Finally found a good class for my dog! - Page 4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #31 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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The rule book says 12 boxes for the ORT.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #32 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 01:14 PM
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Muscle memory! My first impulse was to say 12!


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post #33 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 01:36 PM
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The first time I ever trialed a dog I failed tracking. 50 or so spectators, a bunch of dogs, a judge and translator walking the track next to us, was way too much for a dog that had only tracked alone. He had a great time, but we failed pretty bad. I'd make sure you spend enough time training in an environment that matches the trial Tim. One reason I wouldn't throw her into a trial to just see, that can become what she understands to do in a trial. She plays around once without any input from you, that may be what you'll have the next time.

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post #34 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 03:06 PM
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The first time I ever trialed a dog I failed tracking. 50 or so spectators, a bunch of dogs, a judge and translator walking the track next to us, was way too much for a dog that had only tracked alone. He had a great time, but we failed pretty bad. I'd make sure you spend enough time training in an environment that matches the trial Tim. One reason I wouldn't throw her into a trial to just see, that can become what she understands to do in a trial. She plays around once without any input from you, that may be what you'll have the next time.
And sometimes you just get the unexpected....
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post #35 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 08:16 AM
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Like any trial, most people think it's easy, until its actually done. There are variables in trials that you never think to plan for.
Yup. I was confident we would get our NW1 last weekend. We went in, got 3/4 elements with two pronounced searches. Failed the interior due to two things - One being the heating system kicking on and pushing odor to the opposite side of the room, and the other being me basically convincing Katsu to alert on an object that did not contain the hide. At the end of the trial, the judge explained they did not anticipate the heater variable and all the dogs that tested with the heater on struggled.

Hindsight, I know what I should have done and hope to not make that mistake in the future trials. Overall, I came out of that trial proud of my girl, but disappointed in myself.

I think you could manage an ORT with a few weeks of training. Katsu got her Birch after our Intro to Nosework class (6 or 8 weeks I think). We'll be going for our Anise and Clove ORTs this December and a few AKC Scentwork titles until another NW1 trial comes up in our area.

I agree with practicing in different conditions and locations. I'd also recommend having someone else place hides for you so you're running blind. More power to you if you can get a group of people to come "watch" you. Our first element (vehicle) had about 10 people watching us and it distracted Katsu for a bit.
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+ Kalbi CGC 6/21/2015
+ Blackthorn's Out of the Frying Pan NW1 ORT SEN SCN BCAT SIN RATN TKN (Katsu) 9/12/2017
+ Blackthorn's Skofnung CGC TKN RATI RATO (Steel) 07/23/2018

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post #36 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:07 AM
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These are my thoughts based on what you have said and your thoughts on the beginning stages of the sport: If you are adamant about going for the ORT and maybe the NW1 on your own without classes, I would strongly suggest that you at least find an instructor that you mesh with and take a few private classes with him/her at the very least before your NW1 trial.

Everything everyone one has said has proven to be true for me and mine plus if you find that this sport is perfect for both of you, you are definitely going to need an instructor as you progress. It's best to lay the foundation with a good instructor early on as they will then be able to taylor the excercises based on strengths and weaknesses and if/when you decided to take a class, the instructor will be able to match a class that they are giving that will suite your needs.

We are now in training for our NW3. There were two situations in our second NW2 (I fouled on the first NW2) where I learned techniques in class from the beginnng that had I not taken class I would not have known which, first and foremost we titled because of, and second, we took third in the vehicle search. Our first NW2 did not present with the same variable as our second NW2 and I sure do learn from my mistakes lol.

So find a good/great instructor so you can lay that foundation also.

Wishing you great success in which ever scent sport you choose.
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post #37 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate all the insight folks! I think Nyx is 100% ready for the ORT at this point, but nowhere near ready for any sort of trial. Not taking a class is in no way synonymous with not being prepared! We have done container, interior, and exterior searches so far with hides that are both high and low, in cupboards, under blankets, stuffed in the couch etc., and she's pretty darn reliable. But we haven't yet done any vehicle searches, and all of this work has been done off-leash, and without any distractions, so as I said nowhere near trial ready!

@Katsugsd can you share what in hindsight you would have changed when the heater turned on?

