Reply To: Annie & Ashley

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Alana McGee

Each of us tied a hide earlier this week at the edge of a natural park. Ashley was not interested. I think it ended up being that the dried mushroom sample did not have much smell.

New place – first time there – edge of a natural park area, but in a landscaped spot
We took a 1 hour hike before doing the hide.
On a leash
Fresh dried mushroom samples.
Distractions: people walking by on trail
3 easy – blind hides – Bill did a fantastic job on the hides- he works for kisses 🙂
Ashley found them no problem.

I could really see her catching scent. She went down the little hill and followed it up.
Bonus: I got to ignore Bill as he told me we were cold. 😉 We had a good laugh about that today.

New place: local park, distractions and large area
Distractions: kids, dogs
On a long line.
Fresh dried mushroom samples.
Blind hide
Large area search with 6 targets: under duff, 1 in grass – very spread out.
Ashley found 5 and was done.
This search took a long time, but Ashley kept going with good energy.
I added a little play in between and that got her all excited and really increased the energy in her search.
Some redirection to get her in the right general area or off of pee-mail. I gave her a little time for the pee-mail then got her focused on mushrooms again.
Over all a great search for such a large & new area!
Some of her alerts were not as strong, but this has been her pattern. As she gets comfortable with a big change her alerts get strong again.

So my plan for the next few weeks is:
1. increase the number of buried hides at home
2. mix in easy yard and in the house hides
3. continue with new areas and alternating between expanding the area or adding buried hides
3. take a few hour trip to where we might actually find mushrooms
4. start adding a new odor
5. work on precision alerts

Fake Mushrooms
I’m also thinking of making some ‘fake’ mushrooms with potatos (similar to your suggestion with truffles) and some mushroom oil. A place these out to see if there is an issue with picking them up.

We will also be watching some video of Ashley’s finds and see what she is doing for alerts and what we want to bring out. She likes both nose touching and pawing – even better. Bill and I did discuss barking for
an alert and we came to an agreement that barking is a good idea.

Alyssia, Spring and Alana thanks for your discussion on barking. That helped us think of what we will be doing and how barking as part of the alert will be good. Ashley can be fairly vocal when she is playing or trying to understand a shaping exercise and she can bark when asked, so this should be easy to add.

Alana, Kristin, Any thing else we should consider?

Thanks for a wonderful class!