Reply To: Anthony Soldato & Zucca

Alana McGee

First video:
You clicked at 0:06. What was that for? Lure her away with a treat so you leave the scenario together.
At 0:20, sounds like you verbally stopped her from alerting on the target. It is the correct target and she isn’t wrong so we recommend rewarding EVERY opportunity you have to build a reward history. She doesn’t understand that you didn’t have the hide planted yet. She was correct and eager to locate it. Reward that!
0:34 you clicked. Where is the treat? Every single click should be followed with a treat. This is something Zucca needs to be able to count on. Without a doubt she should expect a treat anytime she hears a click. Otherwise the value for the reward marker is diminished. At 0:40, you click again and reward. Good. Remember to reward every time you click. Remember to lure her away. Put a treat in your hand. Put your hand up to her nose and lure her out of the scenario.
1:23 this happens again. First click, she is looking for her treat. That is the response we want to the clicker. She should have been rewarded for that. You leave together after this one and that is good. We still recommend a treat lure.
2:12 look at the video here. Do you see that whiplash turn? It’s just a moment, but if you can capture a moment like that with a click and treat, Zucca’s understanding will significantly improve. Even if you are unable to capture it, be very aware of that behavior. That is how it will look when she catches the odor! That was awesome! When that happens, you want to make sure it ends in success so even just offering some verbal praise and encouragement will help her understand that she was, in fact, on the right path. It’s a learning curve, but if you watch the video and begin to recognize that behavior it will give you clues as to what Zucca is or is not perceiving with her nose.

Second video:
0:04 she was on it and you pulled her off of the truffle. Make sure she is occupied or contained while you set up or be prepared to reward her if she beats you to the hide before you finish setting up.
0:15 is quite nice!!!
0:29 there is a click and no cookie. Accidental click? Still treat. Treats should follow clicks 100% of the time.
0:52 you were prepared for her to beat you back to the scenario this time and jumped right into action. MUCH better! Well done.
0:56 and 1:00 did you treat both of those clicks? Remember to lure her away.
1:40 was BEAUTIFUL! Did you see the head turn? You didn’t need to give the verbal cue again. She was on it! Lure away with a treat.

This is evolving nicely. Just be sure consistently know what you are clicking for and follow a click with a treat 100% of the time. We think Zucca will show much more excitement as your understanding as a team develops. She is getting a few mixed signals so that is causing a little confusion. This week’s training was a significant improvement. From now on, pick up the target and put it in your pocket before leaving the cone. Then lure her away with a cookie.

Looking forward to seeing her playing. It would be nice to add some play into these sessions depending on how that looks in video.

Good job. Work on those clicks and treats. Next video, let us know precisely what you are clicking for during the session.

Your answers to the questions regarding photographs look good, but I will open the door for Alana to chime in if she thinks it is needed. That is her area of expertise.