Reply To: Karen Drummond & Haggis

Alana McGee

Hi Karen

Here is a review of your first video with Haggis

That Tail!

When you clicked when he was elevated searching, was there scent/ odor source up there? (0:34/ 0:35)
1:13 very good timing on your marker, and again on showing that there is no odor in your hand- notice after he checks your hand he goes into “search mode”. As Kristin commented on one of the earlier videos he is using the visual representation as a clue after hitting odor, but that is ok.

We know this was you just giving Haggis a win at every opportunity, and the two hot containers on the ground were a good idea. No matter which one he chose, he was correct. So well done on playing to the fact and the concept of success.

2:15 try moving your feet a bit to engage him there. He’s so focused on you. If you present movement (while not making eye contact) it may be enough to re initiate him in the search. You did a good job acknowledging the intention/ alert on the hot container you put on top of the crate.

Haggis may be a dog to likes to paid for easy work, so this will be something to watch going forward. Truffle on ground, in hand receives reward, truffle in pocket (after it’s been picked up) gets praise, that’s right Haggis, but not the same kind of reinforcement (eventually). Right now you are still just building that value when it manifests. But good on Haggis for letting you know there were truffles on top of the crate 😉 Clever boy.

Second video:

We love the sound of that tail thumping on the cabinets.

0:12 nice delivery at source of reward. 0:22- we would encourage you to ask for a re-alert here (that would be a 3rd alert) of having Haggis touch the container when your hand is on it, or even drawing more attention and intention to it while leaving it on the floor. You want to build the value of staying at source for Haggis, and making the party at the source and lengthening that party are ways to do that. Keeping building in time at the source wherein where he and you are at the source together builds more and more positive associations.

The hold nose on target is not strong on that first alert, but he dwells. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge that yes this is what we want! 0:29 is better. We know you’re trying to elicit more clear alerts, and that will come with some time practicing this as well. Question: Are you priming Haggis before he enters a search area? If you are not doing so, we suggest you start. As the session progresses, and he becomes more aware of what is being asked, he becomes more comfortable and more confident in offering desired alert behaviors.

After he alerts (and the series of re-alerts) we would encourage you to pick up the source and remove it from the game when dealing with multiples. For a variety of reasons, one of which being that if he goes back to it while it’s down, that source is still in the game. If he alerts on it (or at this stage shows increased interest) he is correct. If there is a truffle there you want to be sure that you mark & reward interaction with it. It also more mimics real world scenarios if the source is removed after the series of alerts. Again, he is not wrong, as a source is there, and you are still at the stage of building Value on it. (0:57) When working on orchards later there is value in a scenario like this, wherein leaving a source is appropriate when our end criteria is not “truffle in hand”, but first Haggis has to know that staying at source, and any time he smells a source on the ground he will be rewarded & have positive reward histories associated with it.