Susanne Howarth

This morning, we awoke to a rainy day! Therefore, although we didn’t get moving quickly enough to practice while rain was actually falling, we were able to get out under cloudy skies, with wet pavement. This video includes clips of 7 exterior searches, using three hides, each of which had a different odor. Only one hide was out at a time and the hides varied in height, with two ground level hides, two high hides and 3 nose level hides. All in all, Biscuit rocked this element!

Search 1 is on the front lip of the trash can, just outside the sliding glass door. No problem here!

Search 2 is on the wall, just inside the gate to our side yard. The hide is actually about 15” above the low wall that runs along the garden in the side yard. However, Biscuit neutralized this height challenge by jumping up onto the low wall outside the search area. She finds the hide without even entering the search area proper, and just has a tiny bit of difficulty craning her neck around the wall to where she knows source is. I’m a bit slow rewarding on this one, because I was trying to figure out how to do it from source. I know it’s not difficult, but I was in an uncoordinated mood at the time!

Search 3 is under the front edge of the door mat. No trouble here!

Search 4 was another high hide – on the grey electric box just inside the gate. I expected this one to be more difficult than it was. However, you’ll see that even before I open the gate, Biscuit has already started lifting her head to where the hide is located! So much for my theory that she struggles with high hides!

Search 5 proved more difficult than I anticipated. The hide is placed on a drain spout, along the wall at the left of the picture. I defined my threshold as being where the front garden (along the right side of the frame) ends and the driveway begins. Biscuit initially blows right past this hide, and tests my leash handling skills – actually causing me to pay out all of my excessively long leash :-). She soon returns to the start line, and finds the hide within about 30 seconds. However, in hind sight, I wonder whether I stayed too close to the hide and may have telegraphed where it was located?

Search 6 is on the base of the broom at the left of the image. Although the hide was tucked in the bristles on the back, Biscuit finds the odor coming out of a hole on the top side. She says, “Super easy, Mom!”

Our final search really had me laughing. I’m not entirely certain whether she might have used her eyes to find the tin, which was on the frame of the sliding glass door. You’ll see that even before I open the door, she’s already pointing to where the hide is located, and when I do open the door, she hits it pretty much instantaneously. I don’t think the odor could have seeped into the house – I didn’t go in or out the threshold door after I set the hide, so it would have only been pulled into the house when I opened the door to let her out! Pretty funny, even if she did “cheat”!