Buzz has gotten the concept of the bark barrel quite nicely by now. Human goes in the barrel with his toy, Buzz runs to the barrel, Buzz barks LOTS and LOUD and BINGO....human presents the toy for a wonderful game of tug. What fun! So now we were ready to take the next step. It seems simple enough - move the barrel to a new location with new/uneven footing (like you will find in a disaster scenario) and then next, begin to 'hide' the barrel with debris (again like you would find in a disaster scenario). On the surface seems simple enough, but it is funny how a new environment or context, uneven footing, etc... can really distract a dog or throw them off. But this is part of the test to see if the dog really has the nerve strength and confidence to truly do disaster work. Well......I think Buzz passed this test with flying colors.
Thanks to my friend and teammate Matt - who has become quite well versed as a "victim" - Buzz showed no hesitation to get to the barrel and BARK LOTS and LOUD to get that stupid human to produce the toy. :) It is so fun to watch his confidence build and his drive for the game grow with every training. If he keeps this up I think he has lots of potential as a future disaster dog....as long as I don't screw him up!