Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Learning From K9 Nose Work NACSW National Invitational Videos: Kristie & Jasper Part 3

This week we look at the last two videos from Kristie & Jasper's National Invitational searches! The 2014 NACSW National Invitational is already scheduled for May 9th in Santa Rosa, CA! If you & your canine already have an invite, congratulations! For the rest of you, sniff hard and sniff fun, you may or may not make it in for 2014, but it's all about the journey, not the destination!

Day 2 NACSW National Invitational

Garage Bottles - I could watch videos of this search area over and over again. There's so much to observe in the way each team works the problems out. Jasper, as we've seen in prior videos, is such an independent searcher and really gets - and enjoys - the task of finding every "bird" in the bushes!

 *** this video was giving me trouble right before posting - I could view it no problem on an iPad with Youtube app, but not on a laptop through Safari or Chrome. Let me know if you have issues, not sure what I can do about it, other than redo the commentary and re-upload at a later date...***

Jeff McMahon: Boy, he heads off to chart his own path! You can always count on him to hunt one down, then another, then another! -- hang back at the start a little more and he might start knocking them down right from the get go instead of coming back later to round up the two or three he blows by at the threshold.

Kristie Cervantez: This was the most fun of the entire weekend.  I, like everyone else, when we did the walk through laughed and thought “OH BOY...this is either going to be the most fun or the biggest disaster”.
What should be mentioned is this, Jasper LOVES to play with water bottles.  Since he was a puppy he has been a water bottle cruncher, whether the water bottle is in a toy or by itself.  He also has a couple of the toys that were strewn about, so again I thought, this could be trouble.  How wrong I was about trouble.  I am so proud of him.  He was all business as soon as he entered the search.  No goofing around.  He knew what his job was and he did it.  Crazy!  I like watching the video from both angles.  What amazed me when I first watched it was how long it took him to alert on the first hide.  Over 30 seconds (glad I did not realize that at the time..I would have panicked)...What was more amazing watching the video, he entered the search area and pretty much scoped out the whole thing.  It looks like he was mentally checking off where he knew some of the hides were before he got to the business of finding and alerting on them.  It was another “unknown number” of hides and I was so focused on what he was doing and so proud of how he was working, I did not even think to count how many he had found.  I truly just followed him the entire time, calling the alerts and handing out the treats.  This search was all Little Man.

JM: The first water bottle hide is tough because he's so pushy he knocks it around and has to re-find it twice.

KC: When I am not quite sure where he is alerting, I will ask him, “Do better” and I did on this one.  He tried to do better for me but you are right, he was pushing it around.  He did know where it was and I did call it and get it right.

JM: The toy hide under the ladder, are you worried he's possibly on the wrong object and waiting to see if he starts working again?

KC: This one was funny.  I did the same thing, “do better little man” and Jasper looks at me and I says..”NO..I found it you call it I already did better..you need to TRUST ME”.  He actually said all of that with that one look at me..I was just the only one that heard him.  :)  He was right and did not need to “do better”.

JM: On the pallet hide, even Jasper now seems to be wondering if he's following the scent to the right source, taking a little more time to figure things out.

KC: On this hide, I knew he found something, I think he again was trying to figure out how to retrieve it.  He finally got as close as he could and alerted.

JM: Clear indication on that hide in the center of the area in the vertical cardboard tube - nice!  

KC: This is one of the ones that he found on his initial canvas of the room, he just worked his way back to it.  Good Boy!

JM: Great job covering the whole area and getting back to the threshold to find remaining hides.

KC: Great job Jasper in covering the whole area.  He took himself back to that threshold hide.  If you notice, I never once led him or touched him or directed him in any way..at least I do not think that I did. 
He got that last one and again, I had no idea how many we had found.  He kind of sniffed around Luther a bit and I think finally saw the spectators.  He looked around somewhat and then looked at me and I knew he was done.  He just had that look as if to say “That is it MaMa...we found them all”.  FINISH
We left the area with the biggest smiles on our face...

Interior Tables & Chairs - This search still impresses me as a really cool problem to put the dogs in the middle of, and even though it's not as grand and flashy as some of the other searches, it's a challenge worthy of the best sniffers around. How fitting that it would be our last search - a smaller, more familiar looking search area for the end of two long days of searching, but a tough scent puzzle to solve. A "wolf in sheep's clothing" of a search!

JM: nice first find - so funny that he just charges into the middle of the search area after that!

KC: I think this was my second favorite search.  I stopped outside to give him some water.  He gets really thirsty after searching and we had just left the bottle search.  I remember opening the door to start the search and it was so quiet.  All weekend that room had been a hub of actitivty and it was like opening the door to Church.  :)  I was not sure how well we were going to do. He had just worked pretty hard.  Little Man rocks again.  He enters the search area and boom...alerts on the TV Stand.  Christina (judge) asks me the dreaded “Where?” question.  I showed her where he was alerting and we got it right.  I think I said to her “I deserved that” because he was not as accurate as he usually is (he was tired..I could tell), but I knew what he was telling me.

JM: Good job with the chair hide. Nice flow to the shop vac hide.

KC: Following Little Man as he does his thing, finding a hide and trying to figure out how to get it into his mouth.

JM: Gets table hide at 1 minute left to search. There you guys go again working the area he's pretty much cleared -- I see a habit that could be broken!! Like my inability to move Muriel on from blowing odor in no less than 60 seconds!

KC: Let’s break the habit.  :)

JM: Okay - working the chair hide you clearly aren't sure if he got it already. Makes more sense as to why you're hanging out there. Was very hard to keep track of everything in these searches.

KC: I think that the hide we missed was right behind us.  It is that converging odor thing we need to work on.  In watching the video, I see him catch odor over there but than works the table and chair.  You are right, and I think I asked, haven’t we found this one?  I could not remember and he was working, trying to find something.  He finally gave up and alerted and we received our one and only “No” of the entire weekend.

JM: hmmm... interesting call. I did the same thing, calling a false in the final seconds of this search. I think it was nose work fatigue for all of us!

KC: After the “No”, they had already called 30 seconds and I just called finish.  Little Man was tired and I could tell.  He did an amazing job and I am just so proud of him.  He loves his MaMa and I love him and in watching us together, I think it shows.

What a great series of videos Kristie so generously shared with us all. Thanks again to Kristie & Jasper and thank you to the NACSW!

Happy sniffing!


  1. Hi Jeff...very good observations and great insight and very helpful... these videos are such great way to learn... also the garage video will not play on my PC ..I get YouTube error occurred ...any chance to re-post it ?

    1. Hi Nick!

      I am definitely going to re-post the garage bottles search video. These last few videos I have had corruption issues with the video created through the Coach's Eye app, which means I have to re-create the commentary and the video multiple times. If I can't get the Coach's Eye video to play nice with YouTube, I'll just upload the raw video footage.

      Thanks for your comments, glad you're getting lots of learning from this format!

      Happy sniffing!

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I watched and loved these videos! It is such a great learning tool for nose work, to be able to watch this great team in action. Walker and I will be training hard to get ready for Santa Rosa next May!