Saturday, October 12, 2019

Molly mock NW2 Trial

Last weekend Molly and I went to a super well run mock nosework trial in our area. And when I say in our area, I mean 20 minutes away. Heaven!

I entered us at the NW2 level as that is what we are preparing for. Molly still has some frustration issues with being asked to find multiple hides. I confess I have entered the random draw for two different trials and either pulled out or did not get in. We are not quite trial ready, but being entered in an event makes me focus my training.

The mock trial was different than a typical NACSW format, because we ran all four searches back to back. I thought this might be challenging stamina-wise for Molly.

We did Interiors first and I was thrilled with it. She found both hides, worked hard the whole time and she was funny. We did two different rooms. I also had to remember to call "Finish" after each search. You have to do that in NW2, but the judge can remind you if you forget. Unlike NW1 where the timer is stopped when the judge indicates "yes" to the handler calling Alert, in NW2 the handler calls Finish after their dog has found all hides in the search area (you always know the amount.) and that stops the clock.

Our Vehicle search was next. Two hides on four vehicles, four big vehicles. I was intimidated! Molly went past both hides and I've watched the video and I see none of her normal discernible change in behavior or acting as though she was in odor. I wonder if this was a stamina issue for her. She had just searched two rooms and found three hides and she was being silly and wasting energy blasting around. I am trying to decide what I think about the Vehicle search. The "judge" said she found the hides quickly and kept trying to offer me help but ... I'm not sure. Maybe Molly just needs more experience searching larger vehicles. However, the regular passenger van was not that large.
This search was very uncharacteristic of Molly's regular style of work and I am not sure what to think of it.

We went to Containers next. Molly's confusion from Vehicles bled into Containers in my opinion. I also should have rewarded her first container find much more than I did. Knowing her frustration issues with both containers and multiple hides, separately, I will be gearing my training sessions to reward her extensively at each container hide before asking her to find another hide. I would also like to do reminder sessions for not using he feet to indicate the correct container to me. We have some AKC trials coming up at the end of the year, hopefully Advanced, so I would really like to polish Molly in this area.

We ended strong in Exteriors. This was pleasing to me since we have failed to title in Level 1 Exterior trials twice now! The judge was a long time friend of ours and I told her we had just had some troubles and she said to ask Molly for some tricks to relax her. I said what she would really like is to roll in the grass. I asked Molly to roll over and she did and then I pet her belly until Molly let out a big contented sigh. I knew she was ready then. It was another good lesson for the "staging" area at trials.

Molly found the first hide right away. I asked her to search deeper into the search area and she found nothing. I knew there was the pathway to a door that was part of a doorway that she had not check so I asked her to look there. That "head whip" that I so love about nosework and she found the second hide. So nice!

So we are not trial ready but I have some guidance for sure and a good assessment of where we are. I feel there is a lot I can do with the information that we got about our Containers weaknesses. The Vehicle search...I am just not sure what to think of it. Molly is usually much stronger with Vehicles. Perhaps a fluke! We will keep working hard.

1 comment:

  1. Cool. I've wanted to do scent detection with Keltic for awhile now but I keep missing out on getting into the class; it fills so vast.