Tim really took to the game and although in these videos he is still not 100% comfortable he was continuing to want to play the game and he was getting more and more comfortable each time he practiced.
You will notice I am not saying much or acting excited (even though on the inside I am always beaming when I watch my dogs work). Nosework is not a game that is meant to be energetic. I don't even have to ask Tim or Skip to "find it" or "search" as they know when they see the boxes that it means to search and find the box that, in this case, holds the reward. This is another part of the beauty of Nosework, the handler isn't teaching the dog anything, the dog is actually teaching the handler how he searches (many dogs search in unique ways). Our instructor Erica Wells reminds us frequently "trust your dog" and the more we get into doing Nosework with Skip and Tim the deeper I am coming to understand what a powerful statement that is.
|Tim waits patiently behind the gate for me to shuffle the boxes again, changing where the "dirty box" (the box with the food reward) is for him to search and find.|
In this video you see Tim sit in front of me and look at me for quite a while. At this point he was still not sure what he was supposed to do so he was checking in with me for direction. I didn't say anything or point him in the right direction and you can see the lightbulb go on in his head, he caught a whiff of the treats and turned on his own and started to search again. Sometimes we need to just let our dogs have a moment to think and process for them selves and Nosework really helps to remind us of this.
You will see that I put the treats in the corners of the box. This is only because I was wanting to push Tim's comfort zone a bit as I knew he needed to start to be comfortable with where the rewards were in the box in case in the class the treats were not always right in the middle. You can see he is not comfortable yet and he really tries to make sure he doesn't touch any of the boxes with his paws, but he is making progress.
|A definite Timken Lean showing me he is still not comfortable with putting his head in the box.|