With another nose work class later in the day, we kept our morning romp short. I kept an eye on Queen Pouncer to avoid another repeat of our weekend's adventure. Kona still made off with some sneak exploring.
Kona's Sunday class went better than I expected. We were out in the parking lot again for more vehicle searches. I hadn't practiced at all with Kona and didn't know if she would remember anything from the previous week or if we'd be starting from scratch.
She needed help a few times when she got nervous and forgot what she was doing, but a few taps on the van and guiding her with the leash helped her to reengage her nose. She found the odor much more quickly and seemed to know that she was there to work, unlike last week when she was pretty lost.
She whined a couple of times and yanked me back to the car after every turn, but she still manged to work...in a parking lot!
During today's mixed class, the dogs learned how to alert when they found the odor. It's not a hard skill for the dogs to learn, but I won't have Kona practice it anymore for quite some time. It's still more important for her to want to find the odor at this point. We'll worry about the fancy stuff later.
It was fun to watch the more advanced dogs practice their alerts. One young sibe gets so excited that she play bows. She's learning a more formal sit, but I think it would be fun to reinforce the bow.
The highlight for me today was taking Kona across the parking lot where three or four people from one of the neighboring businesses were sitting outside. She saw them and they made her nervous, but she didn't panic. Six months ago, that probably would have sent her over the top.
She also did one exterior search. During her turn, a man in a shop yard came into view through the fence where Kona searched. Kona stopped to take note of him, but I didn't notice her stress levels rise. If I were to show you a video of Kona during class I'm sure everyone would say, "That's one anxious dog." But the fact that Kona can engage her nose, or willingly approach a classmate, makes me one proud Kona mom.