Susanne Howarth

Yesterday afternoon we did part C of lesson 3, using my favorite faux-car. Once again, Blackie had to cope with distractions – this time, a neighbor walking up the street. Each of the three hides was a different odor, theoretically making it a bit easier. However, Blackie still seemed to struggle with the converging odor on the two wheels.

At :10, she hits and is rewarded for the hide in the sedan wheel well. She then is distracted by our neighbor, walking the street, and returns to the sedan wheel at :28. Next, she makes a counter-clockwise tour around the SUV, again returning to the sedan wheel at 1:14. By 1:20, the walking neighbor is close enough to warrant another warning from Blackie. At 1:27, she leaves both “real” cars and finds the hide on the white chair.

Finally around 1:43, I work her clockwise around the SUV, and she finds the third hide at 1:52.

Even with the distraction of the walker, I was rather surprised by how long it took Blackie to work out all three problems. Biscuit worked the same problem in less than a minute and a half. And even though all three hides were different odors, Blackie really struggled to differentiate between the two wheel well hides. (The sedan was birch, with fresh Qtips added just before setting the hide; the SUV was anise and a bit older, so perhaps I’ve just answered my own question?.)