Reply To: Week 4 Instructor’s Assignment


Tim and Molly, video in Post #5418

Wow Tim, you and Molly are doing awesome! Molly is so sensitive to your hand cues, you certainly have a really strong bond and have done an amazing job of teaching her those skills.

Molly is doing really well working independently while still being very aware of your cues. I think that for this game, though, you don’t need to cue her so much. The way Molly is so intent on the search—she clearly knows what her job is—I am inclined to think that you don’t really need to give her directional cues. She is working the area well, so I think she would be able to locate the targets without your cues. Though it’s true that you may want to encourage her to search certain areas when out in the field, you ultimately won’t know where the truffles are and so she will need to be able to expand her search area without being directed to a specific small area. So leaving out the directional cues might be good for Molly to learn that she will have to work more independently in this game.

It appears that Molly is becoming more reluctant to release the ball in this video than she was in previous videos, and from personal experience, I know that this could become worse as you begin to work with multiple hides in the same exercise. If Molly is receptive to it, I would suggest trying to exchange the ball for a very high value treat. With highly ball-motivated dogs, there is often no treat that ranks as high as the ball, but as with one of my own ball-obsessed dogs, I have found that a high-value treat makes relinquishment easier and at least to some degree rewarding.

One thing I would recommend is encouraging Molly to stay at source until you have the target in hand. One example is at 1:50—you are still looking for the target while Molly scampers off with the ball. My suggestion would be to withhold the ball, and ask for a re-alert (or maybe even more than one) to keep her there and in the game until you’ve found the target. She is really proficient at this game, and so I don’t think it is beyond her skill level to have to wait and re-alert until you have recovered the target before you give her the ball. In fact, your following video where you are working on alerts shows how willing she is to stay at source and re-alert until she gets the ball. (Beautiful work, by the way, in that video as well!)

Molly’s progress is very impressive, and your strong bond and strong foundational training really shines in these videos! Keep up the great work!

  • This reply was modified 8 years, 11 months ago by Annie.