At the start of this lockdown I set myself a challenge, and that was to see if my dog could find a Silver hammered coin.
I knew this was not going to be an overnight success, but she has a good nose on her, I remember reading an article 20 or so years back about a guy who took on a retired drug dog, which purely by chance has a nose for Silver. He had a vast collection of coins as a result.
So writing this I am only 3 weeks into my journey and I have to say things are going well, although restricted to my garden, “Missy” my 1 year old rescue German Shepherds is showing some great skills and can now find the coin every time.
I consider using the garden for a test area is a difficult task, because there must be so many confusing smells out there, such as her own urine, next door has 4 cat’s who also use my garden as a lavatory, plus a vast array of wildlife. So the fact that she can find Silver is really quite amazing.
Will she find other metals such as Gold?……Once again I think this is more than possible, but I need to keep things simple at this stage.
I consider this as stage 1, which is to understand what is asked from her.
Stage 2 will be to set some boundaries and separate work from play, for example I will know use her on the long lead to send the signal “this is work”, whereas off the lead will be her free time and she will not be expected to work.
The second thing will be to work on the reward, remove the treats, for obvious reasons and reward her with her favourite ball.
Will she find coins in the field?…….Possibly, although I am under no illusions that this will be an outstanding success.
Here is a video of my progress so far :
Article written by By Gary B