Dave Ellison

    There are 2 (or maybe 3) areas I think we could have missed a hide. The front of the white car was never detailed, she is always drawn to the truck hide. If the odor from that area is moving toward the truck she’ll pick it up in the converging area with the truck hide, if it’s moving more toward the start line, she would have to get it from her pass one either side of the car. I think I should have presented the front of that car as we passed. One of the things that I need to be more aware of is that she is likely to be drawn back towards hides she has already found as we search nearby. She is quite good about not going back for a cookie, but she is frequently drawn away from a pattern by them. I’m at the stage now where I am usually late in recognizing that.

    The other area that I would worry about is the right front of the red car. She worked the area between the cars a couple of times, but never really detailed the right side of that car. She could have easily missed a hide there. One of the things we are working on a lot now is close together hides, she isn’t great at getting them quickly; she usually will get them after she goes away and comes back, it’s pretty inefficient and makes my life harder keeping track of what she has actually covered. However, I also need to work on my management of her search to take close hides into account. I am still relying on Bodie to get to odor too much (I just carry the cookies!).

    That last area I would worry about is the left rear corner of the truck. She can miss hides on the back side of the outward corners because of her momentum. She’s not really detailing the cars as she passes, she’s moving past sniffing for odor in the environment. Yes she probably would have pick it up when I got her back to truck with the front cross, but there was a lot of maneuvering there with a quick pass.

    On the plus side she can be quite good at picking up odor from far away and working it back. Unless the hides are difficult we can often get away with a sort of perimeter search approach to vehicles and containers. This can make me unaware of how I need to improve my handling since I can get away with stuff. Often she’ll skip areas in the search because there isn’t anything there, so I’m left feeling like I’m not helping her by directing the search. I need to think more about area coverage and not just getting the hides.