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Victim Usage for Older Pups or Young Dogs
Our pup is now figuring out that a disappearing victim means play time is about to happen. The “run away” victim now becomes the “disappearing victim”. It is still your job as the victim to get the pup excited before you disappear by calling his name and waving the toy, but now you will disappear from his sight before he is released. The waiting time before he is released, and the distance that you go after you disappeared from his sight, will both gradually increase. At this point you still won’t be concealed completely.
This is also when we introduce the bark barrel. The ones we use are made from three 55 gallon drums bolted together, and a lid. You, the victim, shimmy inside feet first. The first time this is introduced to our pup, you repeat the standard “excite the pup” routine, but you don’t close the lid. In fact, you won’t even use the lid yet. As this exercise progresses, you cover more and more of the opening until you are completely concealed with the lid and the pup has to say the magic word to get his reward. The magic word is, “Bark, bark!”
When our young dog seems to have these exercises figured out, we can move on to “pop-ups” and “ call-outs”. These are exactly what the names imply. You are now in a concealed hiding place, but before the young dog is released you pop-up and call-out his name, and then disappear back into your hiding place. Pop-ups are always accompanied with a call-out. But very soon, the dog will only get a call-out as you stay concealed.
A blind search--no victims running away, no pop-ups or call-outs--is now in the young dog’s very near future. And as a victim, your time “in the hole” may be a long time, so hope for a roomy one, with no rocks in your back!
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