Teaching a Small Dog to Find Elevated Hides

I just love to work Maggie, a Russell Terrier, in Nose Work.  She’s a natural hunter and has great energy. One of the things I taught her is that sometimes the source is out of her reach.  She’s an 8 inch dog, so anything over 2 feet high is over her head. So, this blog is about how I taught Maggie to reach for high sources and the game that we love to play when she finds it.

Notice that Maggie took awhile to locate that hide, it was not an easy search for or her, or for my tall dogs, either.  If I would have gone in and rewarded her before she stopped searching, she would begin to look to me for help when the hide is out of her reach.   Looking to me for help in Nose Work is exactly what I don’t want my dog to do.  The next search I do with her will be easier and lower to the ground, I’ve done quite a few elevated hides with her and I don’t want her to begin to think that Nose Work is hard, because it’s not, right?


5 Responses to Teaching a Small Dog to Find Elevated Hides

  1. Trisha May 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Good girl Maggie! Too CUTE!
    with! I got to train with them for a little bit this weekend and got to see
    the results of the work you did with them. Einstein’s articles were really,
    really good!

  2. Tracy Underwood May 20, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Hi Margaret. I too have a small dog, a Japanese Chin. She is blazing fast on
    low hides, getting both her Birch and Anise ORT’s in less than 7 seconds, and
    placing 2nd in Interior in NW1 and 3rd in Container in NW2. Her alert is
    similar to Maggies, where she will stand and stretch, and she is great at it –
    ONCE she narrows down the source. We timed before finding second hides in
    several elements at our NW2. She takes quite awhile to narrow things down when
    they are high – walking back and forth working the cone. Any suggestions on
    what I can do to help her out?

    • Margaret Simek May 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Hi Tracy,
      I don’t know how your dog works, but each dog needs to learn how to hunt. I
      would do more simple searches, and raise the height slowly, and make sure not
      all your searches are high, most are low and accessible to the dog.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Joan Benedict October 22, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Thank you for this training tip – extremely helpful for those of us with
    shorter dogs and I didn’t know how to go about working it.

  4. Joe Maday January 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm #


    I have a Shih Tzu who has been doing very well with low hides. This blog is PERFECT! We were training last night when the question came up, “what about short dogs?” No one had a good answer. Your answer makes perfect sense and I like the fact you suggest keeping elevated hides to a minimum so as not to break the dogs spirit.

    Thanks so much!
    Joe & Malo
    The Tzu Crew

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