Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nosework - Preparing for NW2

We haven't been totally idle even though the blog would suggest that. My actual job has been very demanding lately leaving little room for training and even less for recording that training.

Reyna's competitive obedience skills are coming along nicely thanks to remote training with Hannah Branigan and Denise Fenzi. We are only auditing classes but they do such a good job it feels like taking an in person class. If you haven't seen the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy you should really check it out...good stuff!

We are also working towards our NW2 title for K9 Nosework. We are entered in the Florida trial in two months and have a lot of work to do between now and then to ensure we are ready. So last week I dusted off the odor tins and put the obedience stuff away for now. Having only a couple minutes each day to train I have to prioritize.

We started with easy stuff but Reyna quickly let me know that she hadn't forgotten a thing. In the last week we have worked several fast and easy interiors including one I thought would be a challenge...I put a q-tip in the remote and then put the remote back on the table...she nailed it in 30 seconds!!

Another cool one we did was to combine water and aged hide. It was pouring down rain one evening so I took a tin with holes in the top and threw it blindly into the front yard. Then the next morning, about 12 hours later, I took Reyna out, she took off before I even gave her the cue to find and nabbed it right away with no problems! She got a jackpot for that one and I had to retire those q-tips to the trash and dump water out of the tin. Sitting out in the rain all night clearly doesn't affect the hides for Reyna.

Today I pulled out the phone and got the video below of two searches from today. The first is an interior with one almost inaccessible hide. Honestly given how much she hates things that shift I thought it was going to be inaccessible from that side, there was an easy way in to the left but she proved me wrong and pushed her way through on the tough side.

Next was a set of two blind hides in the front yard. I love how she didn't have a lock on the odor right away and started wide sweeps. I was curious about her stopping at the stump during the search, but when she flushes a CAT halfway through it makes more sense. I swear when it happened it felt like Reyna deliberated for several seconds before deciding to resume the search, but as I watched the video it was only a split second before she decides to chase odor instead of the cat....GOOD DOG! That was a very long split second for me, and she made me proud. Don't mind the little gnome running around the search sector, Penelope's role in Reyna's life right now is to serve as a distraction in pretty much every training session.

Things we still need to work a lot on are containers in general and distractions in containers, she is great with distractions in interiors and proved today that even the neighbors cat isn't as valuable to her as Anise/Birch!

I'll try to keep more videos up, no promises though...