Reply To: Sandra & Tippet (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

This is great Sandra.

You?re fun to watch! We love your excitement. You realized it pretty quickly after you did it, but you jumped the gun on that first one that Tippet didn?t quite alert on! We know it?s hard not to sometimes. It is actually really good we see this.

This is one of the reasons we have students practice blind hides (besides being technically useful). When handlers don?t know where the targets are, pressure builds (especially the first handful of times you do it- or for some of us, with audiences) and nerves can build into excitement, like you exhibited there, which can alter canine behavior as well (it didn?t for Tippet- but other students be aware that it most certainly can). On the other end of the spectrum: not recognizing a more subtle offered alert is also something common that happens with some teams when they first start blind hides.

You did a fantastic job of settling in and trusting Tippet after that. Looked really really nice! You give him good distance without crowding and allowing him to work. And work he does. He does a great job, and I really do like his style. Notice how when you shift your orientation (it was slight, but it was there), so does he.

Other students please note the amount of distance between Sandra & Tippet. Every dog will be different, but they had a really nice dynamic of moving together through the space and Sandra always keeps just about that same level of distance from Tippet. Some dogs if you come in too fast or too close when they are trying to work, it acts as a distraction and it can fling them off. 1:00 beautiful! He gives a really nice clear alert- and GOOD for you on your approach to it- not coming in right from behind but off kilter at an angle from the back left.

We love your reward and enthusiasm with him and he responds so well to that.

Thank you for including some of the ?searching? portion. That is just as valuable in many ways for us to see, so we can give reference and advice.

1:17 WOOHOO! We love how genuinely excited you get! We also love how Tippet doesn?t even look up from his task after the alert until you actually verbally ask him if he found something. We love the persistence and focus, and that is thanks you guys practicing so much on that earlier (and his NW background doesn?t hurt)

The third hide was your prototypical pinpointing odor kind of search for the first bit as he zig zags close to the ground following the trail? until he kicks it. This is actually AWESOME. at 2:02 you do a FANTASTIC job letting Tippet figure out that he moved it, and in targeting it. You were calm (excited, but calm 🙂 ) and let him get there. That was seriously awesome.

That, by the way, is an advanced skill you will want to nurture when it happens (we cover specific drills for it later). You did a great job there, but know this does happen in the field. Dogs will alert, and even if they are gentle, sometimes they will kick it out behind them. It is an incredibly valuable skill, and more advanced, but way to go.

You didn?t plan it, but this was a perfect training opportunity that you took advantage of, and so did Tippet and way to go! It?s tough in those scenarios to give the canine a moment to work it out, but that was very very good! Excellent!

The third hide is great. This is a decently large size area and we are impressed with how you guys are moving through it calmly with confidence, and how calm Tippet is in his approach. He?s a cute fellow (I like when he spits it at you 🙂 )

3:03 – perfect send off to the next search while excitement is high!

You were spot on about the idea to plant a hide. We suggest you make a mental note of how it looked during this time and try to manufacture success before he starts to question heavily. You can even do a couple of planted hides. We like to push boundaries in terms of endurance, but if he is questioning you repeatedly, you?re right that is a sign he?s having trouble locating. But that?s why we have that extra target on us, for just such occasions!

You do a very nice job with your own movement and body orientation to not put pressure on Tippet. Very very nice to see 🙂 Looking great guys.

[quote] The redwood copse holds lots of kitty truffles and other disgusting treats, but he stayed right with me the whole time. [/quote]

Ahh kitty truffles. Good boy Tippet 🙂

It looks really good Sandra. You are fun to watch and I really do like Tippets evolving style of searching larger areas. You?re going to keep having a lot of fun with this I think together.