Linda Bath

    “Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!”

    Excellent questions and reminders. Gives me a lot to think about.

    Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? Always. Gives Molly something to do while we are waiting and reminds her why we are here.
    What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? Depends on how long we have been waiting and how Molly is reacting for the day. Sometimes I just let her sniff around, other times she lays down, sometimes do some sits, downs, just for the treats. Want her to know what is in the bag. Lol
    Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? Until this year, never did. Learning it is important.
    Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? Molly starts with it on, but I switch at the start line or outside from collar to harness.
    What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash? Never done it off leash. Have to think about that.
    Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions? Yes. I’m guessing that I should be watching Molly to see if she is on odor.
    Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? Yes
    Do you have a start line routine? Yes. I ask Molly if she is ready. Give her a pat. Breath and say find it.
    Kiss the dog’s head?
    Make them sit?
    Get them on your left/right/center?
    Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward?
    Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance?
    Do you stop at the start line or walk through? Try to stop at the start line, but sometimes Molly is raring to go.
    Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? Ha Ha …Try to rev her up. Her demeanor at trial is so different from practice. Probably from my nerves.
    Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? Most times I release her. I ask her if she is ready, then say find it.
    Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space? Hmmm never thought about it.
    Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? Working on it.
    Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? Hmmm
    Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? Depends on Molly. She loves vehicles and usually goes straight to the vehicle. In the beginning I never told her to search until we were on the vehicle.
    Do you have a plan for the search? Usually, but it doesn’t play out that way if Molly has a different plan.
    Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? Just learning that
    Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? Ready to search or on odor. Just starting to look for the on odor.
    There are so many considerations for the beginning of a search! How do YOU begin?