Worked the pups at the ski resort today. Most of the snow was gone. I had Akivah work first (he does scent specific area search) and changed things about a bit. While my subject was hiding I walked the pups in the opposite direction and let them explore and tried to calm them down as soon as they know they are going to 'find', they go ballistic.
I tied Areli outside of the car (my seat belt won't last if I have another shark attack from a pup) and as soon as I pulled the scent article out all appearance of calm was shattered, lol. Akivah practically climbed my arm to get to it and was off.. He ranged really well and worked negative space on his own (the subject was hiding up a logging rode and a sharp 120° angle to the right and up a steep hill behind a tree, mountains all around (ski resort). The scent pooled in a Grove of trees and he ranged quite a bit and seemed perplexed. Once I knew he had covered the area well I sent him the opposite direction (towards the subject, although I didn't know where she was hiding) and he ranged beautifully covering back behind me and back up, he bypassed her by about 30ft,but the wind was to my back and I know he was on the scent. He doubled back and elatedly found her. He forgot to remind alert, so I called him and he alerted and then returned for his reward. Good boy Akivah!
Areli was going bananas at the car and thankfully behaved herself and no claw marks were found (whew!). My subject walked back with me and then descended the main road down and to an open field of about 10acres with trees surrounding the whole perimeter. Due to shoes worn, she didn't want to traverse the acreage (which I asked she do), but walked a good length of the tree line and hid. I once again walked the dogs opposite and Areli tried to hit the old trail Akivah had just done. I called her off (3x) and she finally let go of it.... For the moment.
After about 10 minutes, I tied Akivah (who now is having a fit) and Areli is ready to hit the trail again. I gave her the scent article and sent her the opposite direction in order to work some negative space and get my reading of her down well (although she is pretty darn obvious when she is on the scent). Prior, the wind was blowing upwind of the victim (which I wanted as I was hoping to see how she reacted to a challenge), however, while working negative scent area the wind shifted and she caught her scent about 40ft from where the trail would have picked up, so down the hill we went, hit the road and she cast herself side to side until she picked up the trail... After that, 90 miles an hour (have got to get her harness,!) over logs, around trees, tail wagging and butt hopping and we found her subject. I had her sit, as this will probably be her alert from now on... She got her reward and I may have found (cross fingers) a reward other than just food (and new smells, sometimes I think she is a bloodhound in a Shepherd coat) that really makes her feel special : her 'baby' a stuffed bear. GOOD GIRL ARELI!
Both pups were happy... Oh... And the old trail that the subject took earlier, well on the walk back, as soon as Areli was close, she started off on it, again, not nose down like she is on the hunt, but kind of like she wants to see what Akivah got to do and prove that she could have done it too... This is becoming a ritual for her... Jealousy? Who knows...