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- This topic has 5 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 05/24/2016 at 12:14 pm by Susanne Howarth.
05/22/2016 at 11:06 am #6462Kimberly BuchananKeymaster
Considering that the Exterior/Vehicle/Container searches WILL HAVE 1-3 hides each and that the Interior searches will have 0-3 hides, why is that difficult?
Joyride K9 Dog Training
05/22/2016 at 1:22 pm #6467Sarah SorlienParticipant
Right now when I know there is another hide Lily hasn’t found, I have her keep searching. She does eventually find it, but has often not given me any indication that there was a problem she couldn’t solve. The challenge is to know when to stop. You aren’t certain unless there are three… Of course you can use the clock to tell you when to stop, but that doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.
On the other hand, I have been working the low hides with Lily and she can have trouble with those. She clearly finds the odor but can’t source. Sometimes she is standing right on top of the hide! I can see from that if she seems to find something she can’t identify that is low I can help her by moving her around the area (because she is probably standing on it!)
I think (maybe) I can differentiate when she senses there is odor but can’t source it as different from when she has found them all. At least I hope I can. That seems to be the secret.
05/23/2016 at 12:23 pm #6479Stefanie AlexanderParticipant
I think trusting my dog is probably the most important. Oftentimes I get fixated that we need to do another perimeter search just to be certain there isn’t anything there, and as video shows when I’m practicing blind hides, Prim already has cataloged the room and is telling me that there isn’t anything. In my need to be sure, though, I slow her down. She, in turn, wants to please, and that is where our communication breaks down having “mis-reads” on my part.
Like Sarah and Lily, Prim and I have had difficulty with low hides. Prim seems little to me (as I grew up with Great Danes), but truthfully, she is a good-sized dog. I think she has a “blind” spot for low items and she is genuinely thrilled and delighted on those rare occasions when she literally walks into the hide and “accidentally” finds it. It’s as if a whole new dimension has opened up for her 🙂 We’ve been practicing low hides and I do believe she is doing better with them in the last 6 months or so.
05/23/2016 at 3:22 pm #6487Susanne HowarthParticipant
Another element to the difficulty of not knowing the number of hides arises due to the movement of odor. Yesterday, in one of the interior searches (for which I was a timer, NOT a competitor!), the hide was on a movable cart, next to a desk. The desk had two of those big fitness balls beneath it, and a rolling desk chair behind it, with the back of the chair to the wall. Several dogs found the hide on the cart and the handlers correctly alerted at that location. However, the dog moved on to sniff their way around the desk — sniffing the fitness balls, the opposite side of the desk, and around to the chair, looking as if they might be finding another close converging hide. The handlers who allowed their dogs to work all the way around the desk, behind the chair, and back to the cart figured out that it was just pooling odor from the hide on the cart. However, we had several handlers who decided that there must be something on the far side of the desk, and called a false alert. One of those falses was a mastiff, who couldn’t fit between chair and wall. When he stopped and looked back at his handler at that point, the handler took the look to be an alert, as opposed to an indication of “I can’t quite get through this tight spot — can you help me out?”
It did intrigue me to watch how quickly the dogs found all of the hides. In the two rooms that had hides yesterday, most dogs had found both hides within 20-40 seconds, but the owners then kept them searching for as much as 2-1/2 minutes more! (One team had my heart in my throat — making me not only call the thirty second alert for both rooms, but being within 1 or 2 seconds of timing out on both!!!)
I KNOW that Blackie — in particular — works very quickly. So I think I’m going to have to experiment with trusting my dog — as Stephanie says — and accept that she will find whatever is there very quickly!
05/23/2016 at 4:19 pm #6493Sarah SorlienParticipant
I appreciate your insights and experience, Susanne. I like to volunteer at trials as well. Unfortunately for good or bad I have a skill for score room so that is where I usually end up and don’t see so many searches.
05/24/2016 at 12:14 pm #6498Susanne HowarthParticipant
I hear you Sarah! I too have a talent for score room and have expressed a desire to train to be SRL. Although one theoretically can slip out to watch a few searches throughout the day even when in the score room, that rarely seems to happen — or at least, knowing how busy things will get in the afternoon, I usually don’t want to get behind earlier in the day! However, at this weekend’s trial, where I was volunteering two days, I asked to do score room one day and to be somewhere where I’d see stuff on the other. Happily, the trial host granted my wish! I’d encourage you to ask for the same option if possible — it’s a wonderful learning experience, especially if assigned as timer or videographer, where one gets to hear comments from the judge immediately following searches 🙂
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