Reply To: Rachel & Vidoc FE520

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Alana McGee

[quote] Both Vidoc and Esprit found the first hide but it took forever for the 2nd one so I called them off. [/quote]

It?s ok if it takes a while! Make sure if you ?call them off? You end with a manufactured success. This is EXACTLY why we have those targets on us when we practice. There are always times when it is a good idea to manufacture success if the dogs are having a hard time. We do it.

Example: Yesterday I was out checking a site (it?s early here for production) and while Lo found one and was trying very very hard, I manufactured many successes as we searched the area. (And it wasn?t a big area.) That?s ok. Learn your & their limits. We don?t want to frustrate them, but later that amount of time in-between targets is not uncommon. We are making the situation much harder and there are MANY factors at play, including (But certainly not limited to) wind, soil composition, odor strength, scent cone dispersion, canine health, etc.

It is always a 🙂 to hear Byuti rocked it!

We know you know this- but we say it with other students in mind so they can begin to internalize this through reading your descriptions of what was going on:

You may not know exactly why the boys were having a hard time, but one of the MOST IMPORTANT lessons about being a handler is NOT beating yourself up about training scenarios (or actual hunting) or how it went during, or after the after the fact. Analyze and review yes, fret/stress? no.

Try not to stress about it. (*i know that can be hard). The dogs DO pick up on your elevated stress levels if this is going on during a session. (* not to add more stress, but just do a ?shake off? like a dog would, and let it go.) This is good advice to ALL students.

We often have expectations, hopes, and desires going into searches, but try to let go of those things and be in the moment. I?m not trying to sound overly zen, but I speak from experience. It will make a world of difference if you can just be present and try not to worry about ?how the session goes?.

We all do it, but if you just are there, and are reading your dog?s signals and offering success when needed- Your dog wins, and so therefore, you win. For them, it was fun! (even if it is a manufactured success) It?s us humans who put too much weight on the end goal occasionally. Again, yes, review and evaluate where the disconnect may have happened, but don?t dwell. They won! Frankly, that?s all that matters.

We have every confidence in you & the boys.

For whatever reason, it didn?t go the way you planned. Totally frustrating, I know! It?s actually a very good lesson Rachel, as you know 🙂 and one we as handlers (even us- or at least me!) still struggle with on occasion. IT?s ok it got dark. Happens. I?ve left targets out for a day and gone back the next day.

Question to you-

You said ?packed the soil down?. How long did you let the targets sit then. We know you know this, but for the benefit of other students: When burying, you need to let them sit for a few minutes. You ideally need to give the odor a chance to permeate the soil around it.

Are you still using frozen pieces? (That?s totally fine!!! Just wondering)

I like your start sequence 🙂 (My own dog Ryu just got very excited at Vidoc?s excitement in searching!)
Vidoc did a good job cutting across boundaries (leaving the perimeter 🙂 )
Again, as always, great alert, focus, and reward sequence from the both of you. The two of you really are an awesome example of fluid communication.
I LOVE how he actually threw the target behind him when digging there on the 2nd one. That happens, and it is a great opportunity. We cover this later (how to specifically train for it). The way he turns and tracks to it is fabulous. (We?ll still have you practice that drill when we get there- but good information for you in general on how he handles that situation.

Second Environment:
We haven?t *seen this area before (I know you practice here from description) but this is a very good area too! Like it a lot actually as it does provide more distraction and moves you into things we will be talking about next lesson I think.

Fabulous! He does great, you do great. I really credit you on being confident in waiting for his actual strong alert on target. It?s hard to do! Good job, and it really is seamless and well done.

at 2:42, good. He had previously been in an area you were trying to restrict and he was responding to verbal cue to return to your desired search area. What you do really well here is you realize your other body language is not signaling what you want to him and so you physically start walking and moving in the direction you want him to focus. Well done Rachel. Very nice blend & balance.
really good 🙂 All of it. Well done!