OK been thinking about it today, the initial alerts molly offers- pawing at ground has been consistently the same since we started this, so this behaviour has been rewarded heavily for about a month, this is also a behaviour that has come naturally I’ve not had to shape in any way and until a couple of day ago has been consistent, every target she has located this alert has been offered.
The weather should have worked in our favour nice breeze not to hot. Usually she would have been on the source in no time at all.
The drive bys have happened on the last two sessions, this has been along side different hunting body language, more speed less snif if you like, clearly not hunting effectively. This other factor makes me thinks its more to do with something I’m doing rather than reward history. Here’s my theory, the last two session we worked on hides that she would find easily – much easier than some we have practised on. the scents hadn’t been cooked and I’m 100% sure the truffle is ok, different fruiting bodies. The purpose was to work on her guarding behaviour and get the ball back without her leaving the target area, this was reasonably successful. Got ball back rewarded with food. However she will still guard it even if she’s about to drop it on the floor. IE Molly alerts gets ball, turns head , turns her back to me drops ball on floor. Reading what your last post says i think i’ve put to much pressure on her to give that ball back without guarding, I think I need to work on this a bit slower.
Indecently she went wild for food reward was turning ball down in favour of tinned hot dogs . I prefer a ball reward just because I’ve always got a ball somewhere and often forget to take food reward to work, where alot of the training takes place. Also you can never run out of ball!
Moving forwards I’m going to go back to box hides for a session and reward with food. Then back to easy searches being concious not to put to much pressure on her whilst trying to eliminate the guarding behaviour. How does that sound?
I’ll get a vid of the next search session so you can see whats happening.