~JOYRIDE K9 *REMOTE* K9NW EDUCATION~

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    • #7818
      Kimberly Buchanan
      Keymaster

        “Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!”

        This is one of my mantras. These are three things I feel can never garner enough attention. In my classes we continually revisit these in some form or another and I encourage you to do the same.

        The first I’d like to discuss is the Start Line and Threshold for your search as well as what leads up to that point. What do you think about when you approach the start line? Is it all second nature by now or do you need to revisit and mentally prepare for it every time?

        Here are a few things to think about:

        • Do you use the warm-up boxes or not?
        • What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue?
        • Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area?
        • Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search?
        • What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash?
        • Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions?
        • Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying?
        • Do you have a start line routine?
          • 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?
          • ETC.
        • Do you stop at the start line or walk through?
        • Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm?
        • Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go?
        • Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space?
        • Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold?
        • Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared?
        • Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle?
        • Do you have a plan for the search?
        • Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space?
        • Is your dog READY when you release them to begin?

        There are so many considerations for the beginning of a search! How do YOU begin?

        Sneak peek: Lesson 2 will put this to the test! 🙂

         

        Kimberly Buchanan
        Joyride K9 Dog Training

      • #7835
        Donna Ewing
        Participant

          Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!

          Here are a few things to think about:

          Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? ​Yes I use the warm up boxes.

          What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? ​Play with my dog, talking to him/her, giving him/her tiny treats

          Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? No, but I am talking to him/her the whole time

          Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? Experimenting with this right now. Don’t change it for Darcie. For Bryce, changing as we are walking to the start line (trying not to stop while doing this)

          What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off leash? Haven’t attempted this yet, but I suspect I will roll it in my hand the same as when I’m at the start line (in case I need to clip it back on during the search)

          Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions. ​Yes

          Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? ​Mostly, I really try and concentrate on what they are saying

          Do you have a start line routine? For Bryce – No
          ​Kiss the dog’s head?​ No
          ​Make them sit? No
          ​Get them on your left/right/center? Get them on my left
          ​Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward? No
          ​Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance? No
          Etc. I haven’t truly come up with a start line routine yet for Bryce – still experimenting with this. For Darcie, I whisper in her ear ‘can you smell it?’ to give her a chance to calm down and catalog where the hides are

          Do you stop at the start line or walk through? For Bryce I am walking right through for now

          Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? For Bryce right now I try and rev up. He is excited up to the start line and then slows way down after I tell him to find it.

          Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? For Bryce we just walk up to and through the start line.

          Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an interior space? ​No

          Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? Yes

          Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? ​Step in behind my dog

          Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? ​From the line

          Do you have a plan for the search? Not normally – normally follow the dog

          Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? No – I need to learn more about this

          Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? ​Bryce is not. This is one of the things we really need help with right now – I honestly think at times he doesn’t know what his job is or why we are there.

        • #7843
          Holly Hoover
          Participant

            The answer to each of these questions depends on which of my dogs I am working. Hummmmm what will I do with Pax….. this has given me a lot to think about.

          • #7849
            Susanne Howarth
            Participant

              Interesting to see the mention of corners, since that was one of the challenges I chose for our first video — and I hadn’t yet read this thread! Anyhow, thinking about your questions:

              With Biscuit, we usually do stop at the warm-up boxes, as she seems to like to find that super simple box and get rewarded. However, I’ve learned that the boxes can be a distraction for Blackie: by the third search of the day, she’s looking at me as if I’m crazy for asking her to find the same stupid hide in the same stupid smashed in box. It’s almost as if she starts second-guessing what I want: I’ve asked her to do them so many times, I must want something other than a simple alert, so what could it be???

              As we are waiting for our turn, and moving from crating area to staging area to search area, I just try to focus on my girl and watch what she is doing. If we have to wait at a staging area, I may have her do tricks, since that is a part of our usual pre-agility run routine, and I think it calms her and shows whatever gate volunteers are there just how stinkin’ cute she can be! (Showing off like that also calms ME, which is good!)

              When actually approaching the start line, I definitely try to watch my dog, and then to allow her to cross the line on her terms, whenever she is ready. We do NOT do a formal sit or wait at the start line, but perhaps could do a better job of checking for threshold hide, in particular since Biscuit isn’t all that fast a searcher. And similarly, we don’t do anything to try to rev her up — although she’s not a speed demon, I’d be afraid that revving her up might simply result in dashing past odor.

