Elevated Hides

When setting complex puzzles, it is important to think about elevation.   This includes high hides and low hides.  When placing elevated hides, keep in mind that if a hide is higher than your dog can reach, than it is considered inaccessible.  What is accessible to a Great Dane is inaccessible to a Chihuahua.  We want to start with accessible hides only.  Start your placements low and then work your way up.  It is ok if your dog stands on her hind legs to reach for the hides.  It is also ok if your dog keeps all 4 on the floor,  what we are looking for is a distinctive up sign from the dog.  

When a hide is elevated, the scent cone will often (but not always) ran down in a widening cone.  You will often times see the dog first pick up odor on the ground or on other objects in the room and then bracket it below the elevated hide, and finally work it back to the hide.  In the beginning, it is important to mark the up behavior as soon as your get it on the hide,  eventually you can start to delay it a bit.  

On rare occasions, the air will be rising by the hide creating a chimney effect, this can make it quite impossible for your dog to source the hide.  Sometimes this happens on a warm wall.  A smoke pen can help you figure this out after the fact.

On this search, the chimney effect made a relatively low hide almost impossible to source!

As your dog becomes proficient at elevated hides, you can start to add in some extreme elevation.  It is important to work your way up to these inaccessible elevated hides and also remember that the scent cone will widen as it descends.  Your dog might not alert directly underneath your hide and that is ok!  Here is a progression on how to train elevated hides. Make sure that the odor is falling in the room when you set up this training session.  

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