Reply To: Lois & Speed (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

This is great timing for this video as the next lesson deals with precision alerts- which will come into play here, and answer a lot of your questions about what to do with Speed and how to go about working on precision alerts. Do go find that clicker, it will help.

Because of what happened just prior to this video, it is actually even more important to prime Speed and ground him and yourself in what you are doing. It provides a little more structure and promotes a balanced state and approach to the game. If he is too high and excited it brings him down a bit (which is what we think is going on here). If he?s distracted, it provides ground rules and a bit of focus. We know he knows the game, as he seems pretty situational, you don?t ?need? to prime him at all he?ll still go find the targets, but it acts as a moment of connection. If you have to do it away from the search area (aka inside the house) because he is too keyed up, do that.

He is still figuring out and struggling a bit with pinpointing source in these scenarios. At least in this video.

At 0:56 look at his tail- again around 1:07. It starts going a lot faster. We think that is a subtle indicator for you to watch for and recognize. It is a signal and a ?tell? (for lack of a better word) that he is on odor but still sorting out the source. For comparison- in a similar situation- and you see it in the videos this week you see Kristin?s Cash bark when he has detected odor but is struggling to pinpoint source. That is Speed?s equivalent here.

We?d suggest you offer encouragement when you see that change in his tail. What you are asking him for in this scenario was an alert. Instead offer encouragement, ?good boy speed- keep at it? but don?t ask for the alert yet. When he is more confident, he?ll show you. You want to avoid him throwing an inaccurate alert out of frustration. Your ?it?s over here somewhere? is a good example and a good tone of voice to use for that encouragement. Asking him ?Where is it? may be an actual cue for him to show you and so it may be putting more pressure on the situation than intended.

He?s working really hard for you in that situation, and when he does offer the down alert in that situation- that?s when it does help to know where the target is so you can help and guide him in the right direction and then work on those precision alerts in these situations. He sure is trying!

At 1:34 you see that tail again. He is really trying to pinpoint source. Out of curiosity- do you know which species of truffle this was?

At 2:15 (and prior- good work on moving away form the area that was causing trouble) that was good you caught it and could work the find. Really nice actually because he kicked it behind him and so lost the odor on it among other things. Great job bringing him back and working the reinforcement there. Really good teaching moment for Speed. When you say ?wait? notice how he whips his body back around to investigate. Just shows how responsive and sensitive he is to your verbal cues.

In that situation, I wouldn?t dwell on the precision. So much else is going on, he?s offering a stay at source- take what you can get and work incrementally. He?s excited so he won?t be as precise in this scenario. GREAT job at 2:26 working on the nose touches. and great job rewarding it AT source in that one.

What we would suggest with Speed is to work on buried hides in a constant spot. Meaning pick a location (this doesn?t have to have anything to do with where Monza goes) to practice these games (and next weeks lessons on precision) and keep working on buried hides in this same training area. If it?s a familiar area- fine. If it?s new, that?s okay too- but try to not jump around from location to location when doing these hides yet- with Speed.

We want to him to get comfortable learning how to detect odor from buried hides (at various depths) in one particular environment and soil type and build confidence in that. Once that detection and alert seems pretty solid (Don?t worry about precision on this yet), along with staying at source, in this location, you can go somewhere else.

It was a tough one but you guys worked through it, and ended on a good note with the touches. And a good learning experience for you 🙂