              As for where we put on our search vest, I try to do that just before we walk the final distance to the start line — e.g., at the final staging area. I’ve tried to instill in my girls the idea that we do NOT pee or poop when the nose work vest is on, and therefore, I try to keep that vest off except for during actual searches — i.e., it goes on at the last minute and comes off as soon as we leave the search area.

              As for what to do with the leash when working off leash, I hold it coiled in my left hand so that it’s ready in case I need to leash her up.

              Regarding planning the search, I usually have some kind of very vague game plan in mind at the start line, but I try to let my partner dictate where we go. After all, she’s the only one of the two of us who has a clue as to where the odor is! I figure my role is to follow her lead and try to be sure we cover the area fully. That’s clearly a skill we need to develop better!

            • #7853
              Terry Wright and Kai
              Participant

                “Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!”

                This is one of my mantras. These are three things I feel can never garner enough attention. In my classes we continually revisit these in some form or another and I encourage you to do the same.

                The first I’d like to discuss is the Start Line and Threshold for your search as well as what leads up to that point.

                What do you think about when you approach the start line?
                I am thinking of the search area. What is in front of us.

                Is it all second nature by now or do you need to revisit and mentally prepare for it every time?
                I revisit it each time, as the area’s are always different.

                Here are a few things to think about:

                • Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? No, Taku ignores them (not sure if its stress or he is excited), like he doesn’t know what to do with them. He just wants to keep going forward, like he is going for walk 🙂

                • What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? I’m usually nervous, I might talk with the person in the staging area.

                • Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? Yes, my eyes on Taku and what he is doing, to get him lined up, and I’m also looking into the search area.

                • Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? I don’t wear anything different. Taku will have his harness and red bandana on when we leave the vehicle when our number is up.

                • What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash? So far in trials I haven’t done any off leash searches, I assume that I’d wind it up so I could put it my left hand.

                • Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions? Yes

                • Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? Yes, but doesn’t mean that 2 seconds later I’ve not forgotten what was said. 😉

                • Do you have a start line routine?
                • Get them on your left/right/center? Depends on how the search area is set up on which side I put Taku on, and in some cases it doesn’t matter.

                • Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward? No

                • Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance? Sometimes if I don’t feel rushed will give him a couple of pats.

                After he has looked around a bit, and then turns he head towards the search area I give him his cue to *find it*

                • Do you stop at the start line or walk through? Stop

                • Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? I’ve not tried to rev Taku up, don’t know how to rev him up, not sure what that would look like LOL!

                • Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? I release

                • Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space? No

                • Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? I usually do try to have Taku check out thresholds and then let the leash out as needed.

                • Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? Step in behind or to the side of him as he goes forward.

                • Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? From the start line. Habit. I’ve been told and need to practice it more to move closer to the vehicle and then give my *find it* cue.

                • Do you have a plan for the search? After doing the walk thru I think I have some kind of plan in mind. Doesn’t always go that way in the actual search.

                • Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? I do for vehicles for the most part, and if rooms have windows open or fans blowing, again for the most part.

                • Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? NO, I don’t really think he is, I often wonder if he even knows why he is there???

                There are so many considerations for the beginning of a search! How do YOU begin?
                Sneak peek: Lesson 2 will put this to the test!

                Terry Wright

              • #7855
                Carolyn Murray
                Participant

                  Some of these items depends on the dog. Some of them I work to be consistent with both dogs. I answered thinking of Cooper more than Scout.

                  Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? Only to reward my dog on the hot box. I don’t make them search.

                  What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? In the past I’ve allowed trial nerves to take over. In the future I’m going to make more of an effort to watch my dog and interact with them

                  Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? Not the way I’ve practiced doing that this summer.

                  Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? I take the martingale leash off just prior to the start line.

                  What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash? Cooper will never work off leash in a trial situation.

                  Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions? I have in the past and never will again.

                  Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? No.

                  Do you have a start line routine? Usually just take a moment at the start line and watch the dog.

                  Do you stop at the start line or walk through? Stop

                  Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? No revving. I wait until they are at least looking towards the search area.

                  Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? I release.

                  Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space? Not on purpose.

                  Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? Yes, a work in progress.

                  Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? Try to clear threshold but it’s a work in progress. Sometimes I forget.

                  Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? Depends on the wind.

