Reply To: Alyssia & Spring (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

[quote=”Alyssia Greiner” post=72763]Spring finds the truffle, I verbally praise, take it away, food reward[/quote]

That is correct. You are now working on Spring making sure that truffle is in your possession. This creates persistence in staying near the truffle and making sure you pick it up. You ACQUIRING the truffle is going to become very important. So now we are starting to ask her to…
1-locate the truffle
2-show you precisely where it is (this is where she stays at source or finds it again)
3-make sure you picked it up

You can simply keep it in your hand when you begin rewarding her (nose targeting it in your hand is fine too). The important part is that you start picking it up before rewarding (only in easy scenarios for now).

Make sense?

The segment with the carpet is a good example of what will happen when digging in the soil. Dogs move the truffle when digging. Dogs with a lot of experience in the field will learn when to lighten up on the digging so they don’t dislodge the truffle, but initially it is very common for them to dig it up while trying to access it. So, practicing rooting around in blankets and rugs like this is very good practice. It looked to me like you were rooting around for it together. The dogs need our assistance accessing the truffle and we need their assistance locating it. Often when harvesting the actual truffle, the dog will tell you where to begin digging, wait for you to dig a little, then show you which direction to keep digging, let you dig a little, show you again, let you dig…and so on until you locate it. If they dislodge it while digging, they will find it again in the loose soil (we teach this in FE530). So, it becomes a team effort to get the truffle out of the ground.

It sounds like you did a nice job of giving her some subtle help without adding pressure. Nice work!

If you are confident in reading how she works, that is fine. You are getting to the point where individual styles will develop and what might not work for one team works just brilliantly for others.

Can’t wait to see some video of the buried hides. Keep playing with the carpet and blankets. Looked like she was having a good time!