Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!
Here are a few things to think about:
Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? Yes I use the warm up boxes.
What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? Play with my dog, talking to him/her, giving him/her tiny treats
Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? No, but I am talking to him/her the whole time
Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? Experimenting with this right now. Don’t change it for Darcie. For Bryce, changing as we are walking to the start line (trying not to stop while doing this)
What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off leash? Haven’t attempted this yet, but I suspect I will roll it in my hand the same as when I’m at the start line (in case I need to clip it back on during the search)
Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions. Yes
Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? Mostly, I really try and concentrate on what they are saying
Do you have a start line routine? For Bryce – No
Kiss the dog’s head? No
Make them sit? No
Get them on your left/right/center? Get them on my left
Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward? No
Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance? No
Etc. I haven’t truly come up with a start line routine yet for Bryce – still experimenting with this. For Darcie, I whisper in her ear ‘can you smell it?’ to give her a chance to calm down and catalog where the hides are
Do you stop at the start line or walk through? For Bryce I am walking right through for now
Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? For Bryce right now I try and rev up. He is excited up to the start line and then slows way down after I tell him to find it.
Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? For Bryce we just walk up to and through the start line.
Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an interior space? No
Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? Yes
Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? Step in behind my dog
Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? From the line
Do you have a plan for the search? Not normally – normally follow the dog
Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? No – I need to learn more about this
Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? Bryce is not. This is one of the things we really need help with right now – I honestly think at times he doesn’t know what his job is or why we are there.