Thank you for clarifying Tim. That’s what it looked like with the whistle, but we wanted to be sure.
A paw is an acceptable first alert. This comes back to our question of will you be working on your own orchard or others as well? The reason we ask is if on other orchards not your own, not all orchard owners want dogs to dig them up. It is something we cover in our level 3 course when it gets to the point where folks are actually starting to possibly find truffle- and how orchard harvesting is a bit different than wild harvesting.
All that said, absolutely. That is generally our preferred series of alert behaviors- because remember it is a behavior chain, not just one alert behavior. A nose touch as a re-alert is fabulous. It is often more precise than feet, as you will see later. If Molly offers that paw behavior, go for it! You will notice over time her alert behavior chain will evolve and adapt as well to the scenario you are working in, so just be conscious of that fact. We tend to be more adaptive in our approach than requiring strict obedience to a cue, as situations on orchards and in the wild will vary, and so it is your task as a handler to interpret her signals.
But in short, yes, absolutely. We like to use what the dog offers naturally and be an opportunist when possible!