Reply To: Michael Whitmire (access until May 2, 2014)

Home Forums Recreational Truffle Dog Training 101 Michael Whitmire (access until May 2, 2014) Reply To: Michael Whitmire (access until May 2, 2014)

Alana McGee

Hi Michael

As for Jazz paying attention to the scent button in your hand versus actually using her olfactory capabilities, don’t fret. It is okay that she is using the scent button as a visual cue at this stage. The boxes, in essence, are also visual clues that provide information to the dog on where to concentrate efforts.

Something you could try:
After warming up with a few hand targets of the scent button in your hand or on the ground, then, with her watching, place the garden pot overtop and ask her to repeat the behavior. Try it, and see if you can get her to target that.

Stay with it. We are looking for that A-ha! moment.

Watch the videos of Heidi’s intial box hides closely. You’ll notice Heidi does’t show interest in several of the walk bys. Don’t be discouraged, just keep practicing and reward for even the slightest interest in the correct box. It also will help if you keep the same pot as the “hot” pot (the one where your scent is under). If you are struggling for a success at this stage it is ok to encourage success by drawing Jazz’s attention to the correct box- we just don’t want her to rely solely on you for information.

It would be helpful or us to see a video of it, so we can assess where there may be a disconnect, or things you can do to improve the likelihood of a desired response. Are you working her on or off lead?

As for scent source. A couple of drops is plenty and will last for several days.

As to her age and the amount of time per lesson:
Every dog is different and we suggest you don’t move to the next lesson until you and your dog are confident in what you have learned previously. We practice basic targeting games even with our advanced dogs as review. All of the ‘games’ you learn in these lessons are applicable throughout the course and are great to play as review or just for fun.

Progress for puppies will really depend on their focus, and how much time you have during the day to play the games. Remember to always end on a positive. If you & Jazz are struggling on the boxes one day, end the session with a couple of easier hand (or ground) targets. Always start a session with a review as well. Consider it warm up. Get her excited about the more fun games to come!

What you can do is remove the box (pot in this case), allow her to see the target and then go to it and reward! Success, she found it! If you are working her on-lead it will be easier to guide her past the pots (you can even point out every one so she starts to get the idea to check them all- and then praise & reward when she shows interest in the correct pot).