This is the first in my series of Hide Highlights. Some hides are just SO cool to watch being solved that it deserves a highlight!
This search was in a school auditorium during one of my local Elite classes. I always try to have one hide deeper into a row to see if it will grab a dog in from the aisle since teams can’t realistically cover every row. I used one of the shorter row section. First, it’s an easy to remember location from the “judges” view. Second, my hope is that it would be an area a dog could more easily work the odor to source. Often with hides like this the judge will have a larger yes zone, treating the hide like an inaccessible if the dog was a few rows off.
I had 7 dogs run this search (which included my own dogs). 1 dog alerted at the very bottom of the seats where odor would be moving 4 rows down (end of yellow arrow). My dog Drac gave a weak alert/interest in the same location and then worked it back up row by row. Alerting “down slope” of a hide like that is an honest response to a perceived inaccessible hide. It’s always good information to know if our dogs will work through spatial challenges to get as close as they can to source.
Spider is being highlighted for solving this with ease! He showed some really cool spatial problem solving skills. When he first encounters odor, he likely is picking up the outer edges of the odor “cone” and knows it is moving down away from him. I found it fascinating how he solved it! Drac’s portion is also shown. He picked up odor down by the stage and then worked it up through the rows. What was interesting is that Drac slowed up at each part in the rows that were directly down from the hide at 51s and 59s. Spider did the same thing at 15s catching odor down from the actual hide. Both dogs were confident they could get all the way to source.
Remember, dogs know the difference between actual source and a lower gradient further way from source. This and other contrasts in NW are covered in my upcoming Creating Clarity with Contrast NW class at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Check out my syllabus and sample lecture. Class starts August 1st.