Hi Rachel. Sorry for the delay.
We do hope you are feeling better!
Scanning the area is just fine, and actually we would encourage you to allow Esprit a moment to do that. Playing with him before hand, it also seems to make quite a bit of difference. We are not concerned really about contamination from either of the dogs with your guys, but it is good to know. Both of your dogs work in complex environments in other realms, and Esprit?s (& your) background in SAR will only help!
The difference between Esprit and Vidoc is clear, and distinct, but subtle. This is the part of truffle hunting that is most difficult, is matching your partners intention. You do a wonderful job with both dogs, you really genuinely do, and it is very clear you have an extremely strong bond with both.
Your connection to Vidoc is slightly more relaxed and fluid. And that is perfect, for Vidoc. For Esprit, and this is subtle change in a behavior on your part, we would like to see you a little more on your toes and vibrating with energy. (We know you were sick- but bear with us a sec) This is tough to translate into words, but it is a subtle difference. We want you to almost anticipate his alerts and be right on the ball. For Vidoc we don?t suggest this actually. Calm approach and what you are doing now is perfect for him, but for Esprit, again, it is subtle, but we want you to match his vibrating energy a little more.
At about 0:11 even just a little bit more pick up and high tone in your voice. Elevate your Energy it a little. Just a touch.
We are not picking on you when we say this ( 🙂 ), it is actually an extreme compliment and testament to your training and connection with your dogs; we are just trying to be very specific with you because you are already operating at such a high level we are trying to pull out the very best performance we know you two are capable of. Don?t take it the wrong way. You guys are doing AWESOME. STELLAR. FANTASTIC. And we mean that, honestly and wholeheartedly. That is why we feel like we can mention some of these very slight details to try to help you hone in on factors that will help later when you are hunting for long period of time!
Esprit does a wonderful job. Nothing but kudos for you guys, especially in terms of mechanics and searching skills, and alerts. It looks superb.
Esprit is going to be one of those rare dogs capable of rapid fire hunting with 2 or 3 people (or more) in his wake, and just be unstoppable (* in a good way). (Vidoc is fantastic too and also capable of this, but it will be a different style)
Hides 1 and 2 were good, great even, but again, a little bit more energy on your part. Hide 2 we can see more of that anticipation and call to action on your part- and that is exactly what we want. Notice your hands and body posture (0:52) right as you see him getting on odor and close to the target. Granted they are not blind hides, but you were quick to get there and connect. That was nice.
Hide 3 felt like you were much more timely and ready to jump into the dig and a moment’s notice from Esprit. That felt more matched to us.
Again, the specificity we talk about is because you guys are operating at such a suburb level as is. Does this make sense?
With Esprit we just want you to be super on your toes, almost tense with energy waiting to explode- like he is! A firecracker.
Great job on your rewarding, and you have perfect timing on calling him back to attention at 0:40. We really like that you don?t automatically just cue him to work, you give him a minute. You read him really really well.
As always it is great to watch, and I know it can be hard to internalize these very subtle changes in behavior on your part, because they are so very subtle but with Esprit, just remember to be on your toes with anticipation- and pick your voice up a touch in pitch. (We know we are being nitpicky- and you guys are great as is, but that itty bitty bit of pick up with Esprit will make a big difference in the long run when you are out hunting for an hour in the woods, so it?s good to try to practice now)
You guys look fantastic though and we can’t wait to watch buried hides as well as larger area searches a bit later.
Fantastic job though. And again, I do like this training space for you guys!