Susanne Howarth

Whew! It has been a busy couple of weeks “up North,” such that I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to do Nose Work with Little B — we’ve been having too much fun doing other things, like hiking through the woods. As a result, I’m just getting a chance to review and think about your comments.

First off, in answer to your question about Blackie, yes, this year she had to stay home with Daddy, so it’s been a Mommy and Little B vacation in the north woods.

Regarding pairing: yup. I understand that by definition “pairing” infers accessible hides such that the dog can self-reward. In this particular vehicle search, I intended for all but one of them to be accessible — if Biscuit got up on her hind legs. I figured that working a combination of accessible/paired hides with one inaccessible was OK? I put the meatball on the inaccessible hide so that I would reward more quickly. Am I understanding you to say that you think we should ONLY be pairing/accessible hides at this point? I figured that a mix of the two made sense — especially when she’s searching really well like this.

Now, my big disappointment from today is that we set up a really fun search this evening on the beach, which we did off leash. (My intent for searching off leash was to see how she set her pace when I was mostly out of the picture in terms of choices. It included 2 inaccessible and 3 accessible/paired hides, and my friend videotaped it for us. Unfortunately, I succeeded in completely deleting that video from all devices instead of uploading it to YouTube!!! BOO!!! If possible, I’ll perhaps try to set a similar one up tomorrow morning, before we go to the airport — we’re heading home tomorrow in order to compete on Saturday morning in Burbank!

One of the things that has pleased me the most with the practice we’ve done on this trip is that although all of our searches have been outdoors in highly distracting locales, with a high pee potential, we have not had any problem whatsoever with that, nor has she been more than mildly distracted by being in the woods. What a good little girl she is!