Reply To: Mary Hammond & Salu

Alana McGee

Hi Mary. Are you able to cut your videos down to under 3 minutes? Video analysis on more than 3 minutes creates huge files 😉

Your first search looks great! Salu knows what he is doing and stays at source which is AWESOME! It sometimes takes time to get to the dog and it is very helpful if they stay at source or will re-find the truffle. Good job asking for a “show me” and rewarding more. This was a long and lovely reward sequence. One thing to note is that you will never stand back just watch him alert on the truffle. Get down in there and be part of the party 🙂 Good job remembering to pick up the box…he is training you 😉

I am guessing pass #2 is the one you mention he alerted on the wrong box. Yes, you handled it correctly. Simply ignore incorrect alerts. What he did was go back to the last location he received a reward. This is very common. You did a nice job of ignoring it and positioning yourself so he would check the other boxes. Even though you moved toward the correct box, I wouldn’t worry too much. Ideally we don’t guide them to the correct find, but clues are ok when dogs are working to sort out exactly what criteria gets a reward. Next time, you could go to the incorrect box, inspect it and put it back down. Then face the direction of the other two boxes and let him choose how to search them.

Be careful when observing his body language. What he did at the incorrect box was not consistent with his confident alert. He was unsure and even barked. He had many reasons to go back to that box (mainly reward history there) so he was just narrowing down criteria. If you watch it again you will see that his behavior does not match the alert we are used to.

2:14 I would have jack potted this one BIG! You asked for more from him and he gave it. He wasn’t as enthusiastic because those first cookies didn’t appear but he was happy and I’d have paid for it with a big party and more rewards.

Overall, well done! Salu is doing great and he is happy. That’s the most important part. Let’s see you get into the party more. When truffles are underground, you will be down there with him so let’s set that stage now. We want him to be happy about you being down there in his space searching for truffles in the dirt.

Add some paper towels to your boxes to remove the visual cue of seeing the tea ball inside the container. That way all of the boxes will appear identical.