Kimberly Buchanan

You know, the sad thing is that I do remember this search, I just don’t remember where I put my copy of our videos! ๐Ÿ™

Ok, so Bodie figures out the station wagon quickly and then heads to the truck. Nice! Your instinct to “go around” was obviously a good one, based on her behavior. This is where you could have stepped in and insist Bodie go around to check before leaving. It is a good example of participating in the search vs. following the dog. YES, Bodie has the nose but you know there is time pressure and you know that it’s more efficient to cover/clear a vehicle while you’re there. Otherwise it really doesn’t matter. In a way, you were a good handler and followed your dog, responding to her movements. BUT, you have to weigh the value of bouncing between vehicles following her vs trying to be more efficient. It can be a fine line and an in-the-moment decision. As you head into Elite, you may not have the luxury of extra time.

So Bodie goes back to where she left of on the truck and whether you took a step first or she did, you eventually make your way around to the back and she finds the second hide. Nice front cross around the (1:06) mark ๐Ÿ™‚ and at that point you took the lead to make sure she checked the white car. It’s hard to see but it looks like you needed to do another front cross to keep her on the car around (1:18). Coming up the side she darts to the truck, comes back between the two parallel vehicles and you finish out the red station wagon again, calling finish and having found both hides correctly.

There is, however, one place Bodie never checked. She keeps being drawn to the odor on the truck and skips it a few times. It’s a place where hide placement and wind can mean that many dogs would potentially miss a hide were it placed there. Any thoughts? ๐Ÿ˜‰

FWIW, I don’t see Bodie searching much differently on Vehicles than she did on Containers. She starts on a path but diverges and bounces around a lot in a search, which you support. This seems to be her natural search style. Not sure if it’s a Lab thing, my dogs do the same. Maybe it’s a high energy dog thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

What you might experiment with a bit is trying somewhat of a pattern on vehicles. Rather than follow her, give her the option of a direction then do a little bit of leading in the search, using your body pressure and a shorter leash to keep her ON the vehicle as she is passing along, just to be sure she covers each vehicle while you’re there. Obviously, if you see a change of behavior, back off and let her sort it out but after she solves the problem, go back to your path. See if that helps her begin to detail a bit more efficiently. This may/may not have the desired effect but you would have a chance to learn whether more management of the search might help. Knowing where the hides are located you could see if a stronger presence from you will negatively impact her. It would be an interesting thing to try. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training