Kimberly Buchanan

I’ve been thinking about Molly’s search…

Part of the criteria is for you to rush in and pay fast – before Molly has a chance to give you signals. Why? Because it is not about the communication but the motivation. The more you require of her the less motivated she potentially gets. We want her to build more independence so when you don’t know where hides are SHE will tell YOU!

Let’s break it down;

Molly begins the search with lots of enthusiasm. Yeah! She does a general check of the room and makes her way to the cooler hide. You don’t get there fast enough and she looks at you before payment. You also pay many times. I would pay once and move on. In some cases multiple rewards are good but for this exercise it’s about Molly taking the initiative and finding more. You also lure her off the hide which tells her the direction she is to go. SHE should be making that decision, especially with a lot of possible hides, so I would try not to direct if possible.

For the next hide I’d have paid her around (:53). She was at the location, no not exactly on, but you could see she’d located a hide. So you waited for her to get closer (which I understand) but you were in a position that made her slide a glance at you and then you paid a moment later.

The next hide you used a bridge of celebration as you went in to pay, which seemed to work pretty well, tho’ she did get a chance to look at you. Molly stayed and waited for her reward. (Good girl!) You did a good job standing in front of that hide and asking her to continue working. 🙂

It is a tough call when you have a dog who was injured but Molly didn’t seem to be bothered by the “no” when she tried to jump up on the bench. You can see she’s working the drawer odor. Maybe some of your lingering kit but she did figure the drawer soon so I’d say that was a lot of what was happening. I would have paid her immediately (2:51) but you asked her to source it again for you. And yes, again paying for her looking at you. 😉

Molly did a BEAUTIFUL job of locating the last hide! Really lovely! And you did race in to pay her, tho’ again she was able to look at you.

SO – what does this mean? Molly certainly enjoyed the search! Her attitude was up and she was paid well. However, I think she is still quite dependent upon you. Watch the video and see if you notice the same things I did. It is a fine balance of being too close to the dog to pay quickly (and thereby cuing the dog or distracting the dog) vs too far away to give them room and then rushing in, possibly startling or distracting them by doing that. 🙂

I think the hides were spaced just fine! SUPER fun search area!! What I would suggest is to try a similar search and PAIR the (accessible) hides. See if there is anything you notice differently in how Molly searches. You will not pay her again, so once she gets the initial paired reward she needs to move on to find more. TRY not to pick up the hides but IF you have to in order to get her to move on if might be necessary.

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training