Was at a friend's house today and after they had a lesson their daughter hid for the pups. Since it was there home, this girl scent was everywhere and I knew it would be a challenge.
I told her to head up and out of the pasture (where the arena was) and towards the house, then down their dirt/gravel driveway to the other pasture, through it and down to the creek and hide somewhere in the dense brush. I had the subject mark a spot in the grass where the track would begin... (a quick note, before laying this track she had to head the same direction to the house to the stable area to out her horse up... Not sure how either pup was able to know that a track was being laid, but Areli started sniffing around including the jacket laid on the post to be used as a scent article.. The mom who is NOT a do person commented on how Areli especially seemed to suddenly start sniffing and acting like she was looking for a track... Interesting how sensitive dogs can be!)
I tried Akivah and put Areli's harness on and led her to the start of the track as the contamination of her scent was everywhere.. Areli immediately cast herself forward and side to side to isolate the path she wanted to follow and started up the hill towards the house. The subjects brother was walking towards us on the path (not planned but great for seeing a distraction) to talk to the mom, Areli air scented to be sure he wasn't her target and contined on up to the stable area. She cast herself the length of the line (I didn't allow more as the area was so polluted with recent scent of the subject) around cars and down towards the other pasture... She entered the pasture then came back out and debated the scent trail on the outside of the pasture (possibly wind, but could have been heavily traversed scent of subject from previous walks) but opted for the pasture (good girl
), she trotted through the pasture and under the hot wire (which I had asked to be turned off but am not sure if it was... I rolled under it like a ninja... Sort of) and air scented the subject (her nose had been to the track up until then) and her pace went to a run.. She ducked into the heavy brush and found her quarry and goodies... Everyone (including me) was impressed with her focus... Their noses are so freaking amazing!!!
I tied Areli and let Akivah loose.. I brought him to the start of the track and gave him the scent article.. He jumped on me a few times in excitement (ugh) and began to range beautifully up the pasture to the stables, he quickly eliminated the stables, cars, house area and moved towards the pasture... He ranged through the pasture under the hot wire (I ducked this time - no ninja moves) and down to the left of where the subject was.. However, I know he caught her scent because his nose went up with typical head pop and he eye lined the spot but decided to do a quick crittering to the left.. I called him on it and he found the subject, I called him and he gave his refind alert with less than what I want in enthusiasm and took me to the subject.. The subject unfortunately would not give a good excited reward... She didn't with Areli either, but Areli is highly driven by the scent and the challenge... Akivah is gaining a better work ethic but is still immature in his confidence.. I tried to bolster him some and he enjoyed his treats... Good boy Akivah!
Quick note (and anyone reading please feel free to join in With your experiences and thoughts! This is why I post these in the hopes for feedback
) : Akivah needs to be done first as he frys himself barking and fretting when Areli goes first.. Much much better refind alerts when he is done first... I need to spend some one on one time with him and try to build his confidence. His ability is there and usually his focus... Just recently when he has consistently gone last have I noticed his desire to critter or less enthusiasm in his alerts...