We will return to our regularly scheduled updates and training note shortly. But for now it is all about Nose Work. Our trial is this weekend and I don't think I would do anything differently in preparation for it.
Reyna is now searching for birch on decks with a happy fluffy tail. The stage still gives her the creeps, but she will search it and alert. We have practiced on leash, off leash, high, low, accessible, inaccesible, windy, rainy, short waits in between, long waits in between, totally blind, timed, box refreshers, hides with people walking through the search area, even had a stranger handle her on a couple hides, cars, trucks, forklifts, brand new odor, old odor, 4-6 hour old hides, tiny room, expansive gyms, playground equipment....I even took her to a nose work tournament this past weekend where I was volunteering and had her just wait in the car for 4 hours while I worked it with dogs and people wandering by the car and then brought her out for two quick hides and then left.
To support our Nosework training we have been working on confidence on weird surfaces, focus in extreme situations (heeling off leash near a stray cat feeding station), long working days where we do non Nosework stuff off and on all day, self control on leash and off, drive building with tug and fetch and more tug, relationship building through play, confidence strength and balance through tricks...
I can't lie, if we don't title I will be disappointed, but I don't think we could have prepared better, and I have enjoyed the last couple months of training and relationship building sooooo much, I wouldn't do a thing differently.
Here's to Saturday!