Water Hides Part 1

When AKC started scent work,  they made some changes to the familiar NACSW format.  Notably, they swapped a buried search for the vehicle search.  For Iona to get her Scent Work Masters title, she needs a masters title in Interior, Containers, Exteriors, and Buried.  She already has all her masters titles except one. We have a long way to go in Buried… 

Novice and Advanced buried searches consisted of boxes filled with sand with a hide at the bottom.  Excellent and Masters classes had the hide in the ground.  We got our advanced title, but we did not train or compete in those because of concern for soil born pathogens and because we just didn’t have a place to practice.  

AKC recently changed the rules so that now the classes have hides buried in sand and water, so we are back in the game, training on water boxes.  The good thing is that these searches are highly regulated so you can pretty much train to the test.  

I didn’t think that this search would be that difficult so I ran Iona on some friends boxes that were set up like a trial.  These are large rectangular plastic boxes with a tin in the bottom, 4 in of water on top and a screen over the whole container. I was surprised that instead of finding the hot box, she would look at the tin in the box, alert, then wait and see if she got paid, then move on to the next box until she finally hit the correct box.  This had never happened before, so I figured that we needed to train for this test from scratch. 

In a trial, the water boxes all have aquarium tubing in the bottom, so first I practiced some shell game with accessible aquarium tube hides. 

Then I put the aquarium tubing inside a container.  It was interesting to note that she had a hard time picking up odor here. 

And finally, I added just a little water to each container.  I made up some AKC strength Q-Tips for the next time we practice this.  I think that it will help her with the new concept. 

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