Exercise 2-6: Maze Search
Dog navigates a maze of objects to locate an accessible hide. Using objects to create a maze, the dog must demonstrate they can navigate spatial depth to locate target odor. The dog is required to make 2 turns before locating odor.
Purpose: Demonstrates dog is able to source odor and spatial problem solving
Age of Hide: Recommend 10 minutes minimum
Number of Hides: 1
Search Area: Any suitable location where objects can be used to set up a maze.
Hide Placement: Handler’s Choice. Accessible hide requiring dog to make multiple turns to locate the hide. The hide should not be placed deep into an area.
On/Off Leash: Off leash unless in unsafe area
Required Calls: Handler must say “Alert” or raise hand when their dog has communicated they have found target odor. The Alert call must come before rewarding your dog and should be the handler’s first confirmation of their dog finding the hide.
Exercise set-up: Using any objects including furniture, barriers, x-pens or ring gating, create a maze that the dog must work through to get to source. Minor obstacles can be used such as a low jump. The maze must be set up so there is more than one path available to the dog. The start line should be set up so that it does not lead the dog directly down a path to the hide location. The dog will be required to problem solve where the source of odor is by encountering other paths, dead ends or unproductive turns (for example we don’t want to see a setup that resembles a cattle chute). The maze should also be set up so that the dog can reach the hide without having to push deep into an area. The dog is required to make at least 2 turns that show an obvious change of direction. One hide is placed per guidelines. Search begins when the handler cues the dog to search. Dog and/or handler must cross the start line. Search ends when the handler signals an “Alert” call.
Scoring: Pass/Not yet
Non-qualifiers: Odor paired with food; dog makes less than 2 turns to find hide; handler points to hide; dog does not show change in behavior at source; dog exhibits an unproductive (false) indication; dog retrieves hide; scent aids fall out from hide placement; exposed scent aids (not in vessel) placed in search area; dog eliminates during search; search parameters not met; incorrectly placed hide; incorrect call; Dog is rewarded before handler makes an alert call; Scent vessel not hidden and visible to dog or the human eye; handler is out of view a majority of the search time. Dog dislodges hide during search.
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Additional sample of Level 2, Exercise 6