                  Do you have a plan for the search? Sometimes.

                  Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? I like to think I do, but do I really in reality??

                  Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? Sometimes.

                • #7860
                  Gina Baker
                  Spectator

                    “Thresholds, Corners & Edges, OH MY!”
                    Kalli and I

                    • Do you use the warm-up boxes or not?
                    Yes, but I don’t have Kalli search – we just go over to the hot and when she sniffs, I treat.

                    • What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? Problem area for me – I am still so nervous that we just stand there and not engaging – I am trying to change that

                    • Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area?
                    No, not really – I am watching the environment because she can be reactive

                    • Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search?
                    I have just started to change leashes – I change at the first waiting area before search. I put her short leash in a pouch on my treat bag apron type thing

                    • What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash?
                    Hold it

                    • Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions?
                    Yes

                    • Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying?
                    Not always

                    • Do you have a start line routine?
                    Trying to get more into a routine. I am now talking to her to giving her a nice chest pat. But, I do always bring her to the start line on the side that has less people – so she can be on my left or right
                    I try to remember to take a deep breath

                    • Do you stop at the start line or walk through?
                    Stop at the start line to give her a chance to take it all in and for me to take a breath

                    • Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm?
                    Just wait till she seems to look towards the search area

                    • Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go?
                    I release her

                    • Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space?
                    No, but I have been standing farther back from the start line so she may pick up threshold hides better and can see the search area better

                    • Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold?
                    I try to pay it out

                    • Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared?
                    Depends on how tight the space is – small room, yes I step in behind her – outside I will hang back

                    • Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle?
                    Begin the search from the line and let her lead.

                    • Do you have a plan for the search?
                    No not usually – she usually determines where we go

                    • Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space?
                    No…..still too nervous to think that way

                    • Is your dog READY when you release them to begin?
                    I try to release her when she is looking toward the search area

                  • #7867
                    Kimberly Buchanan
                    Keymaster

                      I put together this initial list of things to think about at the threshold, not considering that folks would answer each question. But COOL that you all did! I love that you really considered everything with your own searches. I’ll give it a bit and let others chime in who haven’t yet and then I’ll go thru the list and give you some advice with what *I* see as important to consider. 🙂

                      Kimberly Buchanan
                      Joyride K9 Dog Training

                    • #7917
                      Linda Bath
                      Participant

                        “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?
                        ETC.
                        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?

                      • #7918
                        Kathryn Dobyns
                        Participant

                          Ok, I will play (easier to do this at the office on the PC than on my ipad at home!)

                          •Do you use the warm-up boxes or not?
                          I typically take Hunter to the hot box and reward at the odor – I don’t ask him to search them.

                          •What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue?
                          I will pet Hunter, maybe do a few tricks and I encourage volunteers/friends to pet him – he loves the attention!

                          •Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area?
                          Always, even if just in my peripheral vision.

                          •Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search?
                          Hunter wears his nosework harness most of the day – I take it off if we have a long break between searches, but otherwise, he is wearing it in his kennel in the car. I may or may not take it off for a potty walk – I just use the short leash on his collar for the potty walks and walking to the search areas. I usually change him to his searching leash on his harness at the final staging area or while talking to the gate/judge’s steward.

                          •What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash?
                          I hold it – I have had to put Hunter back on leash in an NW2 to get him to leave a hide and move on to find the other. (and my shorter walking leash is already stuffed in a pocket)

                          •Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions?
                          I try not to.

                          •Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying?
                          I honestly don’t know – it has been almost a year since we trialed last!

                          •Do you have a start line routine?
                          It is a work in progress!

                          •Kiss the dog’s head?
                          No!

                          •Make them sit?
                          I don’t ask him to but he often offers a sit.

                          •Get them on your left/right/center?
                          Typically he is pulling in front of me, but we tend to start with him on my left. (obedience habit)

                          •Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward?
                          He generally gets a piece of the good stuff before we start – usually at the final briefing area or as we approach the start line.

                          •Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance?
                          Not so much.

                          •Do you stop at the start line or walk through?
                          I typically hold Hunter by the harness a foot or two behind the start line until he is focusing forward (into the search area)

                          •Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm?
                          No revving needed for Nosework! I’m usually looking for an instant of calm attention forward.