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #38 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 01:29 PM
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Yup. I was confident we would get our NW1 last weekend. We went in, got 3/4 elements with two pronounced searches. Failed the interior due to two things - One being the heating system kicking on and pushing odor to the opposite side of the room, and the other being me basically convincing Katsu to alert on an object that did not contain the hide. At the end of the trial, the judge explained they did not anticipate the heater variable and all the dogs that tested with the heater on struggled.

Hindsight, I know what I should have done and hope to not make that mistake in the future trials. Overall, I came out of that trial proud of my girl, but disappointed in myself.

I think you could manage an ORT with a few weeks of training. Katsu got her Birch after our Intro to Nosework class (6 or 8 weeks I think). We'll be going for our Anise and Clove ORTs this December and a few AKC Scentwork titles until another NW1 trial comes up in our area.

I agree with practicing in different conditions and locations. I'd also recommend having someone else place hides for you so you're running blind. More power to you if you can get a group of people to come "watch" you. Our first element (vehicle) had about 10 people watching us and it distracted Katsu for a bit.
Congrats on the pronounced, that is AWESOME. And I don't think you should be disappointed in yourself for missing an element that was legitimately made tough by a luck-of-the-draw variable. It happens. We also went 3/4 in our first NW1 and then missed on interiors because I got nervous and called alert too early. I felt bad for messing it up for my dog, but I realized that when we were walking out of the room and she nudged my hand and looked up at me and grinned, that she didn't see it that way at all. I'm certain Katsu doesn't either, and when you get your videos, buy them and review them with your instructor and go back for another try when you're ready. You know the two of you work together well - the pronouncements are tangible evidence of that! - and you'll ultimately become a stronger, smarter team than you were before.

Re your comments, I think that's exactly why a class would be really valuable for Tim and Nyx. The heating system: If you get a good instructor, you will have the chance, over the months or years you train before trialing, to get into a building that might have that variable. With any luck, you'll get to work in buildings that have different types of heating and cooling systems. It isn't just heating and cooling systems, though, it's also hot weather or very cold weather, people entering and leaving the room during/between searches (that changes the airflow and can affect how odor behaves), the dog having to traverse different surfaces in a search area, getting used to wind, rain, all that stuff. We've had class outdoors in frigid temps but then trialing under a winter storm watch? No big deal. We weren't as prepared with training to specifically handle the insane heat and humidity we ran into the day we titled in NW1, but my dog had enough skill and foundation under her belt to work with it.

With respect to the spectators: You would run into that in AKC. There aren't supposed to be spectators in NACSW unless designated by the handler, but you will have the judge, steward, timer, photographer, videographer. If you take group classes, your dog will get practice first in a low key environment with the same group watching, and later on field trips, your dog can gain experience with random people watching. Tractor Supply was a pretty fun night.

All of that might seem like a waste of time and money if you think you can pass ORTs and put titles on your dog right away because they seem to catch on to the game right off the bat, but it isn't. None of it is. Every single week of class will make you a stronger handler and give your dog more experience and skill to work in a setting that isn't your backyard or your living room. Because no trial ever was held in a competitor's backyard.
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post #39 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 01:07 PM
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I have not done nose work in awhile my life has been very hectic but often do sporadic scent work games. it’s often hectic in the house with them doing nose work in the house both barking crazy for their turns. I do take them to places a lot so I had ordered this it makes things easier to carry and do while out one dog at a time. The gift idea thread gave me the idea to post this would make a good gift for nose work addicts! They have different scent tubes - akc,ukc, noseworks
https://k9nwsource.com/shop/travel-tubes-nosework-loop/
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post #40 of 41 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:44 PM
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Also, when you pass your ORT, and you feel that you are at least semi ready, start looking for Mock trials. They aren't posted on the NACSW site but each training facility/trainer that sets one up will announce it on their site or their FB. So check out training facilities for past and future events and follow them on FB. This is where you can really test your readiness and they are a lot of fun. if you need coaching, you can ask for it. The last few we did took place at a dog friendly motel and the interior search was an actual room, a church, someone's home who had pets and they used that pet area for the container search area. Our last was at a farm. Mock trials are open to anyone who has passed the ORT for the level (s) that they have set up for.
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