When we start non-container searches, we usually start with Interiors in a known space to the dog. This might be in your kitchen, bedroom, den or other area.
At this point, the dog should be familiar with a tin being on an object. We are going to further the dog’s understanding by working a line of objects. What this does is it teaches the dog to search from object to object. Your dog will learn to combine hunting with searches of objects. Your dog will also learn how to pattern a search instead of checking haphazardly around a room.
Note: Think about your hide placement, we don’t want to make getting to source difficult or challenging.
Set up a line with several objects of varying sizes and types along with several boxes. One box should be “hot”. Initially work your dog on leash for this exercise. Ask your dog to search the line from the start to the end. When your dog alerts on the hot box, reward generously.
Replace your hot box with a cold object (or you can leave that space empty to rule out lingering odor confusion) and place a hide (tin or sleeve) on one of the other objects in the line. Again, have your dog search on leash, going down the row on one side and if they didn’t find it, back up the row on the other side. Reward generously when s/he finds the tin.
Replace the object that was used with the tin AND the remaining cold boxes with new objects. Place a tin on one of the objects. Perform a search in the same manner on leash as the previous steps, rewarding generously at source.
Complete Steps 1 through 3 and video if you can so you can review your work.