                          •Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go?
                          Release – he is usually ready to go well before we hit the start line! (I rarely use a verbal search cue – just the “okay” release)

                          •Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space?
                          We are just starting to experiment with this.

                          •Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold?
                          If it is an off-leash option, I am trying to hold him briefly by the harness at the threshold, then let him go (so leash is off before we start)

                          •Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared?
                          I am trying to stay well behind him. If the room is small I try to remain at the doorway unless I need to press him into a corner somewhere.

                          •Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle?
                          I am starting to pay the leash out a little on the way to the first vehicle, but I try to start he “search” at the vehicle.

                          •Do you have a plan for the search?
                          I generally have the mindset of start on the perimeter and try to work the whole area from the outside edge. If needed, cross through the middle in 1 or 2 directions to ensure the area has been covered. If Hunter pulls in a different direction from my plan, then I follow him and try to get back to my plan when possible or rework it on the fly.

                          •Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space?
                          Not usually.

                          •Is your dog READY when you release them to begin?
                          If he is not, then there is something way wrong with my dog!

                        • #7955
                          Kimberly Buchanan
                          Keymaster

                            So these were the questions I posed to you. They were more rhetorical but it was actually good to see what your responses were. I’ll give you some of my thoughts on each of them and maybe the information will be helpful. 🙂

                            Q: Do you use the warm-up boxes or not?
                            A: This is a very individual thing. I *do* use them with my dog but it’s more about ritual than prepping my dog. We do so many activities it’s good to get them centered. I think it’s a good way to reinforce odor before you search but it’s certainly not mandatory and if your dog doesn’t show the kind of obedience you are hoping for it can be rattling. I will share that with Emmy’s first trial she didn’t quite seem to recognize odor when we went to the practice boxes. Yikes! 😉

                            Q: What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue?
                            A: Again, highly individualized. I tend to do a little OB or play with my dog but I will end up putting my dog in a down for calming – of me! 🙂 I’m a nervous competitor so I don’t actually like to chat with the stewards but will make polite conversation if needed. I’m trying to practice some “zen” to get my head in the game.

                            Q: Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area?
                            A: YES! At least I try to remember to do this. There is a line where the time starts but the search might actually begin for your dog well before that time.

                            Q: Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search?
                            A: Well before the approach to the start line. If you’re futzing with the leash/harness/collar/whatever you are taking your dog’s focus off of the search in front of you and squandering much valuable observation time.

                            Q: What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash?
                            A: Always keep it with you. Do not set it down or give it to someone. I made the mistake once of leaving my leash outside the search area door. Exiting was in a different direction! Fortunately I didn’t need the leash for that search but if I had I’d have been out of luck!

                            Q: Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions?
                            A: It’s OK not to look at the steward! You should be paying attention to your dog as much as possible. Of course there are times when a review of your boundaries is necessary – and especially with the Element trials where there is no walk thru. But it is desirable to keep one eye on your dog to be in tune with their body language – catching scent or even those dogs who may be a little anxious about something in the area. Good to know. 🙂

                            Q: Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying?
                            A: It is very hard to do all that you need to do to prep for the search AND pay attention to the steward. It’s normal. I don’t even know who the ring crew was when I’m working my dog.

                            Q: Do you have a start line routine?
                            A: For me I take a deep breath for a calm start with the dog in front, scanning the search area.

                            Q: Kiss the dog’s head?
                            A: I do not. Some people like to love on their dog before a search. I would advise it’s not a problem, as long as the dog does not lose focus, tho’ it might help the handler to relax.

                            Q: Make them sit?
                            A: “No Obedience Zone” is something we talk about. This might just put the dog into another state of mind. BUT, it might calm an otherwise excitable dog. I would caution against an excited release, tho’, as well.

                            Q: Get them on your left/right/center?
                            A: I want my dog in the center, slightly ahead of me.

                            Q: Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward?
                            A: I do not, tho’ if I’m rewarding with toys I might be using it in the queue. Similarly with food. It’s not so much to show them the reward but to calm the nerves (mine!) with something routine.

                            Q: Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance?
                            A: Not before the search but in the queue. Again, for calming me. 😉

                            Q: Do you stop at the start line or walk through?
                            A: I stop at the start for my dogs but it can be very beneficial for some dogs to NOT stop. Rather than squelch the drive for the search just keep going as you approach.

