Reply To: Erin O’Dell

Home Forums Recreational Truffle Dog Training 101 Erin O’Dell Reply To: Erin O’Dell

Alana McGee

GREAT! We like how you notice even in the moment you area touch late with the click. That’s ok! Recognizing timing is the first step. GOOD picking it up and moving it.

What you did at 0:28 is something that we actually go over later when we talk about teaching dogs to back up and check their ‘trailings’. That means the dog kicked the truffle out behind them and now they need to find it! You did it organically and it worked wonderfully! Way to go guys! Mika does a great job with it and with her movement in recognizing where the tin is. Impressive guys!

Watch the video again and practice clicking when Mika’s nose touches the tin. You want to click RIGHT as she does so. If when you are practicing this stage of imprinting you need to hold on to the target longer in your hand until you are ready, do that. There is no hurry here. You do a good job for the rest of the video. It looks pretty good.

The click at 0:39 is a great example. Remember you can always “reset” her as well by tossing a treat elsewhere in the room away from where you are staging the hide.

Look at the video example of Lois & Monza on their thread doing this exercise for that behavior.

0:48 GOOD! Good rewarding at source. You can even do it on top of the containers. What happens at 0:57 would be a good example of when a “reset” might engage her again. She offers the behavior (good for you for giving her the opportunity to offer it before jumping in), but if you get stuck here, that is a good thing to try. We would even encourage you to do so when you re set up the hide by moving the boxes.

Wow- she offers a very clear behavior at 1:17 fabulous! You can turn that into an alert if you’d like a bit later. Think about what you would like her alert, or series of alerts to be.

At 2:00 mark looks like you weren’t quite ready for it, but Mika was experimenting. That is completely expected!

We suggest that you graduate from these boxes to tuperwear wherein you can start to practice lengthening the reward sequence more and have have her re-alert via nose touch or paw inside the tupperwear once you have opened it up.

Your energy level is nice- and more importantly, matched. We talk about it at length later in the courses, but a lot of truffle hunting is relationship and communication with your dog. You and Mika are on the same wavelength. It is genuine, and calm while still having fun. You don’t have to be over the top in these scenarios with rewarding and we think you do a really good job here of matching Mika’s energy levels.

Remember when ending a session to pick up the target and take it with you… THEN you get her interested in the toy for playing. It’s great that she wants to play truffle games! That’s exactly what we want at this stage.,Short and sweet and full of positivity!

This is the first time we have seen Mika in a video- but watch it again and watch for this in particular: It isn’t truffle related, but look at her body posture when you are trying to give her reward of physical contact after a successful find. Your hand comes over the top onto her should blades. See how she shifts her weight down and backs off a bit putting more weight in her hind quarters. She seems slightly less comfortable with that form of reward/contact in this particular scenario. We’d suggest you pay attention to that in subsequent training and see if it was just this day, or if she does that often. If it is frequent, try a different angle of approach. Pet her sides or chest. Try not to come over the top of her head or shoulders. Examples of what I am referring to: 1:23, 1:49 (although this almost has elements of play/ focus on target involved), 2:27, 2:36, 2:53

Also watch her tail 😉 That we think may be a indicator for you later for her on odor.

This looks really good Erin and you guys are often to a fantastic start! Good timing, nice rewarding at source, and you read her very well. Very excited to see more! Great work.