Reply To: Annie Ingersoll & Dottie

Alana McGee

Hi Annie.

Remember to keep in mind that when you go outside it is likely, especially in the beginning, that Dottie’s offered alerts will be more subtle due to the change in environment and the slightly unfamiliar nature of the game in this context. Dogs are all about context!

It looks like you have her on a collar lead here. Remember to let us know if that is your desired plan of action or if you’d like some suggestions on harnesses to possibly use. You do a very nice job of allowing space on the lead, meaning not applying pressure or arresting Dottie’s movements via tension on the leash.

We think you are correct in your self analysis of her offering slightly different search patterns and offering deliberate, and a tad more subtle alerts in this environment. They aren’t really too subtle in the search at 0:11 but it is a change in tone from the games inside, you are correct. That is to be completely expected, so nothing to be concerned about. She is engaged with you but being aware is the first step. Shifts in context of the game can do this.

She’s doing great, but you’re right, her bubbly self isn’t quite as confident or excited in this environment.
We love it that you take a moment to play! Play is important, and a great way to keep the entire game of truffles and everything around it fun! Whenever necessary, we are fans of play breaks.

You can see the shift her her energy even after that short little session of play with mom.

0:33 GREAT job at reengaging Dottie in the game. You can really see the strong bond the two of you have, and it is really nice that she looks to you for information when unsure and your communication back is very clear. Your beginning to move again in this scenario was indication and information for Dottie to keep looking.

On the hide at 0:50 that she identifies correctly we would recommend spending a bit more time in reward at the source. Eventually you are going to want to lengthen your reward sequence to last upto 30 seconds. Truffles can take time to excavate from the ground and we want Dottie staying with you engaged with you as you are in the process of harvesting them. Spend a little more time on acknowledging this was a correct find in the future- which you do later when working with the fire logs, but begging to push your reward sequence time even a little longer.

After the play break it is a bit hard to tell due to the camera angle on this one what that reward sequence looked like, but a jackpot now and then, especially after coming back into the game after a play break is a great way to solidify those positive associations of fun.

The logs are great. It is clear she knows the odor. This is a new space, and there are lots of other things going on, but you can see the confidence level in understanding of the game increasing with each repetition. That was an excellent reward sequence. Look at the difference in confidence and energy put into the alert process on the 2nd log hide! This is really great. Nice body positioning on your part to be slightly askew and not ‘fronting’ Dottie applying pressure on her preventing her access to the hide.
It wasn’t part of the video but make sure your exit form the game also has that same level of fun and energy on a job well done.

You guys are doing great outside. You have a very nice dynamic and in this session you can see Dottie’s confidence in the game growing in this context and building a successful reward history, which is exactly what we want.