Kimberly Buchanan

You got it! 🙂

The spot in the video where Hunter was searching the sink, he worked that from (2:17-2:53), so well over 30 seconds and still couldn’t solve the problem. That could be due to a hide that just wasn’t coming out much and your choice to put him up and move the hide was good. BUT, I think there are ways to help Hunter get a hide like that without moving the hide.

Here’s what I’d like to experiment with;

Set up a search (garage or basement, whichever will work best) where you ONLY have hides in deep niches. Work the search off-leash and you move like you normally do. I LIKE that you let Hunter have the space, then go in and pay, then stay there until he gets to another hide. I use this in training and in fact did this as an exercise this past weekend with several classes. Hunter DOES go out and works the area with you at a distance. This is GREAT. BUT. 😉

Let’s do one search as I describe above and see how efficient Hunter works these niches. Don’t worry if he doesn’t get them all. See what he does in 3 minutes or so.

Next, depending on what Hunter did/did not get, set up a similar search and you’re going to give him 30 seconds to work the deep hides and if he’s skipping places, I want you to HELP him detail. First you’ll use your body pressure by just stepping closer to the space and non-verbally asking him to check deeper by your position. If that doesn’t work, step in further and maybe use more body movements (hand gestures, etc.) to get him to check an area. If that’s still not quite enough, add some verbals.

What I’m looking to see is what does it take for Hunter to check these deep niches? Is it merely exposure? Is it only when there are no hides that are easier? Is it that he needs you to be more present?

SO many things can happen in a search and the puzzle pieces that get put together for each individual team can be different. Hunter may need more support from you to check those areas, for whatever reason. Some dogs don’t like to go deep due to insecurity, some don’t have the experience, some want to keep an eye on the handler, etc. They just can’t tell us but we can try things to see what will help.

After we get thru this part, I have a next step but let’s see where this leads us first. 🙂

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training