Reply To: Annie & Ashley

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Alana McGee

You say “Tracking you for sure”…

I say because we’d like to know more: How do you know that? Does she follow your actual track? If this is the case you need to be extra careful to put your scent all over the dang place and touch lots of things and walk around AFTER you have put the targets out. If this is something she is doing and following it to odor, we want to proof for it- and depending on how strict she follows it, we may suggest other handling practices of odor.

Also- another point about the alert in different environments, because I just made a post to Alyssia on it as well: Some dogs don’t love to push through or under physical stimuli and will offer different alerts based on that in those scenarios.

It makes more sense if you go read that post, as you can then relate it to your specific situation and what you are seeing with Ashley (since we can’t see you)- but different dogs are put off by different stimuli.

As I mention in the post to Alyssia, one of my own dogs is put off by things that touch her back because she has a low head carriage and doesn’t like to be surprised when branches her head fits under then touch her back. It changes her alert in these scenarios. Often times, if she actually ‘sees’ the environment before she follows her nose in, she will offer what I consider to be her less precise distance alert until I ask for a more specific behavior.

Alerts evolve. Remember that too. What you start with now will likely not be your ending chain behavior. We recommend students let the alert evolve naturally, with guidance and encouragement when possible, but like Kristin’s Cash and his ‘bark’ when he is on odor, that evolved because Cash likes to bark to communicate 🙂

The first step is in recognizing when this occurs, perhaps why and then noticing the differences in energy level, and confidence in different scenarios. Then you can begin to pick up on subtle clues and body language that also alert you to this (pun not intended), and then, you can try to alter behaviors to make it more obvious, or you have just succeeded in furthering your own relationship and communication with one another. It truly is a partnership, and each party has to be able to read and understand the other.