Having completed the intermediate course the dog should be able to search for 2-3 mispers 10 meters from the path over a 200m route. On locating the misper the dog should return immediately to you and alert. For most dogs the alert is the most difficult bit to teach. Therefore the first two months should be spent getting a strong unprompted alert in a variety of situations. At the same time the distance over which the search takes place should slowly be increased to 500m.
- Undertake searches of different lengths (up to 500m) in a variety of terrains. Mispers should be hidden up to 10m from the path.
- On locating the misper the dog should return immediately to the handler without becoming distracted.
- On reaching the handler the dog should provide a clear alert. It is important the dog alerts as soon as he reaches the handler and does not become distracted. The alert should be prompted if it does not occur immediately.
- As the alert becomes reliable and no longer requires a prompt, the handler should ensure that the dog will alert in all situations. e.g if they are talking to someone, standing still, walking.
- If the dog is still being rewarded at the misper every time, reduce this to an intermittent reward.
- Gradually increase the length of the search to 500m.