This is video from yesterday afternoon. Was slightly breezy and about 55 degrees. I dug several fake holes and put out 5 hides and stopped after 4, but have more about that in a bit. I didn’t bury them deep, about an 1.5″-2″s, but they were completely covered.
Hide 1 she went pretty much straight to it after coming into the area, it was buried and under the edge of the leaf pile. Thought that was really good. Sped up the video for the searching. She sneezes at 1:02 after she went back to hide 1. She checks out fake holes a couple times and sneezes after checking one at 1:12. Hide 2 she took along time to find and then when she gets to it, I am standing on it, yikes! Caught that and got out of the way. She sneezed after being rewarded. After that she found hides 3 and 4 pretty quickly. Lots of sneezing at hide 3. Hide 4 I was trying to get her to dig at it more and bring it up, because she was actually pushing it in farther. Well she was having none of that and we got lots of barks. So after rewarding, I tell her all done and go to turn off the camera, which in hindsight I should pretend to turn it off and leave it running. The look on her face was like what you mean were done? And as I went back to locate hide 5, she went right to it and dug it up and she got rewarded.
I know my ground is probably not typical truffle ground, since it can be damp and heavy, but do you teach the dogs to dig farther for less accessible truffles or is that when the person comes in and digs it out. I just wasn’t sure how far to push the digging aspect of it, since that is clearly part of her alert. On her own she can normally dig a good size hole in a few seconds.
The sneezing I think is from her clearing her nose out, since she is doing at various points, after a hide, during a hide, checking a fake hole. It definitely does mean she is onto something.
Another thought I had, some dogs find the actual searching self rewarding. Is it possible she is delaying finding the last hide to be able to keep searching? She certainly found hide 5 pretty quickly after she thought the game was finished.