Alright, apparently all I need to do is write out my problem here, have an epiphany, and then go home and practice. I went home last night and did some rounds just hiding the box slightly to progressively more difficult. She got it! Then today I made things a little harder and we had successful advanced hides.
My video is work from today.
Hide 1: I totally forgot to warm her up to the scent (bad human) and you can see how unsure she is. I think this shows me how much I need to do a quick scent imprinting round before starting. I almost always do, but missed it this time.
Hide 2: A new item – she’s never searched for a truffle scent in a camera bag before. She actually checks it out and it doesn’t ‘click’, she inspects the things she knows and then comes back and correctly alerts on the bag – yay Cricket!
Hide 3: Hidden behind the leg of the footrest. It was mostly out of sight, but not completely. I scared her when I came in to reward her, she jumps a little. I have to be careful of this!
Hide 4: I was so impressed here! I’ve never placed a box over in that area where I hid the tea ball, the tea ball was hidden almost completely out of sight in the rolled up carpet and she got it.
So – as always – the problem is the human. I just needed to figure out how to explain to her what we were doing without confusing her. I was so impressed by how hard she worked today and how well she did. I was worried I was pushing her too far with that last search (I edited out 3 or 4 other searches in the video), but she was game. I also love how when I say “All Done” she goes flying into her room to wait for another chance to search.
Photos of search spaces to follow. We’ll start in backyard I think, but there are a number of quiet fields at the University we can use too.