I would agree, Hunter spends a lot of time circling the room in a big loop around the area then back to circling the cluster of chairs in the corner. You were quite some distance from him. I couldn’t tell if he found a hide there but I think so? He starts towards the line of chairs against the wall. Notice how he bends to your body pressure at (:59)? He starts to work the chairs, sniffs the ground instead and passes them, then circles back towards the cluster in the corner (1:13). I know there are times it’s good to let the dog lead the way and not do too much directing but since he already solved (?) that problem, I’d have called him back before he got back to that area and asked him to keep working the row of chairs since he skipped them by sniffing the ground. By following him you appear to give him permission to keep working an area he’s already worked. So, while you do a very nice job of supporting, I think a little more influence might be helpful in this respect.

So he gets the hide under the chair and then in the niche near the tunnel and keeps working the perimeter nicely. When you see him skip the corner, I’d have called him back and asked him to check the area. So I think(?) Hunter gets the hide near the jump support at (2:26)? He then heads towards the teeter. That is another opportunity to get him back to the nearby corner he skipped. He does check the corner near the Teeter nicely, then looks about for you and comes back to the corner he skipped. I believe he then solves that problem – good! 🙂

You re-pay the hide near the jump support, Hunter does a Teeter (because it’s there 😉 ) then kind of looses focus. Your whistle was good to keep him closer to you and to continue working the middle area.

So in watching the video, I’m not sure allowing Hunter that much freedom in a large space is helpful for time’s sake. You might consider letting him do a once-around general to see if he shows any changes of behavior but then put him on leash. OR, practice working him as if he were on leash. Hunter does a grand job of working the room but he’s kind of scattered in his approach so you lose a lot of time. When you get to the Elite level, this will be a killer. Believe me, I make this same mistake with my dogs and then I kick myself for letting them bounce around too much. I’m working Zen on leash more because of this.

What are your thoughts?

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training