[quote]Lesson learned: don’t be lazy, rather skip one dog’s lesson.[/quote] As I often say, your other dog doesn?t know it is necessarily missing fun truffle time, it?s a handler complex 🙂
Refine the alert in familiar environments first, yes. At this point in the field, don?t just push for it too hard, but if it manifests, jackpot. You can start to withhold a little/ delay on reward in the field, but you need to be very sensitive to Esprit?s state. If you feel he is edgy and going to leave source, you need to make your rewards and criteria sooner and more lax. You don?t want to lose him at source.
Don’t push it for new places….simply jackpot if he does do a more refined alert out in the field and begin to increase your delay and RoR a little. Not enough to discourage by any means! Just to lengthen. See how that goes first. You can, if the alert behavior doesn?t self manifest like you want, actually ?teach? a down or whatever cue you want at source, but we like to use what is offered when possible as that will be you?r dog?s natural tendency under stress.