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Discussion Starter #1
Hans is getting bigger and smarter and needs things to do.

I have begun playing a game with him where I close him up in the bathroom while I go hide his ball somewhere in the house, then I go release him and have him search.

No matter where I tried to hide it (in a box, in the shoe container we keep by the door, the pantry, a kitchen cabinet, behind the toilet, behind my son's backpack, in the recycling bin, etc) he always found it.

It was wonderful watching him work. I would tell him to search an area and he looked like the airport dog, LOL. Went about it with intensity, focus, and he was very serious and methodical.


I did this twice today, each time hiding the ball about 5 times, and tried to make it more difficult each time.

Each time, he napped very well after that. :D

My question is, when he uses his mind for a game, how long, time-wise, are the sessions supposed to be?
 

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I usually do 15-20 once the dog has built up the mental stamina to handle a session that long. It really just depends on the dog. When I do mental games with my fosters, they can usually only handle 5 minutes at a time to start off with. Most of them aren't used to having to use their brains for stuff.
 

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start hiding the ball on something raised (the bed, a counter top,
table, seat of a chair, shelf of a cabinet, in a closet on top
of something, etc.) start hiding the ball outside. i use to open
the front door and throw his ball. i didn't let my dog see which
way i was throwing his ball. when i hide things in the house
for him to find i wonder if he's following my scent to the object.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great ideas, Doggydad, thank you.
Gharris, thank you.
 

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How long depends on the drive level of the dog. You want the dog to still be pushing for more, but also do it long enough to tire them out. So, time will be dependent on the dog. I know a friend has found that 7 minutes of agility will tire out her dog because it is both physical and mental. Search work isn't as physical so a dog should be able to go longer.

If I am just doing searching for a toy with a mature dog I might go 20 minutes. When I started doing detection work with Donovan it varied. Since some of the searches were more intense/harder I looked at how tired he was and not at the time or amount of searches.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Lisa.
After 20 minutes he was still eager to go, but I stopped the game because I want to stop while he still wants it.
 
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