Reply To: Karen Drummond & Haggis


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you about the videos. Am back home in New Zealand now so will be on deck more promptly.

I love the relationship between Mary and Salu. Salu is using his nose moreso than previous videos however, he still defaults back to Mary and watches what she is doing as she approaches.

Areas I found on Mary’s third video was:

0.17 – Salu did a really good search to find the first hidden truffle. When he indicated he tapped with his foot (active alert) and then Mary gave verbal Yeah and as Mary was walking towards him was still praising him and as she got closer Salu moved forward from the truffle, gave a sit and then a down behaviour whilst gazing at Mary, which Mary clicked on.

I would surmise that Salu is learning a chain of behaviour to indicate (paw hide), move forward and sit, down and watch Mary approach, although he does stay in the vicinity of the ‘hide’. I would like Mary to click when Salu is presenting the indication behaviour (is it the pawing or the sitting/down?), then placing the liver at the ‘hide’ without moving it to him.

I like the work that Mary does after the initial indication, but it would be nice for Mary to do that on the find.

There a lot is going on between the locating the truffle, hearing the click and getting rewarded. I like the sound of the frozen liver paste in the cap, and I do believe that Salu likes it far more than the other rewards, I am cautious about having a reward and pulling it away from the animal whilst they are licking it as it could become a punisher rather than a reward.

I would like to see Mary do all of the lovely work she does after he has alerted, as he alerts and get closer to him whilst he offers the selected alert position. I am not sure of the behaviour she would like Salu to offer when he locates a truffle. I think that Mary has previously identified she uses ‘show me’ and if Mary asked for that and got closer to Salu whilst he is offering her required indication the other offered behaviours may reduce.

It is a joy to watch them work through these challenges together, and they are a great team.