Monday, May 1, 2017

Nosework: Back in the Saddle

It didn't take me long to bounce back!  I did a bit of research on a different Nosework venue I had heard of, Performance Scent Dogs.   I think it will be a nice match for Perri and I!   I don't want to continue speaking negatively about NACSW.   Just because, at this time, I do not believe NACSW is a good fit for my team does not mean I will not ever try again or that I do not think it is a great organization.   I do!

I spent my down time at work today reading the rules of PSD and I have to say I am enthusiastic to give it a try.   What I find most attractive is that on a trial day you can attend and just do one element, or all of them.   You can title with three legs in an element, as well as working towards completing your level title.   They have their version of an ORT (Odor Recognition Test), it is called the TOT (Target Odor Test).   They are willing to transfer ORT passes from NACSW, so Perri would not have to repeat that.  But what I do love is that at trials, they offer the TOT test!   So you can do your dog's TOT test and then roll right into the trial if she passes.   Or, if she does not pass, you are permitted to still do your runs FEO.   Love it!  It seems a bit more laid back in general.   I was also fascinated by the containers that are used!   I've been watching some videos and seeing all sorts of funny containers.  Little plastic pieces on the ground, socks, items stuck up on the walls, easter eggs....just...all sorts of stuff.  And of course, white boxes.

I am definitely still learning about this great venue!   There is a trial within my driving range in June but I am not sure I want to jump on that just yet.   To be decided!

My research inspired me to do a little training with Perri when I got home.   Perri loves containers, because that is what we have done the most training on and it was what she learned on first.   I am also making myself put the leash on Perri for all searches, because leash handling is a very weak point of mine.   Perri does best off the leash because of her sensitivities so I tend to train her without it.   And then when I want to use it, it is awkward and in our way.   (I did cheat on the last search on this video and had the leash off.   Oops!)   I also should have rewarded Perri the first time she got to the "hot sock" but I was waiting for a more committed alert.   Still, not fair.   Her first time searching on a weird and new "container" like this I should not have waited that out.   Other than that we had a lot of fun!   I think it will build Perri's confidence and I sure will enjoy it, to just let her search on different containers.   And of course I plan to add in the traditional luggage and bag type containers that you see in NW2 and NW3 NACSW as well.

And of course, Molly got some working time in as well.   Molly has come far.   Our training sessions are few and far between and they have largely been focused on: Don't smash the box.   A nose touch on every box is not what you get paid for.   I have slowly seen her starting to use her nose.   I love this set of three clips, especially the second one.   She goes past the hot box and starts sniffing a third box and then her head whips back to the hot box.   The light bulb is going on!   In the third clip she has a moment of stopping and staring at me.   I had the cookies!   I ignored her and waited instead of re-cuing and she got back to work right away.    I think Molly is going to be a lot of fun!   You know, because she always is!   I am hoping this will also translate to more independence in Molly's Barn Hunt searches.

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