This week we are going to have your dogs start to search for odor in your small metal tin! Up to this point they have had a large visual cue where the odor, telling them where the odor is going to be. We are going to slowly take that away from them and watch their noses turn on! Some dogs will get this right away while others will take a little longer. It is important to move at your dog’s pace and make sure that your dog is always having success with the searches. If you set a hide that is too difficult for your dog, resist the urge to point it out or help them, but rather take them out of the search area, and reset the hide to make it easier.
1. We will start with the tin (with scented q-tips) inside of an open container. This will give the dog a nice visual target. By now, all the dogs should charge in and get this.
2. Next, put just the tin on the ground, but make it really easy. Your dog should get this, if they have a hard time, you can put the tin on a piece of paper so that they can see it easier.
3. Next start to “hide” the tin around the room. Make sure to keep it on the ground and keep your hides very easy.
If your dog is having success with ground level tin hides, you can start moving them up. It is nice if you can find an area where you can just stick them on to something magnetic! Try to get them to about nose height or a little higher. There is no need to go higher than that at this point.
It is important to note that all the hides you set should be accessible. This means that the dog should always be able to get their nose on source. Check out this lecture for more info