As for marking trees- above ground yes, is a good way to go about it! I tend to tie ribbon to nearby objects.
Proofing- yes- please make sure to leave lots of tracks and touch lots of things. We know Daisy is solid on odor, but she may be using your track as a guide to source. Such as follow dad?s track, find truffle, alert! When you do this, make sure you stand still in a few places as well as your odor will build up more in those areas. Place your truffle(s) in the middle of your ?tracks? as she doesn?t begin to make the association that it is near the terminus or beginning point.
Great she beat you out the door 🙂 LOVE enthusiasm. What?s really nice about that video is how she stays AT source and waits for you to get there. Really really nice.
VERY VERY interesting- and good of you to note- her following your odor. Make sure from now on, you proof every single time you go out. Dig some extra holes. Touch more things. If for some reason she seems to start struggling in some of these scenarios, decrease your search area and try again.
Nice job on the reward in that sequence.
The first time she dug at the base of the tree with no marker- was that one of your proofing spots? It?s just information for you and us, either way.
What?s nice is she doesn?t stay there or look to you as an alert, it?s more a curiosity/exploratory behavior. It?s ok that she does do that though. Dogs will often dig a bit to try and get a better read on the vocs in the area, but if it is a proofing spot, like I suspect, we need to make sure we start giving you more exercises for that. We don?t want Daisy to draw the association that a truffle also has to have Dad?s odor on it in order to get an alert. The hides you do today with your wife hiding them will give more information on that as well.
She has a VERY nice super gentle digging style in these videos. They may not hold in all situations, but it is really nice! I also see her do a nice nose touch on the tea ball too after the initial alert. Well done guys!
Video 11.14.3 is great. While she does dig at the fake hole first, what is fabulous is she then proceeds to move to where the real truffle actually is. I re-watched that video multiple times looking for the shift in behavior and what I was noticing again, is while she dug a bit, she didn?t offer you that visual alert as well, nor was as confident- and rightfully so.
When she finds the real target she doesn?t offer you a visual either but her alert is much more pronounced.
I am very curious to see what happens with your wife hiding them. Just trust in Daisy, and if you are unsure if she is alerting, go check it out, and if no target is there, simply continue on. You can verbally communicate with her, but don?t reward the act of the alert unless there is a target to follow it up. This is going to be a bit a of a learning curve, but we will see! I have every confidence Daisy understands target odor, as she picked it up at 0:22 in that video- but doing blind hides is almost more about handlers than dogs! So just trust in her, and when she does find it- even if it is after a couple of these fake attempts. Big party!
You are doing a great job on the parties by they way.
If it is getting stressful- remember you can always manufacture a success for her.
Video: 11.14.4: It?s a pretty big area for Daisy to be checking- and she is doing a great job setting her own boundaries within it- but that also may be why she is using your track as a map to the area.
Great job at 0:37 encouraging her through verbal communication to refocus on a different area- and orienting your own body in that direction as well. When she finds it she is pretty persistent, which is really nice. And she offers the nose touch re-alerts again! WOOHOO. That?s fab.
Overall it looks good. Let?s see how it goes when they are blind hides, and remember to try and leave lots of ?your? odor all over the place. And trust her!
As for the 201 course:
The 201 course is basically complete, we are having technical issues with it.
An alternative if that doesn?t get up and running soon is what we have been suggesting to other students, is to consider taking the FE520 & FE530 classes over at Fenzi Dog Sport Academy.
Coming up for the December term FE530: “Let?s go Truffle hunting- Practical application & sustainability? is being offered. It is practical application and transitioning into the forest and that term starts December 1st- it is a 6 week class.
We have been suggesting to other students interested, because of our technical glitches, to take that class in tandem with the written material from FE520 ($65) and then we offer to provide you with the complete 201 material as soon as those technical problems are figured out.
We?d be happy to work with you at whatever level you & Daisy are at for that course- but to get all the material covered in 201 you?d have to purchase the FE520 ($65) as well. But we could work our way through wherever you are at. There are several teams in the current FE520 who are about at the same level you & Daisy are at, so you would have a lot to compare it to and garner ideas.
FE520 & FE530 are basically the 201 course, broken down a bit different. You should be able to purchase the FE520 class beginning in the December Term, as we start FE530 over there as well, if you?re interested.
What?s nice about the fenzi classes is students are extremely active with questions and videos, and there is a lot of other talk and material on truffles themselves, and lots of other topics. As you?ve noticed with other students on our own forums- currently, it is relatively quiet apart from you.
You may actually find there are other courses on the Fenzi site as well that may interest you for Daisy. It is a great group to instructors, and a nice, easy to use platform.
Much of it I am in the process of transferring to forums on our site as well.
So if you are interested in that- here?s the Link for FE530 http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/2024
Again, we are happy to work with you & Daisy at whatever level you are at- but if you do decide to do that we strongly encourage the purchase of the FE520 as well- as there is some critical info in there prior to you and Daisy being in the forest. Just a thought.