Reply To: Rachel & Vidoc FE520

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#3414
Alana McGee
Keymaster

The truffles will still have odor, even if you can?t smell it, but instead of using a whole new training piece, just cut it a little bit again and this will release more of the VOCs. Truffles do dry out over time (they are mostly water) and the paper towel will wick away moisture, but it shouldn?t be impacting it all that much. The paper towel itself doesn?t hold odor very well. The earth around the truffle and the paper towel shouldn?t be ?stealing? all those delicious vocs.

Summer/Burgundy truffles in general tend to be milder in general.

Every two weeks should be just fine. But for Vidoc for a few weeks if you want to get new truffles, I?d say that is fine and might help as he starts to generalize and make the transition to hides at depth. We want to solidify the behaviors we want with what he is comfortable with, and then you can start working other older, pieces with different/ less volatiles.

In general, you shouldn?t need to buy every week– but for the next few weeks– if you have access to them, it might not be a bad idea. You might noyt always have that chance! You can let Esprit use the ?already used? pieces- as it doesn?t seem to pose a challenge for him. For whatever reason, and there are a couple I could suppose as conjecture, Vidoc does seem to struggle with it.
Vidoc may be hyper sensitive/selective to other odors and has too narrow of a spectrum for what is acceptable for an alert. (One of my own dogs is this way). So for the next couple of weeks, while you start practicing more advanced scenarios, use fresh pieces for him. They don?t need to big.

When home- store your fresh truffle pieces in the fridge, together, in a sealed glass or tuperware container. (I will attach the Burgundy/ summer truffle care guide here too)

The wrapping in paper towels should be just fine- and that way if you loose them, you aren?t concern about lost gear and it will be eco-friendly and degrade over time.

I would argue that it was something else at play, not the truffle odor itself. Remember Dog?s nose?s are exceptional for detecting odor, we just have to try to get them in the right place to do so, and understand if they don?t alert, what exactly is going on. Was it the environment, or why did the source not meet Vidoc?s previous specifications.

Remember we also want the dogs to be able to detect and alert on varying concentrations of VOCs as every single truffle will have a different concentration of volatiles at any one time. I think Vidoc needs positive reward histories on a large sample size (in terms of variety) to practice with.

If your herding trainer where you get the truffles from has several small ones, or pieces from DIFFERENT truffles you can have/buy- get those for Vidoc. Ideally, because we want to check and see if this is WHY he didn?t alert, you want him to work on a variety of different actual truffles. Not just pieces from the same truffle. I think, that may be what?s going on to a degree. We want to reward and encourage positive histories on a variety for him.

The vodka is used to sterilize the outside of the truffle to help keep it in good shape for longer- so you can use them for longer in eating or training.

Videos:

He?s working really hard! and he is finding them, you are right, but dismissing/ leaving the area.

I would suggest you go back a step and mark his buried hides when you do this with the new truffle pieces. That way you know when he is on one and can come in to reward/ praise encourage staying at source, solidifying that reward positive reward history before he leaves the area. You can build up that behavior and engage at source. This was a bit atypical for him, he normally stays at source really well, so we want to go back and address this.

He does seem more stressed than I have seen him before in this scenario. This may just be a one off too- we all have those days!

He does a good job of working it out at 1:37. And you do a good job around the 4:20 helping him. That is exactly right. we want him to win!

Also good choice on then working in a familiar spot.