Kimberly Buchanan

Regarding the 360-degree turn in the vehicle search, it’s hard to know. It could have been because you were too close to him, it could have been he was chasing odor or maybe even that he’s a dog who likes to spin/turn left? Hard to know!

I see a common pattern in these Exterior searches:
* You release Bryce
* You follow Bryce
* You wait for communication from Bryce

Bryce seems ready to work when you release him, even in the distracting environments so that’s great! I suggest, however, that you do not follow so closely behind him. Pay your line out and remain closer to the threshold. This gives a bit more independence and in a blind search it allows Bryce the ability to turn around to find a hide (hypothetically) closer to the line rather than you blocking it. If you don’t practice this with known hides you won’t do it in a search where you are anxious because it’s a test/trial.

I also suggest you not wait for the communication from Bryce, particularly in these distracting environments at this stage. He *is* doing well but I think as a FOUNDATION step, it’s important for this young dog to be paid quickly and without question when you know where the hide is. By not paying quickly you are giving him the opportunity to grab hides and/or paw at hides, both of which are bad habits brought about by late payment. He only did this on the last hide but this can be a problem that is exacerbated in blind searches since the handler is hesitant to call the alert.

The good news is that you’re not cuing him with an “alert” call, he’s looking like he knows odor is important and it pays and that YOU will be delivering it. I think his searching skills are not a problem but we’re not really putting them to the test in these searches. These were nice, short, motivational searches for him. 🙂

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training