Kimberly Buchanan

Ok, let’s take a look at this search….

Based on the direction of the fluff in the air, it appears Lily begins up-wind. Her inclination is to sniff the ground and track whatever is there. My guess is that she’s not yet detected odor (up-wind) so she does what dogs do, sniff the ground.

At about the (1:00) mark, Lily catches something on the foliage and turns back towards what we know to be an elevated hide. She cruises past the chair and finds the hide on the covered BBQ(?) instead. We have a hide spill (it happens) so that takes a few moments to pick up and then get Lily back to searching.

Lily again heads far down-wind, catches odor again and looks back. Again, she passes the chair. Notices chair, notices bird feeder. I think, after watching this a couple of times, it looks like you are in the exact area where Lily needs to use the environment (bushes) to help her solve the problem. Note how she’s trying to get to the bushes behind you (2:27) and comes to a standstill.

The BBQ/Chair seem to be converging and hitting the area where you are located for much of the search. GOOD JOB staying out of her way but just something that I see as Lily is trying to figure it all out. In this case I don’t think you should have paid her at the (2:05) mark (you didn’t) and I don’t think you should have led her to the bird feeder with food. I think Lily just needed a bit more time to work out the problem and something seems to be distracting her below the feeder. She will have better learning if she does that but I realize in the time crunch of a video where you’d want to step in. She wasn’t giving up, tho’.

Note that Lily comes back to the BBQ and then fairly quickly solves the chair problem. Good work!

One other thing to note: I knew exactly where the chair hide was based on YOUR behavior. I saw you start to move in to pay Lily at (2:04) and then stop when she didn’t stay there. However, it is something to think on. If *I* saw that, consider what the dog sees in the middle of a search and how much that could cue that dog?

Anyhow, I think what we’re seeing is a complicated search area that Lily just needs more time to solve. I might set up more converging odor problems with pairing so Lily can self-reward without you being so close. Hides would obviously need to be reachable but we can see that Lily clearly has no issue going up. Similar to the ground hides, let’s see what Lily finds challenging. Something to think about. 🙂

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training