In the meantime, happy viewing!
Garage Bottles - One of the coolest K9 Nose Work searches ever. Toys, bottles, food in bottles, and garbage was scattered throughout the small warehouse. This was a 6 minute search for an unknown number of hides. A few teams had trouble with the distractors - dogs were picking them up and carrying them, false alerting, and just losing focus and wasting time. Muriel was made for this search because she has no interest in toys - or in using water bottles as toys - and she does a good job ignoring food distractions.
We found 7 out of a total of 8 hides and made one false call. There was a hide on the small blue step stool that we missed, and Muriel barely even noticed it. I know I don't even remember seeing the stool in the search area, so I was no help as far as making sure she searched everywhere.
One thing we really did well in this area was covered the threshold at the end of the search. Always important to work the whole search area, even if you feel like you cleared the threshold when you and your dog passed through it at the start of the search.
Interior Tables & Chairs - Our last search of the event. There were 5 hides to find in 3 minutes. This was a very fair, well thought out search. The dogs were challenged by the convergence of odors and the handlers were challenged by navigating the area in the time allotted. We missed one odor and I made one false call, and it was mostly a case of not covering the area completely and getting hung up on blowing odor.
Something to note on this false call and the one in the garage bottles search is that in both instances, there doesn't seem to be any behavior on Muriel's part that indicates she's close to or attempting to get close to a source odor. If the source is within her reach, she'll quicken her sniffing, detail the area around the hide like she's following a dashed line to an 'x' marking the spot, and inhale/exhale loudly at the source, taking in that sweet source odor like a fine wine. If the source is out of her reach, she'll make a clear attempt or attempts to get closer to the source, which usually manifests as bracketing the source (the high hides from last week's videos show this), and she's determined in her sniffing, like she knows the scent she's smelling is coming directly from a very nearby source. If no source is present nearby, her investigation of the area can look similar, but is usually missing the bracketing and determined sniffing. She's not locking down a part of the area where she knows source is coming from, rather, after an extended period of me enabling/encouraging/forcing her to work an area without source odor, she arbitrarily picks a part of the area and lets me fill in the blank.
Next week, we look at a few nose work training issues that can go undetected until you're least prepared to face them, and we offer a few tips on how to get your dog's sniffer back up to speed... and, in the coming weeks we have a special treat, handler Kristie Cervantez with her black lab Jasper has put her video from the National Invitational in the mail to Minnesota to be analyzed and shared on the blog! Kristie & Jasper did a fantastic job at the National Invitational, coming in first place overall for the two day competition, as well as earning a number of other top placements over the weekend. A big thank you to Kristie!