Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ATC Articles Week 7

When I wrote last Friday, I was debating whether to eliminate cheese and/or wires before moving on to Week 7. I did indeed move on to Week 7 Saturday. Sonic did days 1-3 without error, so last night, after we finished doing them, I decided to just take off all the wires in preparation for today's work. Since I've been able to hear her sniffing, I was reasonably confident that she was using her nose vs. her eyes. I figured if it fell apart, I could put the wires back on and eliminate them more gradually.

The gamble paid off. She was 4 for 4 this evening. I almost stopped her on the last one, because I spaced out which was the right one (bad trainer!). But she knew. I think I'll do one more day like what we did today, then start to follow my advice I always give to my students:
  • Lengthen the distance to pile out to the 20 or so feet required in the ring.
  • Randomize the appearance of the article pile, vs. the regimented set up I use when teaching the articles with Around the Clock.
  • Add a turn before the send. I have never taught a 'send direct', where the dog turns with you and goes directly to the pile, because I like the control the 'after a sit' method gives me.
  • Add other people scenting the extra articles.
  • Take the show on the road. Given that she did them in multiple different places early on, I am not as concerned about this as if I had done all seven weeks in the same place.
  • Stop using the pair of articles I taught her with.
That ought to keep us busy for a while. I may or may not pursue all of that at this point. My main point in starting this whole project at 6 months was so she had the concept of how to use her nose when she arrives at an article pile. I do believe we have achieved that goal. If I've counted right, today is the 30th day in a row we have done scent articles. 

No comments: