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

Your 4 to 5 sessions should ideally include some other normal training, but the 1-3 you include of truffle training should not exceed more than 30 minutes a day collectively right now. That is active Daisy working time, not prep.

I can?t get the first video to load yet.

2nd video:
SUPER good reward sequence Chris. See her body language and tail on that one. She is confident in the find and then does without asking the re-alert nose touch. LOVE that. With distraction. GOOD on you putting it in your hand and having her alert on that again. That was the a very nice impulse and a great thing to do mimicking the truffle in the field but THAT is what we also mean when we say building interesting and value. Any time she does a alert on a truffle, ?GOOD DAISY?. Very nicely done. We love that. We LOVE persistence. It will help so much later.

3rd video:
A tad hard to see, but it looks a) she?s on lead digging in your gravel? correct? nice rewarding and she is doing a great job of staying with it, and at source. GREAT job on rewarding the subsequent nose touches. that is very nice
The one comment on that video I would make, is just an observation so you are aware:

You are ?fronting? Daisy when she actually finds the target. This means physically facing her. This can be a blocking pressure maneuver preventing her from moving forward. She orients towards you. See if you notice that. She digs once (it looks like not right on target) and then pivots her body to face you and alerts again.

a) interesting just to note b) in this situation if you then wanted her to go find another target/ truffle after this find you would want to pivot your body sideways releasing her.

She might not be that sensitive to it, she does not seem to exhibit this in video 2 but we want to you start getting used to the idea of body blocking pressure because it comes in to play when you start working outside, and it can inhibit a confident alert. Don?t be overly concerned, just interesting to note how she reoriented to you.

Facing a dog stops them/ applies pressure, standing sideways (or parallel to the way they are facing) is permission to move/ lack of pressure. Where you orient your body, set your intention, they tend to respond to/ head towards.

GOOD EXIT from the scenario. Much better. I believe you are correct in your assumption of her stress building at the stay command in between. It is not that she can?t do it, but you are building in obedience commands with an exercise where we want the dogs to be somewhat independent and it can create a heightened sense of energy and stress. She?s focusing on staying and expending energy on that, and then when the search for truffles cue comes, it make stye situation more difficult because she was just executing a difficult impulse control behavior.

4th video:

This 4th one is tough right off the bat (She & you do a great job though), and here is why? (0:10 marker and before). She scratches but does not give you the clear more identifiable longer, confident alert. This is because the odor is in that area already and possibly clinging to this spot. What this tells us is when she does offer the stronger alert, she is starting to differentiate between trace odor and source in more complex environments. This is good. The places she scratches are all previous hides. So that actually makes this a more difficult scenario. She?s not wrong, odor is still there, but not in a high enough concentration to elicit a reward.

What is really good to see, and you do a good job of waiting for the more pronounced alert, is when she DOES find it, she offers a stronger alert- whatever that may be in the situation- and it may not be the same thing all the time. Alerts can be situational. What is important is how you interpret it. Remember that for later and field work when you don?t know where the target it, this understanding of how and when she alerts will come into play.

When she is confident she offers a strong alert. FABULOUS. When she is not sure, or can detect odor but not pinpoint she is scratching, looking. Let?s wait and see when we get to outside how this manifests in a similar situation, but know that she may start scratching like this in an area if she can detect odor, but not pinpoint. This is why having the longer, down, or multiple chain alert is helpful. When you don?t know where the truffle is, you are relying completely on her to to tell you where in the 2 ft sq space it is located.

MUCH better on your verbal communication and allowing her to work.

Trying doing the scenarios with more objects. I think would be good to try again without the stay command being a part of this. Play with the amount. You said she does better with under five. Great. Maybe one time out of 6 you practice with more than 5 objects/ boxes etc, the rest stay under 5. Every session, as you know by now, will be different. I know it may seem tedious now, but this kind of foundation work pays off in the long run in leaps and bounds.

Keep practicing what you are doing now. It looks really really good Chris. We don’t want to go too fast. If you can get to a stage where you are working in a room with Daisy like you see in that video of Lois of Monza, FABULOUS. we don’t expect that right away, but you guys are almost there. I would say you could take a look at lesson 4 to see where it is headed, but keep slowly pushing the boundaries on levels of complication with Daisy.

Your timing with clicks and your reward sequences look spot on as well.