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SOTMC-2016-February Lesson

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    • #5193
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      “Things Are Looking UP!”
      (Containers)

      For those of you who have participated in any of the Container Element trials you may have experienced some elevated Containers. It’s not something you’ll normally encounter in an NW trial but it is something you should practice so you are prepared.

      If you have never worked with elevated containers, I would recommend beginning with standard boxes. You can use a cart or chairs or other items to raise the containers off the floor at varying levels. I like to use chairs so the boxes are at nose height for most dogs. This is an indoor search. I would keep your Container search to 10-12 boxes to begin, spaced at least 4 feet apart.

      Options of this lesson:

      • In a straight row
      • In multiple rows
      • In a random configuration
      • One elevated hide and no others
      • A combination of elevated and low hides
      • Multiple elevated hides
      • Using containers other than boxes
        (BE SURE THEY VENTILATE!)
      • On vs. Off-leash

      As always I recommend starting out small and building slowly so your dog is set up for success from the beginning. Don’t add too many variables at a time. If you find the search becomes too challenging, put your dog away and adjust your search. Always end on a positive note with your dog’s success.

      If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this post.

      After you run your dog(s) START A NEW TOPIC and let us know how it worked for you! Was there a configuration that proved most challenging?  What was the environment of the search or other things that affected your dog? Did your dog work a pattern or did he bounce around? Be sure to describe your search area variations and tell us where you put the hide(s).

      Have fun! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #5286
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Quick question re: your statement that this is an interior search. I have a LOT more space available for exterior searches — back yard, front driveway, patio, etc. Any reason we can’t do this outside, using lawn furniture and/or walls to create the necessary elevation?

    • #5288
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      Because that *might* be something we will look at in March… (HINT)

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #5290
      Terry Wright and Kai
      Participant

      Susanne, I hear ya. I will move my car out of the garage and have to make do with that space 🙂 Have a tiny house (2 bedroom/1 bath), about 1200 SQ Ft.

      Outside in March could be a challenge up here… but will do what I can 🙂 🙂

      fun fun fun…

      Terry Wright

    • #5291
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      You guys can always reduce the number of containers! The point is to have some elevated and some not elevated and the dog start checking up! 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #5292
      Terry Wright and Kai
      Participant

      Yeah I was thinking I’d probably need to use less containers. I will be sure to have some elevated and some not 🙂
      Thanks!

      Terry Wright

    • #5293
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      So does a kitchen with a center island and breakfast nook work as a search area for this exercise? I’m thinking that might solve my space concern, although not so sure that the “container” aspect of the hides will necessarily be noticeable in this environment. (You’re clearly asking me to think outside the box this time, and I’m having challenges doing so!!!)

    • #5294
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      Sue, that’s too high. The dog needs to be able to access it realistically. Think dining chairs, Milk crates, bigger boxes, etc. 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #5295
      Susanne Howarth
      Participant

      Interesting point regarding the height of the counters and center island themselves. However, could I make the kitchen space itself work by opening drawers and and cabinets and putting the boxes either just inside the cabinet (on either the lowest shelf or even a slightly higher one) or setting them on the open drawer, so as to be closer to nose level for my girls? That would also allow me to use the chairs at the kitchen table, which seem to be acceptable… Or perhaps that adds just too much confusion and I’m better going into the dining room — which also has chairs and devising some other alternatives for the hides.

    • #5296
      Holly Hoover
      Participant

      I have actually done many of these lessons with Chyler. I introduced concepts she would need to do Interior searches (elevation, thresholds, corners, inaccessible hides, converging odor, etc.) using boxes and exercises like Kim describes. I experimented and did those ‘sexy hides’ Kim blogged about with Airyn. Both of my dogs are awesome hunters, but hunt very differently. Airyn is kind of a party hunter and Chyler is very direct and fast.

    • #5297
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      Sue: You can choose what you want but I would suggest you think about the dog and whether s/he will understand this is a Container search? When you start adding cabinets and drawers you are also adding challenges to the environment that are not at all what this lesson is about. I would not place any containers inside a cabinet and expect the dog to only alert on the container. The entire cabinet could fill with odor and what will you do when your dog indicates someplace other than the box? Your dog is not wrong. But this is not a Container search.

      Take 3 boxes. 2 on the ground, one with odor on a chair. Simple. Do not add complications where they are not needed.

      Once your dog has had experience and success checking up and down for CONTAINERS in a search you might want to expand but there are other ways to add challenges with just those parts. Think about the Alphabet Soup of containers and what those challenges brought. Closer together vs further apart. In a line. In a circle. Etc. Once your dog is having easy success just change the configuration.

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

    • #5314
      Holly Hoover
      Participant

      I am not very good at explaining myself… I did all of the exercises just as you described with Chy, she is a Container maniac. But then I went back to open boxes to introduce and reinforce other things. I don’t want to mess up the conversation so I’ll shut up. Derp!

    • #5389
      Deb (De) Frost
      Participant

      Kim, would it work for what you want to accomplish if I were to use my stairwell and upper hallway as a long container search area?

      It’s 5 steps up then a landing, turn left and 4 steps up then a 2nd landing, then 5 steps up to a long narrow hallway. I thought I could place chairs with boxes on them on the landings and along the hallway, and regulur (small) boxes on some of the steps.

      I think Bax would enjoy the hunt, but not sure it will accomplish what you want for the lesson?
      Hoping for a response here … I don’t want to set this up and THEN find out it wasn’t a helpful search …. ? Thanks!

    • #5442
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

      Hi Deb – sorry, I didn’t see your message until now.

      I think what you’re proposing adds even more of a challenge when you consider how far UP the odors will be from the bottom level and what those odors will do when they drop down? A hallway can be a bit tunnel for air current and the temperature will be different at the different levels, as well.

      Has Baxter done searches with boxes elevated on chairs or stools? (Sorry, can’t recall if we did that in a previous course with Baxter.) If the answer is no or you can’t remember the last time, I would recommend working that FIRST, just to get his mind thinking that the odor might be UP. No harm in starting simple. 😉

      As long as Baxter has the ability to get around the chairs and can access the boxes so he can actually put his nose on/close to the boxes and made a decision you could try it. Just keep in mind the complexity of the challenge you set up. Videotape it and if it ends up being a challenge maybe it’s a good one for Movie Week? 🙂

      Kimberly Buchanan
      Joyride K9 Dog Training

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