SW 2 – 5-2 Vehicle Hide Placements With Small Tin

Once you see your dog eagerly approaching a vehicle to search and easily finding the large tin, now it’s time to move to a smaller tin in various locations around the vehicle.

Continue to work in a known, familiar environment. Also, be aware that when you do multiple searches in a row on the same vehicle, your dog may alert at the last hide location due to lingering odor. This is also a good time to mention that it’s possible we accidently can get odor on the outside of our tins. Be careful when handling odor and occassionally wash your tins.


–    1 Vehicle
–    Small Tin with qtips
–    Some way to attach the tin to the side of the car (magnets inside tin, fun tak, duct tape)
–    Pylons or something to make a start line

Homework 1

  1. Using your small tin, place the tin in a few of the places from your last intro session – nose height or lower locations on a few spots around the car.
  2. Make an obvious start line and practice your start line routine.
  3. Cue your dog to search.
  4. Reward immediately and generously when they find odor.

small tin side of car round

Small tin side of car1

Homework 2

Place tin in some of the following areas and perform a search.

On a wheel nut:

Example location:

Wheelnut 640x480


Inside a spoke of a wheel. First place it right in the opening of the spoke (for dog’s that won’t grab):

Just inside wheel spoke1

Place a bit deeper in the spoke. Dogs will pick up odor in the whole wheel so you need to be mindful to mark/reward when they are right on source.

Example location:

Deep in wheel spoke1

Here’s a video of different dogs with hides in various spoke locations.

Inside the edge of the wheel well. Dogs will pick up odor in the whole cavity so you need to be mindful to mark/reward when they are right on source.

Here is a video of Savvy from years ago doing her first wheel well hide location during her first week learning vehicles. When introducing something new, you can relax criteria a little. Notice how I go right in to reward since this is the first time she had worked a hide in this position on the vehicle.

Published by Jan Shannon

Certified Dog Trainer

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