So what this means is you are ideally going to want to teach a ‘Passive’ alert as well as an “active” alert. We do cover this in Lesson 3, but it is good for us to know you want to do this. A ‘passive’ alert is something like Sitting to indicate your dog has found the scent source. An ‘active’ alert is your dog pawing at the ground directly indicating the exact position of the truffle.
There are plusses and minuses to passive alerts in practical application for truffles- which is what you, Adam, want to ideally do.
But when starting, go with Blu’s natural tendencies as that will be what he reverts back to first when working in the field. I would actively think about (and pursue) having Blu sit to indicate he has found the truffle, and then have a second alert which is the more active alert such as nose targeting or pawing the exact location.
The only trouble with having ‘just’ a passive alert with truffle hunting is a passive alert tells you that Blu has found a truffle. You as a handler know he smells one. Great. You have no idea where it is around him, so you will still need him to indicate an exact location. You could also teach a stare.
So let’s see what Blu does naturally when you get there and we can help you work on a passive alert, a sit or lie down, followed by a more active precision pinpointing alert.
The reason for this?
You don’t want Blu to smack the Chanterelles or matsutake and damage them with his feet. It really will depend on Blu’s natural style though, so here is where even a very short video will be extremely helpful in us guiding you through the process.