[quote] should we practice in different parts of the yard? It seems like the smell sticks around on the grass and she goes back to that area frequently when we are out playing etc. [/quote]
Yes, the odor does cling. Eventually this shouldn?t pose a problem as the criteria for what Cricket will alert on will be raised, but if you can, be aware that that is why she is lingering. If she does alert on a spot like that, you should give verbal communication of an affirmative, but we want Cricket to start processing that she doesn?t get reward for trace odor, only for source. If you?re out playing in that area, same thing? ?That?s right cricket, there was one there, good girl.? but she doesn?t get a food reward for that.
But while you are just starting to practice outside, you can avoid the issue a bit and build a reward history by doing it in slightly different spaces.
You did a great job on the last hide brining her back to stay with you.
Keep running these drills like this. I?d be curious to see her in a slightly larger area, or if instead of just one hot target, using two (smaller area), so you can move from one to the next and she can have a couple of successes in a row, not only that but I am curious to see how she would act when you allow her the opportunity to find more than one.