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

Our system had a malfunction in notifying us of your post, so we will extend your access for a few days to compensate, until the 2nd.

As for casting an quartering, yes there are techniques you can use to build up this skill, but she likely will develop the pattern anyway.

One of the things you can do requires two people and treats! At the Park you go to, assuming she can be off lead, or on a long line, you basically would be playing “re-call” games. If you have two people do this:

Give yourself some distance between you (slightly longer than the end of the long line) and your partner and call her back and forth. After a few successful volleys (of Jazz- if that makes sense) throw treats along the path line between you and your partner–AFTER she has left on a recall to you partner (ideally without her seeing). The idea is that upon her return, she will see/ smell the treats and the behavior becomes reinforced. You would then have your partner do the same thing. If she doesn’t smell the treats at all, you can walk her right past them and encourage her to locate them. My guess is she will pick up on that quickly.

With just you:
You will want a harness you plan on using for truffle hunting (not walking) for this, as she will be allowed to pull/ be in front

Have a Jazz attached on as long a line as you can safely manage and have available. When at the park allow her to go to the end of the line. When she reaches the maximum length throw treats behind her and call her back. If she finds them successfully on the way back to you, great. Then throw a few out in front of her, to get her to increase the distance between you two again. Repeat this back and forth.

Generally this is a more advanced skill used when dogs are checking large negative spaces (meaning no truffles), and is learned and adapted to per the dog’s style as they start working outside. Once you get to working in larger field environments you will be placing boxes at quite a distance from one another which will mimic this experience. We don’t necessarily teach this to all dogs, and first interpret what their individual working style is. Some dogs work much closer to the handlers and slower or more methodical. One style is not better than the other, they both have their uses and applications. Much of how they work will be determined on terrain as well, which will vary from location to location.

In short, it is good to know and practice a bit, but I wouldn’t dwell on this concept just yet. We should see how Jazz starts working in external environments first.

After watching the video- she is picking this up already, as you say, she is using visual ID to check each and every box/ vessel- which is great. That is what we want. What is REALLY nice- is after alerting (and re-alerting) she goes right back into ‘work’ mode- looking for targets. That is great. I have a feeling once you get to more complex outdoor hides she will be a dog who naturally courses and works at distance, so in fact, the skills you will want to develop and practice will be patience and waiting at odor source- but let’s see how it develops!

I would say, yes, go ahead to Lesson 4. You are doing great.