Reply To: Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

Home Forums Recreational Truffle Dog Training 101 Chris (access until November 15, 2014) Reply To: Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

Alana McGee

In the first video she is getting frustrated and distracted and it is seems like the scenario is a tad too hard for her. She started getting frustrated so she does start pushing around the containers more. She does eventually get to it and you do a good job at that point of helping and encouraging her. If you hadn?t come in for the rewarded there I suspect she would have kept moving on exhibiting the same behavior. In that case I would suggest helping her even more (Don?t know if you realized it, but you did guide her there through your body position when you moved closer to the where the truffle was located.) If she is getting frustrated like that- go back a step and practice slightly easier scenarios, or even a nose touch. Allow her to see where it is an then alert, and then you can reset the scenario and try again.

I would probably practice with slightly fewer objects and keep building value for a little bit longer.

I will say on the initial pass she does a great job of an initial check through the boxes until she gets distracted by something in the foreground out of the camera shot. Good though.

Encouragement is great, but watch how much you are using your starting searching cue of ?find the truffle?. Give her a chance to check without as much verbal feedback.

The second video is good. If this is the progression of how the session went, great. That indication of lying down was much more confident and stronger. Good job delivering at source.

In the third video, you do help her, but this is okay. That is a tough video. A LOT is going on. These scenarios are a tad hard for her, so when you click you notice how she then offers her flop down and confident alert. She was prior to that, exhibiting a lack of confidence in what behavior she was suppose to offer there, although she does offer the paw alert at the 0:21 mark, but we want to keep her at the source- and it is a little tough to tell from the angle if it was a alert or a slap the box behavior. When asked for a re-alert though, that is fabulous!
Watch that video again and see if you can notice the shift her energy in that scenario. Your moving in to reward helps with this. You did a great job on this reward sequence.

Very good, but just see if you notice the difference.

I would say it is ok to keep practicing at this level, but would also strongly recommend you do occasionally take it back a step too, and either make it a smaller area, or fewer distractions, and keep building confidence in alerts on the odor. We want that to be super super super strong in all scenarios.

Instead of adding more verbal communication on your part, if she is playing with the boxes that much, I would end the session, do something else, try again later. It is a fine line between pushing through some of these distractions and when it is too much. This is why in the field, and during training sessions, we carry an extra truffle target on our person to throw down and give the dog and easy find so we can end the session in a positive fashion if we think it is progressing in a way which will not be beneficial later.

Her slide in to alert at the end of Video 4 is comical, (and we love play and enthusiasm!) and she does appear to be having fun, but it is an indication of stress. Her re-alert in that scenario however is fabulous and precise with the foot tap, and you do a great job of staying at source and working on a long reward sequence. That was a good one to end on. After that, take a break for a while.

Doing good. Your enthusiasm at the find is up. That is great,. Continue to work on lengthening the reward sequence and trying to limit your verbal cues unless she actually is distracted. That was a hard set of videos and she did work through it, but just try to be cognizant of how she is working the environment. You can always come back and play truffle games more later. You want her to maintain her level of (this is fun! I love this!) not get bored and seek pleasurable stimuli through other forms of play because she is stressed and redirecting.