Just More of the Same Stuff... But DifferentNot every post will contain brilliant results and amazing performances. This post will be bringing you much of the same stuff as last post. Lots of interaction, some ball play, retrieval, meeting new people and building a few new behaviours.
The first video contains some very simple search exercises, with little for Nick to do but search. Very little distraction (compared to what he is used to), short distance, very dense grass/golden rod, etc. All 3 searches were completed in the same basic area but not within range of one another to create too much confusion through contamination (although I cannot smell what a dog smells so I could be wrong). The first search was completed off to the right hand side, was quite simple and Nick completed it with relative ease. The second however, found Nick patterning and attempting to search where he last found me, even though he saw me leave straight away from his kennel. He went to the area where he last found me and eventually worked his way to the left and hit my new track which he quickly picked up and followed in to find me. The third was set up as an attempt to completely stray from this pattern by giving him little choice as to which direction to go. This was (in hindsight) a great idea. It gave him the opportunity to move quickly toward my location without having to deal with the difficult long grass. As he ran past my location he immediately realized that he was off track, his head came up, he turned around, nose went down and he followed my trail right into my hiding spot. Perfect find.
Going forward, I will do more of these types of searches, keeping them short and simple. I will also be doing some short tracks on-lead to help him keep on track and keep his nose down a little as well as some other "shell games" to work his nose a bit.
I have been working on some obedience behaviours on the side to build some intensity and sharper response. It is working nicely, Nick is downing on request at 20' away but the best part is that when I release him he flies at me with great intensity giving me a great opportunity to reinforce a speedy recall. I really like building a strong behaviour that can be manipulated to benefit other behaviours that might otherwise be performed the same way.
One thing of note, Nick is growing up nicely. He appears to be entering a developmental period, some refer to it as a fear impact period where his awareness to objects in his environment or situations cause a different reaction than I am accustomed to seeing. Of course, I did anticipate this simply because all puppies seem to go through this at stages in their development. Nicks responses range from low woofing to piloerection to jumping back. So far every reaction is short-lived, especially if I advance towards the cause of his concern. Nick follows me in to investigate and the situation goes right back to normal. No ongoing barking, growling or carrying on and no avoidance. He is not one to become overly anxious or distraught. He appears to have great confidence in me and how I handle things so I am happy with that.
There is more video to post but right now I am just too busy and tired to get to it. I wanted to cover a number of topics including what Nick is being fed but just cannot find it in me right now.