Reply To: Riley Starks & Stella

Alana McGee

YAY Riley! Way to go.

Good job on imprinting, Stella certainly knows odor! You have been working on it 😉 Also, you may not realize it but those mats you are standing on will be perfect later for a few exercises.

Also added distractions of kitty. We know she ignores the cat, but well done! This is a high level of distraction, good job stella.

To keep Stella occupied while you reset the truffle tins, toss a treat for her away from the game. It acts as a “reset” and gives you a few precious moments to re-stash the tins without her looking!

0:30 Omg goodness, that made me chuckle. The cat has spunk, Stella is relatively unworried, but we love her drive. She just wanted the cat out of the way of the tin! Love the perseverance. Perhaps the kitty wants to truffle hunt too 😉

Good timing on 0:33. That was better on your clicker timing.

She’s fast. Good job on your part getting the treats down near source. You have your hands full with her! I forget the kitty’s name, but it is hilarious and wants to be a part of the game.

That was a nice length of session and the two of you have a really nice bond and it shows.

You’ve got nice spacing between tins, see if you can work on a re-alert now and solidify that (like you did at 0:38). Try the exercise where you toss the treat away to reset her a few times, but we think you are very ready to move on to more complicated scenarios. Change up your configuration, and build some reward history on that.

You guys look good. The other thing to just watch out for is your verbalizations. She knows the games pretty well we’d say in this scenario so it is unnecessary to prompt her repeatedly, and later when you are actually out in the forest you’ll get hoarse asking her frequently where the truffle is. You settle into it a bit and it decreases throughout the video, but give her a chance to show you where the truffle is prior to you prompting. If she struggles, or looks at you questioningly, then offer her the cue. Just be conscious of when you say your cue words. It is habit for us as humans and it does & can act as encouragement, but Stella is on task here and confident so we’d like to decrease the noise for her and keep the value & meanings of the cues/ encouragement high for when you do want it.

well done team.