Thanks for the feedback as always!
It is funny, when you see other people’s dogs you can assume all sorts of things – it would never have occurred to me that Callie didn’t like her coat, so thank you for sharing that story with me. I have an alternate theory – they know they are so cute and they just don’t want to cover up one inch of cuteness.
I also really appreciate your advice on letting Cricket check out her environment, I will definitely do that.
Question: should I prime and cue her to work and then she explores the environment and organically goes to work when she is ready, or should I walk out to the search area – let her explore for a bit and then prime and cue her when she seems ready to work?
We’ll also use the tea balls and fabric outside this week. She loves that and I have no idea why I thought she needed to use boxes 🙂
For some reason watching Heidi in the demo videos this week really helped me see how individual dogs move through environments differently. I don’t know exactly why her video stood out for me, but seeing her work somehow made me more “comfortable” with the way Cricket is hunting – not quite the right words (I was ok with what Cricket was doing before), but maybe it just reminded me a bit of how Cricket can move through a search.
About your question – yes I did prime Cricket for that search. I’ve only forgotten once in the last two weeks and I saw how much it impacted her confidence and ability to get into the game. So, I try to always prime her for each search – maybe in time she won’t need it- but I suspect it will just become (if it hasn’t already) a ritualistic cue to start working.