxes. One thing I need to work on is learning to read the more subtle cues he makes when indicating a find.

Run #3

Poor, poor suffering boxes. Also of note is Chan's rather systematic search technique.

Run #4

Most interesting in this short run was how definite Chandler was about indicating that the lower box had the hidden scent. I think this is the first time that this sort of indication has been obviously clear.

Run #5

I really should have given Chandler credit for finding the scent tin that was left out on the table. It wasn't his fault that somebody had forgotten it there, and technically it was in the search area. It seems counter intuitive to say "everything in here is the search area, except (whatever)" if there is no kind of visual definition of the limits of the search area.

Also of note is that we need more practice on the brown boxes that don't have the foldable lids. If Chan can't pound on a box, I have more trouble seeing his alert.

Run #6

At about 1:22 into this run, Chandler does something very interesting. He leans up against a wall to check a spot where scent had previously been hidden. There is no floating scent to lead him to this spot; he simply remembered that it had been there before, and decided to check it. In fact, I don't believe scent had been hidden there for several weeks. The trainers seemed to think that this sort of memory was unusual.

Chan seems to be getting a bit tired in this run; he looks like he has less "oomph", although he does shove the box pile around and make the last find in the corner near the door. I think he tends to initially miss stuff near the entrance because he wants to zoom into the room.

Run #7

I'm not sure why Chandler pounded on the empty box. Residual scent? Scent floating from the chair? Maybe he was running out of steam and wanted to see if he could get rewarded for a false indication? He just likes to pound on boxes? I suppose it could be any of those. The important point is that he is willing to redirect and continue his search when I show him it is empty.

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