This post shares two stories from students who were at the Elmira trial last week. The first is a report from one of my students who had some great hunts and shared a very astute analysis of the two afternoon elements that she missed. I’m totally impressed with her ability to recall so clearly what was happening. Many of us [for instance… ME!] struggle to remember all that went on during an element search let alone recalling the whole thing a day or so later LOL. Most identifying info has been changed although this handler did give me permission to post her report. The second report shares the wins from Pat and Winsome Will.
First up -exterior. My dog smoked this. 3rd fastest time – 26 seconds. She never even thought about peeing in the grass. Then to the vehicles. She was a bit distracted by the birds (she wanted to chase them), but quickly got into search mode. She found the tire pretty quickly that had the hide and initially alerted to the top of the tire. I hesitated and she hit on the bottom of the tire – sticking her nose in the hub-cap. Good thing I hesitated, as the hide was on the bottom not the top. The judge even said she thought I was going to call it on the top of the tire as my dog gave a pretty good alert.
In the afternoon though, things didn’t go as well. In the container search my dog stopped on a box, pushed it with her nose, put her paw on it and looked at me. Sounds like an alert right? I called it but we were off by one box – she fringed on that, so no title for us. I was pretty bummed but tried to look upon the interior element as a good training opportunity. It was in a classroom and she pretty quickly figured out which side of the room the hide was on. She narrowed it down to a desk. She alerted on the corner of the desk and again I hesitated. She then tried to stick her head further under the desk and couldn’t figure out how to get under the desk further so pulled her head back out, hit the corner with her nose again and looked at me. I called it – another miss. The hide was under the desk chair that was under the desk. I guess the scent pooled up from the chair and collected under the desk. Since she had given me two solid looks and an attempt to crawl under the desk more, I was sure she had nailed it. The judge said she would have believed those alerts as well and was pretty sure that my dog thought she had found the source as well.
So what started out so well (both exterior and vehicle were 20 something second finds) ended with 2 false alerts on container and interior. I would have guessed those to have been our strongest elements……..
Report from Pat & Will…
My biggest concern for the trial elements was the exterior since this is where we have had trouble in the past so when we did the walk through I was glad to see that the exterior search area was very much like the exterior of a building where we have been practicing.
Our first element was the exterior: There was a covered walkway leading to the exterior search area with the start line at the end of the walkway. The area perimeter encompassed a wall to the right then a turn along that wall to an outside corner and another wall. There was also concrete, dirt and grass in the area. Will walked to the right along the wall and checked out a pipe, made a turn to the left and checked out a grassy clump, made another turn to the right and walked directly to the corner of the two walls and alerted…YEA
Second was the container search in the gym. I was hoping Will was not going to start playing with the boxes like he did on Wednesday practice, ask Cindy:o). Anyway the set up was a big oval/circular pattern and two rows of boxes in the middle. Will chose to go right so I kept him on my left as he sniffed his way to the top of the oval/circle and stopped to put his paw on a box, I thought, oh, now here we go, he’s going to play, but he corrected himself and turned to the box next to him and alerted…Whew..
During the lunch break we went down the road to a big closed campground where he stretched out, pottied and found many sticks.
The interior search was first in the afternoon with the class room door being the start line. The room was packed with “stuff”. Will went to his right and checked out a couple of chairs at the computer desks but quickly moved on as he got on the odor, he checked a couple of bookcases then went to some wall cubbies, started to turn away then quickly stuck his head in a cubbie and looked at me..Alert..YEA
On to the vehicles, a pick-up backed up to a trailer and a van pulled up to the trailer on the other end. He skirted the end of the van and went to the trailer tire and worked his way back of the trailer, placed his nose on the chain and worked his way along to the bottom of the hitch..Alert..
What a guy…First in exterior, First in interior and First Place overall with a combined time
of 1.22.59 !!.
Happy and Tired…Pat & WinSome Will