I was recently involved in a discussion about folks who talk about searches during a Nosework trial and it got me thinking… Maybe people don’t realize what they say can impact those around them?
We all know that we aren’t supposed to give anything away or to talk about the search. We don’t always realize though that any little factoid can get in our fellow competitors’ heads. This is especially true at the NW3 and up levels where you start to deal with unknown number of hides.
Let’s look at a few innocent comments that can really mess people up!
“I am not sure that I found them all.”
This sounds innocent! But a listener in NW3 will know immediately that you didn’t find 3 hides. If there are only 3 possible, and you found all 3, you wouldn’t make that comment!
“I think he false alerted on dog drool.”
Ok… again… this sounds innocent. But as a competitor I will start second guessing my own dog’s alerts… and I know that you didn’t find 3 hides.
“I can’t believe he peed!”
Ok. So this isn’t about the hides… but now you’ve told me that your dog peed in the search area. So now I will be thinking about pee, not Birch.
Seriously, ANYTHING that you say about your search can have detrimental impact.
Seriously, ANYTHING that you say about your search can have detrimental impact. You don’t have to be talking about the hides to give information away. We are all emotional after our searches, however for the good of our parking lot neighbor it’s imperative that you keep your thoughts and comments unspoken.
Very often I have friends in the parking lot who want to show their camaraderie and will ask me “How did it go?” when I return from a search. I have ONE answer… always… “We had fun.” That is all you need to tell people. Don’t tell them if you have No No’s or had a False Alert. Keep that to yourself. Just tell people that you had fun.
When I compete I work very hard to get into the right frame of mind.
When I compete I work very hard to get into the right frame of mind. I try to get “in the zone”. To do this, I can’t hear anything from you. I care. I truly, TRULY care how you did. I just can’t hear it until we are done.
So far, I’ve competed in 4 Summit Trials. Judd and I have placed 5th overall, 3rd overall, 5th overall, and 2nd overall… netting us three official titles. To title at Summit, you have to beat 80% of your fellow teams. These are teams that you spent more than a dozen Elite trials with… cheering each other on. You love the other teams. You love your friends and their dogs. In Summit the tables turn. Because of Judd’s health, we won’t be returning to the level in 2020. So I will wait until Brava is there. But I’ve felt it and I’ve experienced it. In Summit especially I don’t want to know if you’ve had a good or a bad day. Anything you say can and will get into my head.
We need to treat all trials like Summit Trials. Pick a stock answer. “We had fun” is PERFECT. Use it. Save the lamenting for after the Awards Ceremony.
I too just want to get into & stay in my own head at a trial, nw3 especially since it’s a mind game. I’ve been at trials where nearby is a lot of chatter, I put my earbuds in for music until my run is coming up & yes, I will come out if my she’ll to socialize a little but not utter a word about the trial at all. This always worked for me.
So true. I didn’t think it was such a big deal until it happened to me. Getting ready to go into a container search, an exhibitor coming back loudly said to her group of friends “he alerted on the box next to the right one”. Crap, now I’m thinking about a false alert. Not where I wanted to be in my head. During the search I made extra sure my dog was alerting on the correct box. He had it long before I called it. Not a good experience for him, or for me.
Thank you Stacy. I too just want to stay with my dog and be as relaxed a handler as possible. I have a party with my dog after a search regardless of how we did or think we did because I had the pleasure of watching her/him have fun sniffing. I just cannot listen to everything and stay relaxed.
Agreed! This is a great reminder. Thanks!
in Denmark we are not allowed to say anything to each other about the surch before everybody is finish.
I agree. The safest comment is about having fun, and it’s wise to have a stock response or be ready to change the subject if asked a followup question. I personally don’t mind when handlers say “no-nos” or if a dear friend has a terrible experience and privately needs a shoulder to cry on, but others could.
Some people think it’s okay to talk about a search once it’s over, but I disagree. Why? Hearing that somebody (thinks they) found two more hides than the listener did could affect his/her concentration in the remaining searches. In NACSW, wait until the CO posts the Element Summary Sheet, or in the case of Summit, until you know (I still feel bad about that, Stacy) the ribbons are awarded.
Thanks Nancy! Yeah, I’m ok with “No No’s” and have used that on occasion… my whole goal is to make sure that my dog is so supported as I come out of a search that other competitors can’t tell if it was a good or bad search. That has nothing to do with the other competitors… I just don’t want my dog to feel like a failure.
I agree… once the search is over… well the trial is still going! How you think you did in one search can affect your approach to the remaining searches… I don’t know what is so hard about just not talking about the searches before the trial is over! You can still socialize and talk… just not about the searches of the day!
I always use the thumb up or thumb down when asked about a search.