One note about timing for clicking. Ideally you want to click right as the dog offers the behavior. The click marks the specific moment in time you want to ‘mark’. If you click afterwards, it marks that moment in time when you click- which may just be Seamus looking at you- so that is what you are reinforcing.
We know this video may be very basic, and we know you know clicking, but take a look. Notice the timing. https://vimeo.com/101340554
We know it is dog trainer-y and perhaps nerdy, but we would recommend investing in a treat pouch.
This is the one I use personally, and I like it. I believe Mudbay or All the Best has them. Just makes treat delivery faster. http://tinyurl.com/op4u8o7
Seamus looks excited to play 🙂 which is great!
Try when you are practicing the basic imprinting games like you are doing in the video with the ?find it? start a little smaller. Start with it in your hand and having him nose touch (which you & he did great! at the 0:30 mark) and then place it just down on the ground and then a foot away and then you can do what you did by placing it farther.
Also try to reward ?at source?. this means as close as possible to the target, which will build more value for Seamus. So like at the 0:57 mark see how he finds it (yay!) but instead of rewarding him from a standing position, if you can, try to give him the treat down by the target!
At 1:06 that timing on the click was perfect. See how he then sits and waits for his cookie from you, that is good. He very much understands the click and it?s meaning.
Try to limit the times you offer the verbal cue of ?go find the truffle?. The enthusiasm is great, but we want to be very clear with Seamus on what you are asking of him. Too much noise or using the cue too frequently will act to diminish it?s value and eventually just become noise.
It is great to encourage him and build on successful finds, but you also were helping him a lot by how you were orienting your body and pointing at it. Allow Seamus a chance to go to the target and be successful before you offer help. We want them to always ?win? but it will be a stronger association for Seamus if he finds it through his own efforts as opposed to you pointing it out to him. We also don?t want him to become dependent on your for knowing where the target is, or for permission to find it.
It?s a lot to remember, but also pay attention to your body orientation. If you are facing Seamus you may be body blocking him from going to the target. We call this ?pressure?. If you orient sideways it is like an open door allowing him to move forward to approach the target.
by working right near you body for a bit, it will make this easier and you also won?t have to put him in a stay which is an obedience command and adds to the things he has to do ?correctly? in order to be successful. Does that make sense?
I think it actually will be very valuable to have Seamus work without Finn around for now.
You guys look good though, and he obviously understands the game. It is some of these little things that will help his confidence and make training a bit easier in the long run, and more reliable at finding!
You guys look good though. The enthusiasm is there on both sides 🙂
And Seamus is a cutie 🙂