Although I still get discouraged sometimes about her sensitivity, she has truly gained the confidence to work independently through nosework. One instructor suggested that I get rid of a leash for a while to build even more confidence.
Right now, we are working on "inaccessible hides" - which means that I put a small source of scent (a few q-tips in a container) in a place that prevents Shyla from getting her nose directly on the odor source.
She's doing great with these puzzles. I'm going to include a short video of her searching for: 1) A scent tube hidden above her reach on our rock chimney; 2) a scent hidden down below a big pile of wood so that she couldn't get down to the scent source; and 3) a scent hidden in a metal cage that was 2' wide.
In these "inaccessible hides", she needs to somehow point out where the scent source is without being able to touch it. For a high hide, she goes up on her hind legs and jumps toward it. For the wood pile hide, she acts excited with her nose above where the source is on the ground below the wood pile. For the metal cage, she "brackets" the hide, meaning that she goes back and forth with her nose, getting as close as she can from more than one side to show me where the hide is.
All of these "indications" have evolved naturally as she's done more and more of these inaccessible scent puzzles.
Here's the video. I hope that you enjoy it!
PS We've been dealing with the flu here. So far, my case is fairly mild but I'm still not at my normal energy level. I hope to get around to my favorite blogs soon! Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday!