As we all know, K9NW dogs are taught to “go to source” and the handler needs to be able identify exactly where the source is if asked by a judge at a NW1 Trial. If you cannot immediately pinpoint based on your dog’s behavior, you will not pass that element. So, “going to source” is an important component to this K9 sport but it is really just a learned skill to the dog — the dog really doesn’t care where he makes his decision and pinpointing source initially makes little difference to the dog.
To help our dog learn, delivery of reward over source educates the dog as to where he is to make his “find-decision.” Another way of understanding the importance of “reward-delivery-location” is by watching the following Streaming Video of Mike Ellis, one of the preeminent trainers of our generation, and his theory of reward placement:
I would say that “learning to pinpoint source location” is a “gray” area for the dog initially but, once the dog learns to pinpoint, it is black and white. So be very conscious of “where” you reward your dog!!!☺☺