Kimberly Buchanan

The good news: You recognize the difference in body language of her “crittering” vs. hunting for odor. She does indeed find the one and only odor and tells you about it!

The not-so-good news: Molly spends way too much time crittering and investigating the environment (probably) without hunting for odor.

What to do?

Yes, practice a lot more in places of distraction! If you recall our SOTMC July lesson – Exteriors/Distractions. Really really need to work more of that with Molly. Purposely give her access to places where there have been lots of critters including cats/dogs/rats/livestock/etc. Begin slowly with simple searches, pair if needed. Give her a reason for hunting odor instead of crittering.

When you see Molly is working critter smells, understand that two things you need to think about and understand: (a) Does Molly need to investigate an environment to feel more confident before she searches? If no, proceed; (b) When Molly starts crittering, consider the possibility that she initially headed in a direction because of ODOR but was just distracted by something else = “crodoring.” What is that something else and how can you proof it?

If Molly is secure and just distracted you can use your leash to move her on (try not to correct but gently pull her along) and consider you may need to get BACK to the location if the answer to (b) above is yes. You can tap or touch her to interrupt the behavior. You can take her aside and re-start the whole search. But don’t let her self-reward with crittering.

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training