Reply To: Lois & Monza (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

Fist of all, thank your or telling us she worked after speed. It may or may not make a difference in behavior, but gives us more information to work with to analyze the scenario, so thank you.

In reference to branches and alerts:

As we mentioned with a couple of other students scenarios, sometimes alerts will be altered by environment. Overhead stimuli (or other), or anticipation of such by your canine, followed by a truncated or altered alert is not uncommon. The key is in understanding your dog?s behavior and how the alert manifests in those scenarios. You have just demonstrated you know what that is by saying you ?see? Monza nose touching the branches! That?s fabulous Lois. Great communication skills! You understood that she was saying, I” smell one, but I am uncomfortable going in there.” This is actually, especially for you, and anyone who wants to work on orchards, a critical skill and communication to understand if you dog offers it–so nicely done 🙂

It sounds like you handled that perfectly. Don?t stress about it. It is hard not to sometimes, but remember to breathe!

[quote] I interpret this as having hit the scent cone and she?s working in to the source [/quote]

You are spot on Lois. That looks like exactly what is going. Monza hit the column and is pushing odor (vocs) in and out of her nose (through those side slits!) trying to isolate desired odors and follow it to source.


First off- good job on practicing holding the line. We know you do this in Tracking, but it?s still good!

At 0:09 She exhibits the head casting like you are talking about (which is great!)- likely towards hide 3? but then something AWESOME happens (as a teaching moment for you, Lois, to understanding behavior), she catches another column that is stronger- aka I suspect there was a slight breeze coming from that direction. It?s awesome to watch. This is exactly why we want you to plant multiple hides. It?s not just about finding odor, it?s about picking out one odor column and following that amongst several columns. Dogs will bounce from odor to odor like this, because if odor is stronger in one area, Monza will be preferential to follow that to source first.
If the slight wind is actually blowing that way as well, it is tougher for Monza to get downwind into the scent cone of Hide 3. Odor is still there and she picks it up, but it isn?t as easily accessible.

At 0:24 that was much better at Fading the cookie. Monza was rapt with attention for it, but good job.

(SIDE NOTE: I also REALLY like your hip bag you have- you would mind sharing with the group who makes that?)

Just around the 1:00 minute mark- notice how monza approaches from (what I perceive to be) downwind to find that target. This is a great example of how directional even slight wind currents play a role in hunting.

You did a fantastic job with the branches/ bushes. Monza wan?t overly accurate and on point with the first alert (but there was a reason), but as soon as you realized what was going on and helped make the situation more comfortable, there was no question about what she was doing. We also REALLY liked her persistence in that scenario even when you were fading the initial cookie. That took a lot of confidence on her part to stay with it, and that?s FABULOUS. She did a really good job with that, as did you.

I LOVE your own commentary to Monza about the situation. You are SPOT on. That may be something that happens in the field a decent amount as well. But that is exactly why we also try to teach precision alert behaviors from an early stage, so you can build on all the previous experience and positive success!

We also really like how she checks areas where the target was hidden previous but doesn?t dwell.

The whole sequence around 2:24 is fabulous. Again, you are spot on with your own analysis of her behavior. It?s fun to watch her figure it out and follow it to source. She?s so persistence with her nose touches there We LOVE LOVE LOVE it. That was a good one to jackpot and also as a final hide, because it was slightly ore difficult for her to locate. Nice delivery of the jackpot as well. excellent mechanics.

ALSO a very good ?All Done?. We know Monza could do more, but that was an excellent, absolutely excellent place to stop a session. W tell students to err on the side of positive and conservative experiences to a degree when training, because in the long run it makes a big difference. Quit while your ahead, wanting more. That is how you build really solid, reliable teams in the long run. Huge

Kudos to you guys. That was beautiful set of hides and execution and communication and connection between the two of you.