Kim and Sue – you have BOTH given me some good (*I* think!) ideas for a future group practice session. 🙂
Sue, when you mentioned an agility “walk thru”, I knew immediately what you were saying, and it popped into my head … what if we took a little time at practice, set up, say, a large, complicated interior or exterior search area – and each handler (sans dog) was TIMED (3:00) to detail the area. Do a “walk thru” of the area with no other plan than to figure out the best search pattern and use of time without having to worry about watching or following their dog. What would be their best strategy for covering the whole area? How would you get back to the threshold IF your dog overran it for the far corner and you needed to get back to it before time ran out? Did you get into the corners? High on the walls/bookshelves, under the tables?
Might be an interesting exercise for the handlers. Then again, it’s all pretty much out the window once you introduce the dog back into the picture, eh? Still, I think it might be educational, especially if the rest of the group chimed in with suggestions for each handler “running the course”. We do it in agility – why not nose work. 🙂
Hey, wouldn’t it be great if they let us do ACTUAL walk thrus of the search areas? <hehehe> Hmmm, lets look under – HERE! 😉 Just kidding.
We DO often time our practices, but we usually stop the clock when the team finds the hide(s), which means we seldom run the clock out. Maybe we SHOULD keep it running. Make the handler stay in/near the area and WAIT for that 3 minute call? It has also been a while since we’ve done one of the “more hides set out than you could possibly find in 3 minutes – how many can your dog find?!” I think I’ll add that back in. Definitely good practice and the dogs love it. Builds endurance too.