OK – getting your dog to stay AT SOURCE during a Nose Work search:
Whether you want to encourage a specific response (note I don’t say TRAIN a specific response), or just solidify your dog remaining at source with whatever behavior your dog is already offering, what YOU do in those brief seconds after you dog tells you “it’s HERE!” will make a big difference.
Keep in mind that Rhonda is still learning nose work. She’s definitely enthused about the game and is doing well, but still learning. The alert Ronni has developed on Containers (rows of boxes, plastic tubs, etc.) is a crouch/down (sort of mini-push-ups). 😄 She stands atop and then sort of collapses on the container as if to say “This whole [box/tub] is it!” I didn’t teach her this – but it is distinctive, so I’m fine with it. The important thing is that she is remaining at source and communicating clearly with me. Here is a quick video of Ronni working a simple Container search.
Rhonda’s alert on small, more concise hides like those you find in an Interior room search (a small tin or straw hidden from view) is different. For these hides, she generally touches her nose to source (or as close to source as she can get), then glances at me as she Sits. If I’m not prompt with her reward, her nose goes right back to source, as if to say, “Really, Mom – right HERE!”. The important thing is that she stays right there at source and doesn’t wander off to look for something else. Good girl, Ronni! Here is a brief video of Ronni doing a bedroom search.
Rewarding her RIGHT AT SOURCE several times, and waiting for her to tell me again (in her own way) that “it’s right here!!” is the easiest way to teach your dog to stay at source until released.
The goal is to end up with a dog who will stay at source (where the “odor/hide” is hidden) until you EITHER tell them to “Find more!” (another hide) or “All done”, meaning the game is over.