Reply To: Sandra & Tippet (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

Hi Sandra!

You asked about depth vs area and the answer really is both are equally important at this stage, but not necessarily jumping to both at the same time. You set up from today sounds good though! 6? is deep, but that?s good.

20+ minutes active searching is a long time to be searching and good for you for working on endurance- but I’ll address this more later.

If there was a long break between hides, I would manufacture success. Eventually you will be hunting this long and even longer, but just be in tune with Tippet. I think it is good you asked for guidance on the last two.

Truffle hunting is thirsty work. Dogs will drink a TON of water hunting, and you should encourage that. It is a very mental exercise and we want to keep them hydrated and it helps scenting ability. In fact, I would suggest after about 10 minutes you stop for a short break and offer water to Tippet.

Most of the truffles you are going to find, that are worth finding, will be in the 1?-6? range. After that, frankly, it isn?t worth it!

I love that you called him over to you, gave him a rub, and just hung out for a minute. That is great. We encourage this, often. Taking breaks- even very quick ones are a great way to re-center, refocus, and reconnect. It can be just what you did with Tippet, can also be sitting down and just relaxing, playing a bit. It is good to take breaks.


In the video you say ?slower today?.? That?s OK! He does cover the area well. Speed is a style, and is not better, just different. We mean that. This is a very good area by the way- and you have opened it up a lot. It is a large area to work, and he handles it really well. We cover this more in next week (large areas)

You say hide #1 was about 4 minutes into the hunt. So during that first 4 minutes, was he actively searching, or checking out the space as well? My guess is searching- as that’;s what Tippet does! 4 minutes is totally okay, and you know Tippet best in this regard to timing- but as it is a large area, we may encourage you to offer him a success during that window. We know he can find all the truffles in a large area- but we want to keep the rate of reinforcement high. He?s doing awesome, but consider that, if it happens in the future. We don?t see him be frustrated or stressed at all but this, but you likely would know. Just be ready to offer him an easy find and then he can happily keep on going. [i]It isn?t considered cheating :)[/i]

When he does find it, that?s great! I love his digging style. He?s such a cool calm collected fellow. Makes me want to hug him.

You are in his space a little on that first hide- but if you look at his body language, he doesn?t seem to mind much. It?s hard not to be in there because you want to see where the truffle is after all! If you?re off to the side a little more and not looming over, but next to him, might make a little bit of a difference and you can still be engaged with him at source looking for the truffle.

He does pick it up and hand deliver though!

Hide #2 is about 10 minutes in. You?ll notice as you start to increase areas you work in, time hunting increases like this- that?s totally normal. Just remember you have that extra target if you need to manufacture success. And honestly we suggest you do. This hide you do a better job of being off to the side and not over top of Tippet. and he flings it at you! Excellent on both your parts.

Really do like when you call him over for a pat. I would even have made this longer and take a minute just to play, hang out. But very good instincts on reading him.

This was hard- it?s a large area with only 6 targets in it! That?s tough!

This was definitely and exercise in increased endurance with hunting. You & he did awesome, but don?t jump to doing this everyday.

If you were going to do this again, I would actually plant twice (or more) as many hides (for a higher rate of reward), but only expect to find 6 of them- which means they may need to be marked in some fashion. I would NOT expect or even want to find all 12 in that scenario- but this is how you build endurance. It was great- and you did really well- we would just urge not to do this long ones multiple days in a row. Just yet. Eventually yes, but we want to still make sure he’s having fun. Which it looks like he is! But we want it to be fun 🙂 We don’t see what happens after the last hide, but make sure you play with him after that. He did a Stellar job finding all those at varied depths. Super awesome!

And the finding the targets next to each other- that’s exactly why we wanted you to do it, is because he may not find them both right away, He may find one, and then come back- but it adds not only a element of difficulty, but elements of realism.

Well done you two! and Three (including Bruce!)