Once you have worked single vehicle searches in familiar and new locations, you can add in a “cold” vehicle. A cold or “clear” vehicle is one that does not have odor.
All organizations use up to 3 vehicles for the novice/starter level. There will only be one hide on one vehicle. The other vehicle(s) will not have any odor/hide on them.
Here’s a video of Edge working 2 vehicles – you can see this was a nice setup for him to find odor quickly with an added vehicle in the search.
Here are two examples of another setup where the dog will search the cold vehicle first. By setting up the vehicles to search a cold vehicle first, they get used to searching a vehicle that does NOT have odor.
In this example, you can see that Savvy took the lead on finding odor after coming between the 2 cars. I wanted to have her search the whole van first, but she picked up odor so I followed! You can start out with a plan on how you will take your dog around the vehicles, but remember to always let your dog lead if they want to go a different way/pattern. Likely they are picking up odor so you want to let them work the scent path.
In this next example, you can see she checks out where the last hide was briefly and moves on to the next car. I caught myself starting to want to take her back down the middle because I KNEW where the hide was. She was taking me around the front of the bumber. If that were a blind hide I would have gone with her more willingly initially. So you can see the differences of how you might handle in training verses with a blind hide.
In a familiar location, setup 2 vehicles, one designated as cold and the other with a hide.
Play around with some of these following setups:
- Place hide on the “1st” vehicle and start dog on the 1st vehicle side so that your dog will likely pick up odor and find the hide right away.
- Place hide so that it’s on the “2nd” vehicle but on the closest side from where you are starting. Start your dog on the “1st” vehicle side.
- Place hide so that it’s on the “2nd” vehicle but on the farthest side from where you are starting. Start your dog on the “1st” vehicle side.
Remember, your dog may go straight to the “2nd” vehicle and you should always let them lead the way!