Reply To: Rachel & Esprit FE520

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Alana McGee

Oh my I had such a busy week to the point I canceled the herding workshop (but opted for agility trials nearby). It probably shows that I am chronically tired for weeks now in Esprit’s session today. I made some changes and hope to get back on track soon!

Same for Esprit: we did 3 sessions in new places for week 4 so far. I don’t think a new environment is a challenge for my dogs as they are used to train in new habitats and do a great job with generalizing. But I think the added difficulty of burying targets is still a challenge. Maybe the frozen truffles (bought a new one a bit before this session 2 started and stored it in pieces frozen) are not that distinct in smell anymore?

Thursday afternoon I lost one tea egg out of a total of 5 targets.Both boys were unable to find all 5 targets. The targets were buried for about 5 minutes.

Friday afternoon I had no car, buried 5 targets in the woods a bit behind my car. I let it cook for over one hour (picked up the car during that time). Again both both were unable to find all 5 targets. I think all the heavy and wet leaves added to the difficulty plus the earth was wet and packed too. Lost one small round tin.

And today, Sunday afternoon, our 3rd session with buried targets in a new environment. I used 2 small round tins and 5 plastic valves. Esprit didn’t have to deal with the grumpy old man but right in front of him was a pond. Near water is a huge distraction for Esprit or it’s rather where self-control goes down the cellar ;-). I tried to get into the water a couple times before we were ready to start. Then I got him searching and after he hunted that first target I spelled a handful of treats while giving him his rewards. Needless to say he found them all (I edited out that part).

Like Vidoc Esprit did a total of 3 searches in that same spot in the hope to find the 2nd small round tin. He did great job in his second session and found about 3 of the valves non of the dogs were able to locate before.

Esprit had the added difficulty of searching after Vidoc finishes his part. So there was some contamination and I did a darn good job hiding the 2nd round tin we never found. Chances are I was standing on it for some time… but who knows.

Same question how to continue as I don’t think new environments are an issue.The digging part – what kind of soil, how deep (I don’t even put 1″ on top of it) and how many targets to bury. I also don’t know what kind of a target to use. I only have one small round tin left and 1 tea egg. I can get tea eggs but they are a bit bulky I think. I have a nice variety of valves left though. And I need to mark it a thread as I can’t remember where I buried those targets.

I should do 2 different hides for each dog, right? But then in real life I would take both along.