Reply To: Shannon & Cricket (DRTDT)

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Alana McGee

Great you are working on the ball in bag trick, as well in other scenarios and you are doing fabulously on your training!

[quote] I find if we don’t almost leave the search area between finds it is really hard to reengage her in finding the next target.[/quote]

This is interesting, and we would agree with you. As per what Kroistin said in her previous commentary, that is okay. You can modify this for a behavior in the field and overtime it may decrease. (*the amount of distance you have to have from the site of the find before beginning again). As Cricket gets more and more comfortable doing searches one after another the amount of distance and time between them can be shortened without it causing stress. Does that make sense?

I like how she leaves the cold tea balls, even after playing with it for a second. That?s awesome Shannon. It is so fun to see how far this has come in a relatively short time!

Also, we think your idea with the fabric is relatively genius, and she [b]is[/b] rooting and it she is more engaged with the odor itself. It looks really really good.

Whats nice is you really can see a distinct difference when she finds what she is looking for.

This video looks really good shannon (aside from Cricket aspirating treats… mine do that sometimes)

You ask about what to do.

Heres what we would suggest, and it is going to be bouncing around a bit, but that is OK.

Stay inside and keep working on multiple hides indoors and build to multiple blind hides indoors.

While you are also doing this you can start doing single hides outside for variety and to slowly start getting used to working outdoors with distractions, but focus for the moment on building multiple hides indoors. Until that skill is a little more fluid you?ll get stuck at a point transitioning outside where you can?t go beyond 1 hide.

Do keep doing an occasional outside though, and feel free to show us that. You may even be able to build to two outside in a small area, making it really easy and you can work on your priming in-between.

She?s picking up the multiple hides very quickly, its just going to take building it a little more.

Whats nice about truffle hunting in general is some of the skills can be moved around on when you do them. For example, it would be ideal to be able to do blind hides indoors and know how you react to aspects of the unknown before going outside, but you can always come back and work on that later. We aren?t concerned about you showing or leading Cricket to the target through body language, directly or indirectly through body cue targeting (which is one of the reasons to do blind hides) and Cricket?s alert is coming along really really nicely. It still is going to be important that you practice these skills, as in the wild you don?t know where the truffles are and you not knowing combined with a strong alert from Cricket to help you identify when she has found one, is pretty key.

So, main focus is keep building and working on multiples inside. Outside, practice with 1 to work on starting to be able to work in the outdoors and build up the positive reward history for that as well so when you do start to ask her for finding multiple outdoors she will be more comfortable in that environment.

Then when you are ready, blind inside. I would do this with one hide to start with so you begin to feel comfortable with it, then you can extend that out to multiple blind hides.

Do keep occasionally working outside though. I know it?s going to start getting really cold there soon, and we do want Cricket used to outdoor distractions.

*Also your commentary makes me laugh “open season for Teaballs?.? 🙂