Kathryn Dobyns

So I think there were some interesting things going on in these searches!

Both search areas were set up simultaneously, so I think the interest in the lower left corner on both search 1 and 2 may have been the draw of the odor in the black bag in the other search area. I need to set something like this with only one active search…

On several occasions in all these searches he gave me the half-hearted look on non-source containers. This is something we struggle with in blind searches. When I know where the hides are, I can ignore him and keep going. In a blind search, I am much slower to call an alert in practice – I tend to look for either sticking at the source while I continue to move or leaving a container, checking the next one and returning – so I am calling on a second hit, not the first. Hunter is pretty forgiving about that, but I wonder if that is becoming part of his alert signal now.

On the second search, I repeated the pattern in the opposite direction for me – I know he will blow past hides on occasion, so I am trying to cover the area in one direction, turn and cover it from the other direction and then get out before he convinces me he found something that is not there…

On search 3 – thank you for pointing out that he wanted to go to the right from the get-go! I did not notice that at the time and did not pick up on that watching the video, either! That makes me understand a little better why he was so confused (and confusing!) in that search. I usually do let him choose the initial direction, and I think that typically works a lot better. He is willing to stick with a pattern once started, but he tends to go right (counterclockwise) just about all the time…

So after a bunch of tough container searches this week, I think maybe some simpler problems might be worthwhile – only 1 search set up, so no mingling of odor from separate search areas and go back to rapid reward for the initial interest in the source container – not waiting for formal alert behavior. I should be able to get my training partner to set up a blind search for me on Sunday – maybe not looking for definitive alerts there either, but have her tell me when to pay if I am slow to make a decision?

Containers are still hard for us!