Reply To: Mary Hammond & Salu

Alana McGee

Picking it up and walking away with it is just fine. Later we ask you to do exactly that. In a real world environment the end criteria for success is the truffle in your hand. So essentially you will be picking it up and walking away with it before he finds the next one.

You’re doing a great job.
At 0:42 take a look at this moment again. He is offering some very nice behaviors. If you want to strengthen duration of these behaviors or shape an alert more intense, here you could have held off on moving (yourself)/ exiting the area) for just a few seconds. It is highly likely Salu would have offered another behavior at source.
When this happens that is when you have that extra party or jackpot (provided it is a behavior you want), that Kristin was mentioning. Also when you do that, pay attention the tone in your voice and add in more enthusiasm.

0:35 is a good example of an increase in your tonal enthusiasm.

That all being said, we love that he us obedient to odor or location already.

Salu is extremely bonded, focused, and sensitive to you. I point it out because it will come back later in more complex scenarios wherein he will be watching you and reading your body langauge hints on where he should be searching, so you’ll need to be conscious of how you might inadvertently be cuing him into where the odor is hidden in the future.

Look at the search at 2:15. This was more independent, less relying on you for information. See the shift–he has his face to the ground smelling, searching for odor as opposed to looking at you to tell him where it is and where odor is… after doing this a couple of rounds you may notice he begins to gradually get more comfortable and confident with the game after a handful of trials.

The following is very subtle, but we mention it so you can see it:

At 2:54 Salu pauses and shifts his weight to the side as if you were not moving he would have gone back to that first box. We don’t suggest you change anything with this scenario set up presently, but it is another example of how he is looking to you for information. Had you not been moving presently in that scenario he may have gone back. Just something to note and allow yourself pauses as you work an area. This behavior is something we see manifest in new environments as dogs gain confidence in the game. Being able to read your dog and when to move and when to be still are skills that come with time and practice, but watch that segment again with that in mind because that slight pause is possible indication of him being in odor but unsure. Movement by a handler can allow a safety measure, encouragement, and direction but it also can be used as pressure which is something we talk about later.

Good job picking the target up after that round.

That last one was really Pretty Mary! He is more confident. And look and notice your level of enthusiasm in reward. This was well done! 4:09 beautiful on the last pass around! Even with you still moving he was confident and alerted. That right there was fabulous because while you are still even moving it now is him communicating more confidently with you! Love it!