Our first search was really simple, but with a twist. It consisted of two chairs, about 4 feet from the start line, with a hide on each chair. The twist was in the instructions - the dog had to be on leash and the handler couldn't pass the start line during the search. You could pass it only to reward at source, but then had to move back behind the start line. The idea was to see how the dog would respond if the handler didn't move with them and was behaving oddly.
Gimme thought this a piece of cake. She's absolutely certain she runs the universe and believes I'm not very competent, though acknowledges I do try hard. She has difficulty if I'm in a lot of pain, such as a severe migraine, but otherwise is confident to do what needs to be done without my "help". She did this so quickly and readily, I wasn't entirely sure she even noticed what I was doing (or not).
Our next three searches were in the
same exterior area at the side of the
building. We started with 6 chairs on
the sidewalk, two of which had odor.
Gimme spent a little time investigating,
but then quickly located the two hides.
They removed the two chairs with hides on them and then placed a hide in a low spot in the grass (between two trees) and on the fire hydrant. Gimme very quickly checked the remaining chairs and got a little stuck on the chair which was directly between the two hides. I suspect it had scent pooling on it. Once she decided it wasn't source, she then searched around it and got quickly to the hide in the grass. From there she went DIRECTLY to the hide on the hydrant. Often with converging odor, it can take them awhile to find the first hide, but going from there to the second one can be very direct - almost as if there is a written note telling them where to go next. I guess in a way, there is a note - one only the dogs can read.
For the last search, they brought back one of the hide chairs and placed a hide on the bottom of the mailbox. Gimme found the hide on the chair almost immediately. Then she searched around the tree between it and the mailbox and on the ground between them. The breeze was blowing toward the mailbox. When she happened to move past the mailbox, then she spun around and sourced within 5 seconds.
I love the way Dorothy is so very creative in setting up searches so the dogs get a lot of experience and learn all these things, without ever really leaving the area surrounding the training building. Other instructors place a lot of importance on taking field trips to gain novel experiences, but Dorothy does just fine without them.