Linear Search Progression
Once your dog is searching 4-6 containers fluently, it’s time to progress!
●Different containers – boxes, bags, shoes, pots, etc.
●Between containers – this is very important because dogs can use their eyes and start to look for containers to put their nose in, rather than sniffing. Put the hide between containers to begin with and then gradually remove the containers completely and use skirting boards, radiators, cupboard doors, etc instead.
●Length of line – make it longer
●Depth of line – make it deeper
●Height of line – raised objects (as long as they are safe)
●Different rooms, garden
●Complexity – layers e.g. inside boxes
●Long flat surfaces in the home e.g. front of kitchen units
●Outdoor environment on walks e.g. benches, walls, logs – anything with a long surface.
●Use your imagination, just as long as it is safe won’t cause frustration.
The linear search pattern is great for dogs that lack focus outdoors because once they learn the search style in the house, you can do it on walks using the environment. Benches, walls, logs – anything with a long surface. You don’t need to take containers out with you (though you can); you can squish cheese or sausage onto the surface instead.
Hedging is great for linear searches – such a large surface area! Great for hiding toys or target odour (not so good for food as it slips between the leaves)
Fences too! Horizontal pieces of wood work best as dogs can put their front paws onto the lats to search higher.
Benches are great as they are so three dimensional! They provide opportunities for climbing up, crawling under, there’s the underneath surface to stick your hides to, as well as the gaps in between the pieces of wood!