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Hi Anthony, I can see that Zucca is advancing into the training area whilst you are still setting up. If you are able to have someone else hold her whilst you set up, it makes it less stressful for you and you can start her at the beginning of the search line for a clean start.
Can you confirm what Zuccas alert is. When Zucca found the sample with her nose you waited till she looked at you prior to c/t. If we can c/t on the nose touch if that is her cue to you she has located a sample, that would be strengthen that behaviour. Some good rewarding after the find, although I would still feed over the sample at this stage to reinforce the find.
On the second one I was unable to see her alert and the rewarding you were giving her.
I would suggest giving the search cue once and see if she continues to search on her own accord. If she looks like she is going to falters that is when I would give the cue again to keep her searching. The third search was beautifully done by Zucca and she didn’t deviate from her task. Overuse of the cue may water down what we expect of Zucca. As an example, some people train their dogs to sit, however, they have found they only sit on the 5th word as they trained them to the cue of Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit. The third location was very nicely executed, you c/t on her nose touch, then came down to her and touched her chest and head but she backed off from you, I would suggest that touch is not a high reward for her in this situation. Anthony, have you seen her back away from you before when you have touched her? Your food rewarding is working well for her, however, I have noticed a few clicks that have not been rewarded. You must deliver a reward for each click, that is your commitment to Zucca, that every time she hears a click an exceptionally nice reward is going to arrive shortly after.
In the last search encouraged her back into the training area after she walked away really nicely. She then carried out the search and was well rewarded for her work.
I think the main points from this weeks training is to reward Zucca everytime she hears a click, even if you didn’t meant to click, it is the agreement you have with Zucca; reduce the number of times that you ask Zucca to search, ask her once and if you feel that she needs further encouragement then ask her again; c/t the indication behaviour, is it a nose touch or the sit or looking at you.
I think that both of you have worked really well together and can that you have both grown a great partnership.