Reply To: Annie & Ashley

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Alana McGee

walk more and do it AFTER placing tins (not just during placement).
YES do this.

The outdoor survival skills class sounded fun! and VERY useful.

It is perfectly fine to fade cookies/ food rewards, You know Ashley best. Just do have her still have the same level of excitement with the reward process.
10/12 outdoor search. 85-90 degrees. no real wind.

This is an incredibly hard scenario. Heat, with that much of it– odor rapidly rises and plumes over the dog?s head. The dog basically has to be right on top of a target to get it. No wind, generally means it goes straight up. Just fyi.
During her play, she ran around and got general sniff of the area.
As we have mentioned on some other threads, this is perfectly ok, and encouraged. Many dogs will work more effectively and efficiently if they are given a chance to explore their environment.

As for the speaking command during the alert? Will be curious to see who wins that battle!
I come up she moves away.
This sounds like what we call ‘pressure?. It depends on how fast you are moving in etc. Just be sensitive to it. It is great she came back in, but just be aware that she may be uncomfortable with you coming in from whatever angle you did that. It may not be the case, a little hard to tell without seeing, but just be aware.
I need to practice few more times like this and watch both of our reactions. For me, I’m going to try asking her if she found something and get in with her to find the target.
This is a good idea, just be aware of ?when? she is backing away. Is it because you suddenly are there?
It appears she is just adjusting her alert for the conditions.
This is great! Alerts will evolve based on environmental conditions, so that?s great!

My understanding is that most dogs will automatically up their alerts if you do not respond to the initial low sugar alert – with pawing and barking etc.
This is generally a rule with shaped behaviors, & with dogs who understand shaping (not all do- you have to train that!), but you want to be very specific when dealing with things like blood sugar etc, so your local trainer who is helping with that would be the best source for that.

The other thing we suggest you do- and we do this later for truffles, but for mushrooms it will be a tad different. Get some fruit bodies and have them on top of the ground. Does her alert change? See if you can notice differences.