NW Hide Highlight #4 – Crack Hides

September 5, 2023
This is the fourth in my series of Hide Highlights. Some hides are just SO cool to watch being solved that it deserves a highlight!

We all love a good crack hide! We see them more and more in trials. It’s also a skill I teach earlier in my program.

Our dogs are naturals at it. Handlers? We can be so focused on objects and not see our dog working odor and pull them off working a ground/crack hide.

I will admit they didn’t seem easy at first, but with better training, we do better as a team! Teaching our dogs to work odor in empty areas and doing air scenting setups are keys to your success!

Stella is being highlighted on how well she worked this crack hide! We are at the same splash park from the last highlight installment. It was amazing to see how much odor would collect on the plastic bags around the water stations. Stella did a great job working the odor to source and Nancy was patient to let it play out! Love how Stella works odor off the plastic object and zigs and zags to find source! Good girl Stella!


Since we are talking about crack hides … here is a fun one that Moxie found at a recent Elite trial. It took me many trials to learn to relax and let the dog work it out! I first thought high hide, then low hide, then at 35s I notice the cracks and realized that it’s likely a crack hide based on her behavior ! This was also a “don’t go back”. Once I went inside, I could not come back out. There is some pressure with that – not rushing but also not using up too much time either!


Go set some crack hides!


  1. L Bradley

    Thank you so much for publishing these. It’s so amazing to watch the dog’s work the scent cone to source.

  2. Cindy Pond

    It is amazing to watch her work that scent — and she does go high to low and to corner (but, no odor there!) and circles back to the crack hide. So, do they typically spill odor all over due to the wind or just what was going on there? She was very diligent about working it out, staying in the odor and getting the job done. Cindy

    • Julie Symons

      Being slightly in the sun it rose up … and then the sun line would change over the runs so if it had been in the shade it would move out closer to ground explaining the high and low checking! It’s fascinating!

  3. Barb Naab Dobner

    Very cool and enlightening! will keep that in mind if we ever get into a trial! LOL
    Barb and Sammy