Kimberly Buchanan

So much fun to watch Baxter search! 🙂

This is quite a complicated search but (a) You know where the hides are so you can support your dog as needed and (b) IT LOOKS LIKE FUN!! 🙂

In the beginning we see Baxter coming outside of the search area (in front) to investigate the shelving and you do not pull him off his quest. This is good IMO! You allow him to work odor as needed. The video starts after he crosses the start line so I have to assume he did cross between the cones? (For trial purposes this is important. 😉 )

Your distance from Baxter is great. He works independently and you are able to get a good view of what is happening by not being on top of him.

First tip: After Baxter finds the first hide (chair) you tell him to “find more” and move several steps into the search area. This is a GOOD MOVE if the dog is novice and tends to stick to the first hide. However, you and Baxter are a more advanced team and you need to start thinking about Baxter working from one hide to the next. My recommendation would be to pay Baxter and STAY AT THE HIDE while verbally telling him to “find more.” That way you are not directing him in which way to go or pushing him off another hide which he COULD possibly get from the first. I’m confident Baxter will go off on his own w/o your body pressure to influence.

Baxter does make his way to the back wall and works the hide on the Xpen. Unfortunately we’re zoomed in from there on out so we don’t see the whole picture as Baxter starts to work the post hide. Your observations are very good. And what’s interesting is that as he works the post he catches the hide at the base of the wall. Then he works to the pole hide.

One other thing I noticed (Tip 2) is that Baxter never gets into the corners of the space. You have objects filling the room and obviously you know where the hides are in this search. I would, however, encourage you to work those corners and edges. If a hide had been on the dark chair in the upper right and the wind was blowing towards the corner, he may have missed that one. Especially since there is a DOOR there (think air flow). Yes, Baxter got the Xpen and the Wall hides (yeah!) but corners are not only possible hide locations that may not be detected further out, they are collection points for odor so consider them PRODUCTIVE areas. It is easiest to encourage the dog to check those through strategic and successful hide placements in practice so the dogs naturally investigate those places and you don’t have to manage them. If you note from Sarah/Angie’s Elite trial video, Angie also doesn’t naturally go into the corners or work the edges so she did end up missing a hide. Great searcher but just didn’t go into a necessary location.

Lots of good stuff here! But now we need to step up the game! 😉

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training