Haha, Sue! IT DEPENDS! 😀

In the “reinforcing stage” I am not leaving the hide, the dog is not leaving, I’ve not re-cued the dog, he dog is indicating multiple times at the same hide. Generally this is when we’ve had some setbacks and I want to reinforce staying at source.

USUALLY, If the dog is searching and finds a hide, I pay the dog (he leaves with toy, I bring him BACK to the hide so I can take back the toy) and re-cue from that hide. If he goes back to that same hide in a short time I don’t normally re-pay. My thought is the dog just wants payment again w/o working for it. If the dog is searching and searching for additional hides and comes back to that same hide I will likely pay again and either end the search or have the dog continue hunting if I know there are other hides. In that case I want to reassure the dog he’s still in the game.

To me it’s a matter of whether the dog thinks there are no more hides but has TRIED to find them vs going back again and again just to get paid w/o trying. It depends. And each dog will be different in their dedication of finding new odor. Some won’t keep trying if “it’s too hard.” In Gracie’s case in the last search it was hard for her so I would pay her again (as you did) for going back to a hide she already found. If she kept going back w/o trying to find that additional high hide I might stop paying and try to figure out how to give her success w/the hard hide.

It’s part of the pendulum swing of repaying at a hide vs having them keep hunting.

Does that help clarify? Sometimes I know what I mean but it doesn’t always come out that way. 🙂

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training