We resumed outdoor searches during week 5, and Chandler seemed to have gotten over his tendency to be HORRIBLY distracted during the initial searches.
There's some really good enthusiasm visible here, although I am beginning to wonder if Chandler also thinks that stepping on the boxes is fun. Given how goofy he can be at times, I would not put it past him. Interestingly, in this run Chandler identifies the correct box only after examining it twice, which seems a bit odd.
In this run, Chan only needed to sniff the box once to identify it. He did get a bit distracted when examining the second box; there must have been an interesting smell on the grass nearby. However, he did return to the task at hand and examine the other boxes. I must say his indication style in this run was making me feel like I should be part of a comedy routine- try to circle around the dog and open the box while he is shoving the box in the opposite direction!
...in which we continue our comedy routine and I orbit Chandler. (Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?)
...in which the dog's owner has learned in which direction to move to intercept a box being pawed. :)
This search along the side of the building had a lot of possible distractions. Most immediate were the poop clean up bucket and any interesting scents that might be coming from inside the dumpster. There were also some leaves and other "flotsam" behind the dumpster. Despite these challenges, Chandler quickly homed in on a scent coming from the right side of the dumpster. The birch scented Q-tips were near the rear of the dumpster in a tube that ran along the side of the dumpster. I assume a dump truck somehow uses these tubes to grasp the dumpster when it is emptied. The scent ended up blowing through the tube, and I could not initially see where the Q-tips were hidden. I find it interesting that Chandler, with no more direction than me standing up, independently moved to examine the rear of the dumpster in more detail, including standing up on his hind legs to look over the top.
After the dumpster find, the other hides were relatively easy. There was one on the front wheel of the car, and one on the corner of the building. Interestingly, Chandler independently made a choice to search the car. This is the first time he has searched a car without being directed toward it.
This building exterior search was more challenging, because this area tends to be used as a canine latrine. Chandler, of course, took this as an invitation to leave his mark and demonstrate his "manliness", as I call the ground scraping procedure. He wasn't as focused for this last run, and missed the hide on the brown pipe during the first pass, and then initially missed the hide near the concrete ledge. I think these problems occurred because of the greater level of distractions, and perhaps fatigue. Otherwise, Chandler was typically Chandler; he was the only dog that troubled himself to jump on the ledge and walk along it.
Overall I was pleased with this week. Chandler seemed to be progressing in his search skills.