Reply To: Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

Home Forums Recreational Truffle Dog Training 101 Chris (access until November 15, 2014) Reply To: Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

Alana McGee

“i imagine that transition would be helped by fencing off a small section of a producing orchard for new trainees? ? For Orchard work, YES absolutely. That?s not always a luxury we have with European species of truffles, but in an ideal world- you betcha!

This is exactly what we are doing now with students here in the PNW just learning to get real truffles out of the ground in a site. You section off small places you know are productive and even have some marked and then those teams can work on skills in those areas.

Appa is a serious dog and Toby & Appa have a fabulous connection & rapport.

But Appa feels pressure too in situations with lots of people etc. Toby knows and doesn?t ?ask? him to ?work” in those scenarios in the same way. A lot of dogs are that way. He?ll be the first one to tell you it?s all about connection and being in tune with each other.

What we are doing for orchards is a different style of training. When we train for commercial work our goal is always to have the dog find every single truffle they come across the scent column for. A dog will not hit every single scent column and dense areas can be complicated, as can truffles that are deep. On orchards dogs missing truffles is lost revenue. You will know if something is missed on an orchard by another dog coming through right after and finding them (generally speaking) It can?t be an ?exact’ science until we have robots to help. That?s why we proof for it in controlled conditions so we can be more assured of accuracy later.

It looks like FE520 is not actually available for purchase as a stand alone this round I apologize, which complicates things as that material is really where you guys are at as it is transitioning to the edge of the forest. Registration opens on Saturday. I?ll talk to Kristin about what we think would be the best option in that case. You have been doing some of this already by working in much larger areas. But you should be successfully burying at the edges of forests prior working in them as the difficultly level goes up dramatically Jumping right to the forest may be a little too much.

This was your first time in the rain? Rain does change things, so it is not necessarily surprising.

In video 11.14. 5 where was the truffle? was it actually anywhere in that vicinity? If I knew that, might be able to provide more insight. Depending on where the real truffle was you could do a couple of things: just continuing on is ok as you did in that (IF IF IF) the truffle was not actually anywhere in the vicinity. If the truffle was, yes, you should help her more by getting down, patting the ground, provide her that target.

It?s great that she?s hunting for longer and longer periods of time, she certainly seems to be gaining endurance, but if you feel like it?s gone on a while and she keeps dancing around a source- that is indeed when you offer her the success. So yes.

Again Rain changes how the odor moves through the environment so she?s trying to work it out. I certainly don?t see anything alarming about that one. She certainly is trying, but if the truffle was close to where she was, yes, help her out more for a success.

Video 11.14.6
REALLY AWESOME nice reward on your part 🙂 She does an excellent job of moving on then to the next one. Pretty flawless transition. You?re giving her nice space. GREAT job around 0:46 encouraging more precise alerts and re alerts with nose touches. Very very good!

I love the ?forgot where I put it?. Those are always the most fun hides, because you have to completely trust them! She does a good job battling minor distractions in that one when searching for the 3rd hide. 1:32 we love how unsolicited she goes back for a nose touch on target. That is exactly the kind of thing you strive for as a goal and that skill is so helpful later. GOOD job asking her to do it again after a reward as well. Keep that up.

Good job recognizing her signals. You can tell by those fabulous ears of hers she?s uncomfortable and her body is tense. Lesson learned. It?s hard to stop sometimes, but we learn something from every experience. Daisy certainly will work for you in conditions she doesn?t love, but that doesn?t mean she should 🙂 * She gives you the cutest face there at about 0:19- but yeah that?s a sign of being uncomfortable. Watch her tail too. Normally when she is hunting it is not erect, but up or slightly above level curving towards her back very slightly with a little wag to it. In this video it is down and under. You saw it though and thats good.

If you can in those scenarios (and it happens to all of us- It is one of the hardest parts of truffle hunting) remove you and Daisy from the situation causing the unpleasantness? in this case the rain- and do a small success game somewhere calmer, quieter and more relaxed (dry) so you can end on a win. If you can?t do that and the situation is overload, WAY better to just get out of there, and then if you can, play. Something to ?shake off? the stress. Just like as a human you?ll do that or shrug your shoulders to relax a bit, you just want to release the stress a bit. But end it there, you are correct. But you learn from it.

11.14.8 She does find it, and you are spot on to come and help to support because you see she is uncomfortable. She does give you that very soft, subtle? “I found it–approach dad” alert with a look (0:11/0:12), and she does step back towards it likely from pressure of your advance as she backs up (which is ok 0:14? there is the fence in play here too that she is interacting with which is decreasing the amount of space she has to move around to be comfortable and show you) and then turns back to it and gives a ?look at target? alert at 0:16 when you ask her. It seems like she stares right at it. ?It?s there dad. It?s there? but she doesn?t want to offer more. It?s subtle and she?s knows it?s there. These are the little minutia that are good to get comfortable with because they will come up in the field at times when she is uncomfortable. Understanding the little subtle communications will help you later in complex scenarios with real truffles in the wild. While we don?t want to subject ourselves to it over and over- it?s a good experience to have had.

That?s a good spot to offer her a really easy one in your hand (if you have it ready) win, and exit the scene.

11:14:10 That is hilarious, and fabulous actually. She?s very clear. I also think it is great you then went inside ands did a bit in there for more fun- away from the weather- exactly like I was mentioning above.

Well Done Chris. It really has been great to watch you guys go through it. Let me talk to Kristin tomorrow about what we should do because of where you are at in regards to FE530. Obviously we will work with you where you are at, but the lectures from FE520 are what you need- I think I may have thought of an idea- but we?ll get back to you on it.