Susanne Howarth

Thanks! Yes, Biscuit was definitely very enthusiastic about the searches we did while on vacation. Not sure to what extent this related to a LOT of pairing, or being an “only child,” or using steak/meatballs as a reward, but she definitely went at it with gusto! You’re also right that she stuck on the hides a bit more — though she sometimes decided on her own, “we already found it — I’ll move on to find the others.”

As for doing this search off leash, I really wanted to be able to observe what she did when left to her own devices. I think my leash handling skills are reasonably good, but if given the option of on or off leash, I pretty much always choose off leash — though as we discussed off-line earlier today, I can also see the value of possibly leashing my girl to support her more if she is having difficulty. I liked the ease with which my body pressure could call her back into the search area.

As for water searches, nope, we didn’t do any. Biscuit already thought I was crazy for making her get into that nasty wet water a couple of times! The first time I had her sit in my lap while I was sitting in a chair in the lake, she trembled nonstop for several minutes, even though she was perfectly dry!

So, now that we’re home, what do you recommend for ongoing practice and lessons? Shall we continue with the same type of numerous hides and pairing exercises we have been doing so far? Or shall we introduce any other elements to our work?