Ok, I’ve watched this a few times and my first question is whether you knew how many hides there were?

Let’s break it down;

At the beginning, you open the door for her but it doesn’t look like you give her much time to sniff the door seam before casting her off and she blasts into the room. You step in behind her and stay in the entry area so she circles the room and comes back, which is good.

At (:13) she seems to notice odor near the blue-checkered table but doesn’t stay with that problem. (Was it on that chair?) It could be she detected that odor and a point of convergence between the lock/handle and the next table. At (:24) she heads to the area of the lock/handle and raises her head near the trash can but doesn’t stay with the problem. Instead she comes back to you for help (:29). She looks like she caught the first table odor again and is working the counter area but then continues forward where she then follows scent to the end of the counter and indicates. In that whole process, I’d have put her on leash 2-3 possible places. If she won’t continue with a problem you could leash her when you see that change of behavior and have her continue working that region or “zone.” If she doesn’t find anything, either continue moving on leash to sweep the area or cut her loose again. Ideally, she will learn to not leave the area where she detects odor and keep working a problem.

It seems right now having 5 hides was a bit overwhelming for her to solve all the problems. I think that’s why she kept bouncing between the two odors she’d found: They were easy and you continued to pay her. I might have advised you not pay and ask her to keep working. Just be careful not to push her off a hide since there may be another odor nearby! We see some of that at (1:02) as she starts to work the handle hide but ends up going back to the ground hide and you move her along.

Continuing the search… Really nice change of behaviors starting at (1:08) and she finds the odor at the second blue-checkered table. 🙂

Angie heads towards the double doors and really seems to be trying to figure out this problem. This is a tough one because of where it is located (exiting doors) as well as near an easy hide she’d already gotten. She’s working the area and you support her well. She does get caught up on the ground a bit and then reverts to the previous hide. I would not have paid her right then. It seemed she got frustrated for not figuring out the “hard one” so went to the “easy one.” Did you feel that there was a second hide in that area? She kept returning to the area but also kept going to the first hide when she didn’t solve it.

So to work that area, you could have done a few things:
* Withheld payment for the multiple “finds”
* Stood in front of the hide or just changed your position (you do a little bit of that at 3:13)
* Put her on leash and helped her to detail the area w/o going back to the hide
* Stood against the wall creating a break for odor to collect (you’d kind of had to know there was odor there for sure to know where to stand)

It looks like she goes up to where the hide is but doesn’t commit (3:26).

At (4:06) she has another head-snap at the first blue-checkered table then circles it. It appears she then catches odor from the lock/handle and successfully works that one. So I’m curious what it was about the double-door hide specifically that was so hard for *her* when this hide in a seemingly similar location was solved? (Air current pulling odor OUT? Something else?)

You said you ended the search because of a loose dog, I think it was a good place to end anyhow. I would definitely work on the converging odor problem and set it up so she has to make a choice.

What are your thoughts, Sarah? What would you have done differently? What do you think will help Angie gain some more experience?

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training