Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sundays' Class, May 6th

 The grass is just starting to grow and green up but some areas were tough for the dogs new to tracking with long and dead patches.  However, working on serpentines again this class, the dogs did very well.  Their second "tracks" were laid with a straight stretch between serpentines.  Above is Rosemary with her blind hound, Hunter; look at him working along his track...nice.
 Brenda and Pippen are in the early start of their serpentine.  Pippin is working really nice, just his second class.  He puts head and nose down and just keeps moving!
 Brenda is doing well on her line handling, and watching every move Pippin makes.
 It was interesting to see him pick up a bit of speed on his straight section, then working back into the serpentine, a steady and slower pace.

 He has just reached his article, and Brenda moves up to reward him.  Pippen loves to tug which is a great reward for him.
 We also did some "squares" and Abbey and Tascha are just coming back on the last leg.  Abbey is another keen little worker.
 This was the first class for Chimay and Carrie, so their first introduction to the scent circle and then the serpentines.  Chimay picked up really quickly on this, and by his second serpentine was moving really well.
 They are near the end of their second serpentine track.  Again, notice the head/nose right down there.
 Chimay downs at the article, and Carrie briefly holds it up to show us.  In case you can't really see...Chimay is a lovely Bouvier.
 I had laid a short TDX type track for Reese in an adjoining field.  A beautiful large moose had run into the field from the back, and by the time I got my camera, he spotted me, turned, and ran off before I got the picture.  Darn!  He did not run into the area I was laying the track, although it would have been one of those opportune training moments. (this was before laying the track) Working lovely along this leg.
 We had decided previous to my laying the track, to mark corners in advance with flags, at various distances ahead.  The idea was, if Rosemary noticed the flags, she knew a corner was coming, but not "where" it was.  This just gave her the opportunity (as it was training) to really watch Reese carefully for loss of track, how she handled the corner, any obvious body language, etc.  In the picture above, Reese had passed it, and then circled back around Rosemary and in front to find the track again, and she was off.
 There was an article up this leg, and Rees lies down on it, waiting for Rosemary to come and praise and pick it up.
 I made a corner turning close the ditch here.  Now, because it was TDX, it could have gone through the ditch.  It turned right and paralleled the ditch for a distance.  Reese really wanted to go into the ditch.  So Rosemary had to make a choice, or figure out what Reese was doing...was she tracking through the ditch, or did she just want to go into it.  It smelled good, I'm sure.  So she held her ground until Reese finally gave up and took the leg and moved off, correctly down the leg.
 The track crosses the road, you can see the flags on the other side.  They are waiting for the car to continue until it is safe to cross.  Reese worked nicely across it.
 I had dropped an article while laying the track, leaving me without the final one.  It had gotten hot, so I took off my coat, folded it up, and left it at the end.  What a bonus!
Reese worked (using her nose!) almost right to it, before actually "seeing" it.  She did really well on the track. 
Lying down at 'the article' and Rosemary is rewarding Reese with treats she had in her pocket.  All the dogs did well with a variety of things we worked on.  It was a good day!