Susanne Howarth

Thanks! Yes, this search was early enough in the day (still not too hot), and she was still very excited to be playing the game again (after me being out of town for a couple weeks without her). The first time we went to the warmup boxes she RACED down the driveway and dragged me to them! The girl does love this game!

As for considering the white car to have been cleared? Yup. What you say is now totally obvious to me: we HAD circled that car completely prior to the first alert on the middle Kubota, so I should have taken it out of consideration. Instead, I felt like I’d seen unfulfilled interest and returned to it after finding the second hide. 20/20 hindsight tells me it was just odor drifting from the Kubota, and when she left the white car to go to that middle vehicle’s hide, I should have realized that there wasn’t anything on the white car.

As for her tail wag, yes, I think that is a pretty reliable “tell.” Although, she also gave me the look and tail wag on the wrong container… But there I think I “sold” her on it…

Regarding fair locations for hides, I think my “takeaways” here are (1) Yes, ask if it’s OK for the dog to get up onto a vehicle such as this (e.g., golf cart, farm truck, etc. with no doors), (2) It’s highly unlikely that the hide will be IN that open “cockpit,” but it could be up on the frame, over the dog’s head, such that by getting up there (if allowed) my tiny girls may have a better shot at locating the odor. In this case, the odor was probably blowing over the front of the vehicle and into that area, where it was likely pooling, which is probably what attracted her to jump up there in the first place.

Finally, yes, I do need to go back to videotaping all of our searches and calling my time guesstimates, to attempt to improve my skill at keeping track of time. It’s frustrating, because with Agility, I know that I can count on Biscuit to do a certain number of obstacles within the allotted time for the games classes, and I can adjust that estimate of how many obstacles to attempt based on time of day and how fast (or slow!) she’s been running. Here, I don’t have any of the same kinds of markers to teach me…