Multiple hides

I agree with Ron that the best thing you can do is simply remove the hide once the dog has found it because the dog is smart and knows it got super treats there once, so heck, why not try again! And a dog going back repeatedly to a hide is often a good indication that there are no other hides to be found. I do try to body block the dog but I find that assertive movements on the part of a handler in and around a hide can be intimating to some dogs, so I don’t like to do that very much. Sometimes I put the dog back on a leash but mostly I just remove the hide. Finally, if the dog does go back to a hide, I always err on rewarding the dog for the find again (i.e., protecting the proactive decision-making effort in the dog. :):):)) But I then remove the hide to prevent my having to repeatedly reward my dog because going back repeatedly to a hide is a real time sink and our NW trials are won based on the fastest time.

FWIW I do teach my dogs a command, “Find it. Another.” I emphasize the word “another” and, in time, my dog knows to find a second hide when I use the word “another.” I teach this in two ways. First, I will have the dog search an area for one hide. Once the dog finds the first hide and I am rewarding the dog, I have a helper place another strong hide upwind of my dog. I then say, “Find it. Another,” with the emphasis on the word “another.” The dog makes the second find easily so there is some connection between the new cue and the second find. Second, I place 4-5 hides in a row along an outside wall of a building. The hides need to be placed far enough apart so that there is no overlapping scent plumes. The back of strip malls work great for this as there are often multiple recycling dumpsters in the back and you can attach the magnetic tins on multiple dumpsters — just don’t stick them on food containing dumpsters! 🙁 Send your dog out to search for the first hide with your normal search cue but for the next hides, repeat your new “search litany” that communicates to your dog that there is a new hide to search for. Over the years when I really geared up in my training, I have 3-4 of these such locations and my dogs definitely get excited when we go to train in one of these areas. This is an outdoor version of the box drill, just bigger and with multiple hides. And because it is bigger and I usually work them in only one direction, the dog learns to leave one hide and go to another without ever going back on an earlier hide.

Well, I hope this helps. One final note, watch out for SHOPPING though when doing multiple hides!

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