Exercise 4-4: Tight Space
This exercise tests the dog’s ability to work under spatial pressure and source a hide without impediment from the handler. The search is set up so that the hide is Accessible and is placed well into the tight area. The dog should need to reach a little to be able to get to the hide.
Purpose: Demonstrates that the dog can work while feeling spatial pressure from the area and source accurately even though the area may have pooling odor. Also, the handler needs to demonstrate that the dog can work independently by not directing or blocking the dog from parts of the search area but still work in the same tight search area as the handler.
Age of Hide: Recommend 10 minutes minimum
Number of Hides: 1
Search Area: Any suitable location. The open or working part of the search area must be at least 6 feet deep and be a maximim of 4 feet wide.
Hide Placement:The hide must be accessible and be placed in a way that requires the dog to stretch or manueuver through complicated or cluttered areas. The specific location must be obvious to the observer (i.e. the camera must be near the hide when the hide is shown). The video showing the hide must be continuously recorded.
On/Off Leash: On or Off Leash
Required Calls: Handler must say “Alert” or raise hand when their dog has communicated they have found target odor. The Alert call must be the handler’s first confirmation of their dog finding the hide. The Alert call must also come before rewarding your dog. “Finish” must be called to end the search.
Exercise set-up: One hide is placed per guidelines. Search begins when the handler cues the the dog to search. Dog and/or handler must cross the start line. Search ends when the handler calls “Finish.” The handler MUST show the hide in this exercise. This can be done either by removing the hide by hand and showing it to the camera or taking the camera to the hide location.
Scoring: Pass/Not yet
Non-qualifiers: Search parameters not met; odor paired with food; 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 dislodges hide during search; dog eliminates during search; Scent vessel not hidden and visible to dog or the human eye; incorrectly placed hide; incorrect call; Dog is rewarded before handler makes an alert call; handler is out of view a majority of the search time.
Tips: Consider your search area! Sometimes it will make sense to set your camera near the start line, sometimes closer to the deeper part of the search area. Make sure that the start line cones are visible!
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