NW590M.4: Advanced Testing

NW590M.4: Advanced Testing

Once you feel comfortable knowing the signals your dog gives when they are working a search area with no odor you might consider testing yourself and your dog by adding a bit more pressure to the search.

The purpose of this is to (a) show you what happens with your dog when they have additional stress during searching a blank area, (b) knowing what those stress triggers are and (c) get your dog more comfortable with those pressures in a controlled environment.

You’re going to do strange things in a trial. You’re nervous, maybe your dog is a bit on edge, things happen. So think about how you handle a search and what pressures you might inadvertently add in this situation.

Some things you might do (I strongly suggest you do not do all of these at the same time!):

  • Keep your dog in the search too long. WAY past that initial showing signals of no odor stage.u00a0
  • Point to objects and put focus in places you want your dog to check.
  • Stand still, maybe putting body pressure on your dog to stay or investigate.
  • Speak to your dog in a frustrated tone.

Just keep in mind that the Finish Cookie rewards should be plenty after putting pressure on your dog! And only do this if you are sure it won’t set back your training and make your dog question him/herself. Be sure to do a simple search with odor or have a hide waiting in another room and jackpot again.

I do believe dogs should learn to work thru pressure. As long as you avoid pushing them so far they begin to shut down it’s all productive learning! But keep those rewards coming and your dog happy! 🙂


By Kimberly Buchanan

Kimberly Buchanan CNWI