Water Hides Part 2
A few days ago I started Iona on water hides and she had a hard time and alerted using her eyes and not her nose. So I taught her these hides from scratch (see the last post). Yesterday, I continued to progress the training and it went well with an unexpected twist. I think that using fresh AKC strength q-tips really made a big difference. I hypothesize that with the fresh q-tips, the oil actually makes it into the water.
So Iona’s first run was pretty easy. Just the shell game using the full sized water boxes (with no water). You can see the paw coming out on the last search. When I started training her with buried hides, I marked the paw once and now she almost always scratches for hides on the ground.
So next a filled the boxes with just a little bit of water. You have to watch Iona’s reaction! I mark the first pass early so she doesn’t paw it. Then she gets two paws in and doesn’t know what to do. Finally, she drinks the water! At the time, I thought it was because she was thirsty, but I think that she was just trying to get to source I am sure that she got odor in her mouth.
Next, I put about two inches of water in each box. You can see that I try to mark her early again, but…. Yep, she licks up the water on the very first run 🙂 and then on several after. She even gets a hot foot on the last run!
At the time, I was concerned about her getting into the water and contaminating the search area. However, I think that the process of her getting into the water and drinking the odor water was really important for her learning process. I think that drinking the water really helped her understand the CONCEPT that a hide can be under the water in a container. Next post, I will show her runs with the screens on top. She rocks them..