Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fun for the girls & pretty fall colors!

Catty and I had a Nose Work seminar down in Auburn.  The location was on the grounds of Emerald Down Horse Racing track.  This is the third time we've been at Emerald Downs for a Nose Work event.  We earned our Nose Work 1 title here and it was the first venue we passed all four elements in UKC Nose Work. 
Catty says "Look what we are doing!"
We are waiting our turn to and it's a perfect time for some great photos!

"When is it my turn?!"

A relaxed, ready to search Catty girl

Catty does very well at Nose Work events even with dogs in the area. Being in proximity to dogs has not been easy for Catty. When we adopted Catty back in 2010 she was very reactive on leash.  It wasn't until about 3 years ago that we made a lot of progress around her leash reactivity.  This was because I got serious about working with Catty to give her different behaviors to chose from. With leash reactivity you can't do the work just halfway.  You have to be 100% committed to working the behavior modification plan and then do it.  Consistency is a key component to working through reactivity and really any behavioral change.
 I do believe that Catty now trusts that she's safe from the other dogs. She uses other behaviors when seeing dogs which I reinforce with food. And when doing Nose Work she knows she's going to have fun searching for odor.
Catty was warming up her nose rooting around in the leaves

"Enough with the pictures, lets go search!"

As usual, Catty and I had a lot of fun playing Nose Work. The instructor was great and there was a lot I took away from the seminar.  I will be applying these lessons (Catty already knows it all) at the end of November when we have our next Nose Work trial.

Since I'd been to this venue before, I knew the environmental layout so I brought Viva along.  This was an excellent decision!
Why was it great?  The sightlines and completely empty parking lots equal low stress environment.  This place is huge and a great place for a dog like Viva who is practicing new behavior when she hears/smells/sees other dogs in the area.  We are currently trying to avoid dogs unless they are planned out for us work with.
The bonus was that it was a beautiful morning and the big bonus was the fall colors of all the trees!  So many vibrant colors which means lots of pictures.
The parking lot area...

No one around!

While there are lots of parking lots to chose from, I picked this one because it's next to the horse barns. Can you say lots to smell!
Viva was very curious about all the smells.
The barns

After watching and smelling the area, Viva has her sights set on something else.

The beauty of a large vacant parking lot and a 50 ft long line. 
Run, Viva run!

She took off wanting to sniff whatever this was.

I move on down and call her.
"Here I come foster mom!"

Viva watching the barns

Off she goes...

On adventures like this I don't ask Viva to do much. I want her to have lots of options for decision making and choice.  We control so much of our dog's world, it's nice to let them make choices as long as those are safe choices.

Viva watching and thinking about where she wants to go next. I just stand there and once she decides, I follow behind.

There are a number of these little islands in the parking lot.

Pretty girl with a pretty backdrop

Off we go again.

She goes into hunting mode...

 I grab a treat out of pocket, toss it and say "find it". 
Smart, fast girl...
We do it again and she quickly finds the treat - you can see it in front of her nose.

"This is a ton of fun!"

This time I toss it further out and watch her hunt! 
Just across the street a train is rolling by and Viva could care less.
We played this game about six time and Viva was working hard while having a great time.

Once we were done with the game Viva wanted to head back over to the barn area.

I call her and silly, happy girl came a running!

Stay tune to see where we go next!

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