Sarah Woodruff

    when I was preparing for our recent trial my goal was to condition my dog working in the heat and exposing her to problems that have cooked in the heat. I would leave my house around 11am, set hides, then we would take a 45min to 1 hr walk on a shaded bike path but still warm and humid. Then we would run the hides. So the the hides had time to cook and spread out in the search area, and my dog got the experience of searching for hides after being hot and tired. Tried to simulate staging and walking up to a search in heat.

    I have also set hides in the afternoon and ran them. Then left them out knowing a rain storm or some other major weather change would happen over night and then went the next morning to run again.

    I also teach 3 classes in a row on Sundays and have seen major weather changes within 3 hours effect the hides. One time it was amount of wind and direction. Another time, a storm can thru and dropped a ton of rain in about 5 minutes, so humidity and moisture changes. Even though these were unplanned hide placement and environmental changes it was extremely educational. I shared with all my students sample videos from each class and explained the difference in the environment from hour to hour and how the problems worked differently with each class.

    Some examples I can think of off the top of my head. On a windy day, place a hide in wheel well of car upwind of another car. See how dog works blank car or even opposite wheel well where the odor is blowing into. Do they indicate on the opposite wheel well or work it back to source? You can do this at a variety of time intervals (5 min, 1 hr, 4 hr cook time).
    Placing a low hide at the bottom of a post or fence on a hot day, let it sit 10-30 min. I’ve had it happen where my dog indicates high instead of working it back to the ground.
    Put a hide in a crack on concrete, see how they work that. Then put the same hide out before or during a rain storm. Let it site for up to an hour and see how the dogs use puddles or mini rivers of water to track back to source.
    Containers are a great example. Can set up a container search and if you let it sit for some time you could see pooling or fringing on containers close to the source. I like to set up interior and container searches in our training studio with the AC on. We try and point out what is happening with the odor or what could be causing problems. Then I’ll turn the AC off and we see a whole different search. You can do the same with a fan. For interiors I like to do this when I have set up multiple converging odor problems. for vehicles I’ll set a hide on my car at night (when i put the trash out) and then when I take my dog out in the morning to potty I’ll have her search my car. That really shows how the odor has been trapping and pooling on the garage door, flower pots, driveway, etc etc.