Kimberly Buchanan

    So your challenges you set for these exercises:
    * Motivation and excitement at the start line
    * On leash search
    * Blind search (last 2)
    * Exterior environment
    * Small search area

    So I would agree that you accomplished success with Bryce on these searches. He does start to check out around the (:55) mark. I’m guessing because he’s checked the area and not found source. His nose was working so he was either trying to decide where odor was coming from or checking out some distraction in that direction? He got back to work and did find the last hide but only when he passed it downwind!

    So there are a few things to think about;

    First thing to consider is to NOT call “alert” when you get to a known hide. It can be a cue for the dog just like “yes” and if you’re wrong you’ve just told the dog they’re correct and they’re getting paid and then you have to take it back. It can be confusing for the dog. You might try other language or a “look” at your hide setter to see if you’re correct.

    Secondly, don’t forget your corners. 🙂 In the last search you had a hide that Bryce needed to access from the downwind side and it happened to be a corner hide which is why he missed it a couple of times. I know why you stayed in the middle but consider moving a little bit so he has access to checking all parts of the search.

    And lastly, consider not doing too many blind searches at this stage since you want to be able to race in and pay Bryce when he’s correct. His indication was very nice in these searches! But if the challenges get harder he may not be as strong and you mentioned in the beginning that keeping him motivated has been a challenge. Don’t forget the motivation comes from successful searches so you want to make sure he’s confident and “up” throughout the search. 🙂

    Kimberly Buchanan
    Joyride K9 Dog Training