Search for an Object
Level II and III 15 points
Description of the exercise
The object must be a small, unused piece of wood, numbered, 15 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. (for the dogs that have a large mouth) It will be chosen by the handler from several identical pieces, all numbered. At the time of presentation at the Judge’s table, the handler takes the wood and puts it into his pocket without showing it to his dog, and informs the judge of it’s number. All the handlers must carry the wood for the same time period. Identical, non- numbered objects are to be placed near that of the wood of the competitor. The object must be placed without showing it to the dog. The wood must be reasonably accessible. No distraction is permitted during this exercise. Like with the retrieve, no other objects should be within 5 m unless part of the theme décor. Non-numbered “distraction” pieces of wood, picked up by another dog, must be exchanged, and “distraction” pieces of wood are put into a plate at the end of exercise to avoid being handled too much.
Account of the exercise
- Each handler puts his dog in a spot indicated by the Deputy Judge. The handler will then place the object, in view of the dog, 30 meters away in a fictitious square, 1 m x 1 m. The handler will place the little wood with his back to the dog.
- While the handler returns to his dog, other identical pieces of wood (non- numbered) are placed nearby the first one (min. 25 cm) inside the square. There are 3 objects for Level II and 4 for Level III.
- At the Judge’s signal the handler sends his dog in search of the object with the command “search and bring”. A single command given by voice is allowed. The handler is allowed to let the dog sniff his hands before he gives the command, to make the dog understand the nature of the exercise.
- The handler will give the returned object to the Deputy Judge, for verification by the Judge.
The LITTLE WOOD exercise is basically an exercise of scent discrimination. The challenge in this exercise is often one of confusion with the retrieve, in which dogs grab the first thing they SEE that resembles a little wood. The most successful dogs are those that rely almost entirely on their nose to locate the little wood. Dogs, being creatures of habit, tend to rely on patterns if they have learned to use their eyes. In training, handlers often put the woods out in a slightly irregular pattern, a certain number of cm apart. If this ‘pattern’ is not evident, dogs can easily become confused. Here are a series of photos that illustrate the variations seen in recent trials of all levels.