                            Q: Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm?
                            A: NO REVVING FOR MY DOGS! But I have seen some dogs who were TOO calm who might get happier if they felt the handler was happy. Remember, that tension runs down the leash so think about your dog’s mental state, as well.

                            Q: Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go?
                            A: Choosing the moment to release your dog can be hard to determine. Be aware the rules have changed and there is no longer the “10 seconds” at the start line. You may “take a moment” to start. If you do not you may have the judge urge you to begin and that might interrupt your concentration. I do bring my dogs to the start line and they choose when to go without me saying anything. If I feel they’re not going to make a decision I will give the cue.

                            Q: Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space?
                            A: This is a strategy that works for some people to give the dog a bit more information at the start. I suggest you let the timer know because it is hard on the timer who isn’t sure if YOU know that time has begun! 🙂

                            Q: Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold?
                            A: This might help some dogs who tend to bolt forward. Some people use a leash that is not clipped but slips thru the collar as the dog progresses further.

                            Q: Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared?
                            A: Keep in mind that your body pressure could push the dog into the space and they might MISS information at the threshold area. Or they may notice it but are more responsive to your “pushing” them into the room and not tell you about it! Tricky when the threshold is an interior space with a door directly from the outside.

                            Q: Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle?
                            A: Walking right up to a vehicle before giving the queue is a strategy that might work if your dog is not quite focused on the vehicles. Especially if the start line is quite far away.

                            Q: Do you have a plan for the search?
                            A: Ah, best laid plans! 😉 I would suggest whatever you do, to remember to check the threshold, corners and edges (oh my)! 🙂

                            Q: Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space?
                            A: This usually becomes much more second nature the longer you do this activity. It’s good to “practice” reminding yourself which will sometimes help explain why your dog works the hides the way they do.

                            Q: Is your dog READY when you release them to begin?
                            A: I’ve seen many teams rush off the start line when the dog is clearly distracted. Some dogs do need to make a quick circuit around a search area to feel “safe” before they will begin searching. Others have ants in their pants and just want to bolt into the area! Once again, consider your dog’s mental state and what you can do to support them from the beginning of your search.

                            I hope this was helpful! 🙂

                            Kimberly Buchanan
                            Joyride K9 Dog Training

                          • #7999
                            Stefanie Alexander
                            Participant

                              Sorry for my delayed response. Just worked on interior thresholds with Prim and my answers to these questions don’t always pan out in real life. Translated: I don’t want a dichotomy between theory and practice; I need to focus!

                              *Do you use the warm-up boxes or not? Yes.
                              *What do you do as you wait for your turn in the queue? Yoga breath. It is always important to remember to breathe.
                              *Do you watch your dog as you are walking up to the search area? Yes.
                              *Where do you change your equipment if it’s different for the search? Before the line.
                              *What do you do with your leash if you choose to run your dog off-leash? Carry it in my other hand–always has been on leash thus far.
                              *Do you take your eyes off your dog as you listen to the steward’s instructions? Try not to.
                              *Can you hear and comprehend what the steward is saying? Yes, but due to nerves, I usually perceive a slow motion deal like the Charlie Brown teacher’s voice. (Wa-wa-wawa-wa!)
                              *Do you have a start line routine? I try to. Access. Breathe. Watch dog. Wait for her to look at me. Say “seek.”
                              *Kiss the dog’s head? Never.
                              *Make them sit? Never.
                              *Get them on your left/right/center? Usually left; an obedience vestige?
                              *Give your dog a treat and/or show them the reward? No.
                              *Do you stroke your dog for calm assurance? No
                              *Do you stop at the start line or walk through? Walk through.
                              *Do you rev them up or wait until they’re calm? Calm/ focused.
                              *Do you release your dog or do they choose when to go? I release.
                              *Do you let your dog’s head go OVER the start line in order to give them a better assessment of an Interior space? No.
                              *Do you begin on leash and slowly pay it out so they first investigate the threshold? That sounds like a great strategy.
                              *Do you step in behind your dog or do you wait until that threshold is cleared? I try not to crowd.
                              *Do you begin a Vehicle search from the line or do you go right up to the first vehicle? Line.
                              *Do you have a plan for the search? Yes, but during the search, I try to be flexible if need be.
                              *Do you think about the wind and air currents of the space? I try to.
                              *Is your dog READY when you release them to begin? I hope so, or it will be the longest search ever! 🙂

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