Julia Back

Goodness, you’ve given me a lot of things to consider! Thanks for such a detailed review.

First with the easy part – the paw has developed recently as we’ve been doing more (possibly too many) blind searches in class. I do try and get in before it on known hides, and it has not become a problem on vehicles yet, thank goodness, but I’m definitely aware of the possible faults. On the bbq, the hide was placed in the grease trap, so I was quite slow on the uptake!

I’m not sure about the head movement at :53. It certainly was a passing sniff of something that I didn’t catch, but with the strength and direction of the wind, I would be surprised if he was catching the trash can hide from there or from 2:06 onward on the forward columns, though I could be wrong, especially with the complex structure involved. I knew he was working something on the middle column (hence bringing him back), and I’m not sure what else it could be. The very subtle head tilts and looks from 2:06-2:13 I interpreted as keeping an eye on me and the videographer – I would love to be able to go back and find out if he’d have come back around to the perimeter on his own. 2:26 for me was a hopeful “Hey, did you smell that picnic table hide again?” 🙂

Looking at the video again I’m still a bit stumped as to how best to cover this area within time. Hopefully we do not get an area this big with 3 hides in a trial, but I know it’s possible. Certainly, as you said, covering the downwind perimeter better (i.e., going back to where we’d left off by the trash cans) would have helped us, and I will keep that in mind. I know if I gave Brody more leash, I’d have more time/space to watch his subtle signs (or let him turn), but it sure makes any sort of directing difficult, and you can see that at times he can become a bit aimless and plodding when not on much odor, primarily in exteriors. I guess maybe just recognizing that in large/long searches, using multiple high value rewards and having a big party might pick up his pace to what it was in the beginning? When I reward again at found hides (as you saw at 3:24) it’s usually pretty perfunctory and lower value.

Again, thanks for giving me so much to think about.