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In your first lesson, I am going to be somewhat specific; Because you’re working on CONFIDENCE in addition to other things, I’d like to start with that aspect. If you can locate a decent sized interior search area, I’d like you to place 6-8 hides in a search area with the hides no less than 5 feet apart. Keep them no higher than nose-height.
This will be an off-leash search for Molly. You will be pre-loaded (if possible) with multiple rewards in your hand and have a QUICK way to gather more for more rewards.
Release Molly and as soon as she is showing signals that she has found a hide you will RUSH in to pay her. Do not wait for a look or other communication! The idea is to race her to the hide and when she gets there she is quickly rewarded. When you release her to find the next hide you can stand in front of the hide she just found but don’t worry about body-blocking, just encourage her to keep working. She has MANY reward opportunities!
If Molly does not find all the hides or if she keeps going back to hides she’s already found don’t worry about it! Just pay her each time and end your search around the 3 minute mark. You can move away from a hide if you think it will draw her in an area to find more. What I’m looking for is how quickly she finds odor, whether she proceeds to look for more or defaults to an existing hide and how her enthusiasm and energy is throughout the entire search. 🙂
(Note: If you can’t find an Interior area to accommodate, work in an Exterior on leash but try not to direct her.)
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