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Can you write this as if you were speaking directly to the student?
Regarding the talk and encouragement at the beginning, Annie is doing what I asked her to do in my previous analysis. Because this was Dottie’s first hide without a visual ID, Annie was to offer verbal encouragement when Dottie appeared to be on the truffle scent. It’s just verbal confirmation to say “You are on the correct path. Keep going.” Is it a textbook approach? No. Will there always be “chatter”? Probably not, but we let the dogs dictate that. We see what they respond to in different situations and give them wha they need. Some dogs need complete silence. Some like to know they are on the right track. Dottie responded nicely to the verbal encouragement here. As you said, the improvements in each search sequence were visible.
Let’s see how you would present your comments if you were speaking directly to the student.