Reply To: Lois & Monza (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

Here is Monza’s 1st outdoor box hide with summer truffles. I did 2 basic outdoor box hides today. She was on leash in both. I’m using my tracking long line.

On 1st hunt she needed a ‘bio-break’ so I edited out our entry to the area. In the first 25 secs I can’t tell if she’s checking out the area or working. This reminds me of her early tracking days when she would sniff here/there and then do a little tracking. To me, I see this attitude of ‘yeah, I know there’s a truffle out there but I’m going to do a little window shopping before I get to work.’ After she’s done ‘shopping’ she alerts to the correct box and her tail is wagging. The ‘shopping’ reminds me so much of our early tracking days and it took a loooong time to build value for the track so I spent time hanging out with her and the hide, opening it up and checking it out to build value for the truffle in this new environment. Maybe I’m misreading her and am too impatient with the 1st 25 seconds of sniffing. It just seems so obvious that there are boxes out there, so why else is she sniffing the ground except to just explore.

On the 2nd hide, she gets busy right away. I didn’t immediately mark her paw touch on the box because I wanted to make sure she wasn’t just interacting with the box and was a little more committed. She looks away for a second because some neighbor child was playing an instrument and he/she hit a bad note…we spent more time hanging out with the truffle again.

I look forward to your observations on her sniffing and whether she’s really working in the 1st 25 seconds. For me, the take away is I need to take my time with her and build that value like in tracking because the outdoors are very interesting to her. When I think about her indoor hides in the 1st class, she explored the room before alerting to boxes so why am I so worried about her sniffing the ground before working the boxes?

This week my plan for Monza is the same as for Speed: 2 sessions of multiple indoor hides and 1 more day like today using the other 2 outdoor areas with boxes to get an idea of where we are with endurance versus distraction. Photos of areas will be posted under Speed’s thread.