Thank you for the feedback.
Just for reference, I have dense ground, for lack of a better word. So I am digging a hole for the teaball to sit in, and then covering the top about 1/2 way, so it’s still accessible, but it is ground level. What is interesting is she finds the buried hides first and then one that is just sitting out in the open takes longer for her to source. That happened the first time I did buried as well, when I had the tripod malfunction. Is that because the disturbed dirt “smell” is more of an attractant?
With the patio hides, this also happens in nosework as well, she did check out the broom hide and the back right one, then went for what I consider the two easiest for her and then worked the other 3.
As for the icky spot that she was avoiding. I am not sure what goes through her head sometimes. There is a holly tree there and it’s possible she got pricked by a leaf, but she runs around that tree like a lunatic when she thinks something is in it. She did avoidance behavior in the video from post #71085 as well, when she wouldn’t go up to the tree where I had the hide at the base. Again never had been an issue interacting with the tree or the base. She will do that in the house as well. Has no problem walking in one area, and the next day she avoids it and goes out of her way to go around it.
When we do nosework trials or practices in new areas, I actually have her wear her Thundershirt and I have debated doing that with the truffle practice, but with doing the hides at home in familiar areas I wasn’t sure if it was necessary. But may try that as well.
In any case, will follow your suggestion and do the praise when she first finds the buried hide and see what we get.