Reply To: Bev Maahs & Wolfy

Alana McGee

“Also after I rewarded him with food, he ran to the place where I kept the ball for this to get the ultimate reward.(the ball) Which was always in another room, as carrying the ball with me is just too distracting.” This is GREAT Bev,
It is a nice adaptation on your part to leave it in another room to aid in the decreasing of stimuli the ball provides. Start to think about how you will do this outside. Backpacks are good for this, or some kind of hip belt/ satchel where the ball is completely enclosed- start to think about how you can adapt that same principle of removing the ball out of the field of play so Wolfy can focus, while still having it accessible for reward when you want. We can provide some suggestions, but we’d like to see what you think might work for you- It might be a bit of trial and error in the beginning. But it will be a valuable tool to have in the field if you can manage his level of excitement/ distraction with it.

The first indication at 0:12 was SO NICE. We LOVE LOVE LOVE you can see him hit the scent column and do what we call a “head check”. It’s one of the most gratifying things to see in the field because it is indication of a very clear column of scent that the dog encounters and a visual recognition for us as handlers to realize the dog is on odor. Later, when difficulty is raised, this can be a good indication of when to start to provide encouragement in highly complex scenarios. Very pretty! I even love that he took a step past it and came back. This is tough to capture on video inside, so well done. Well done on re-alerts to build that value- he does of a good job of offering you a few behaviors that are eaiest for him depending on the location of the tin (meaning using his foot on the 2nd re-alert where it is by his shoulder is not practical- so he uses his nose) that’s fine. But it’s good to note now as well. Later, in the field sometimes truffles will not be easily accessible. A dog’s alert will often change or be indicative how easily they can access it. For example, one of my personal dogs will alert differently if the truffle is very shallow just below the surface, versus if the odor is originating significantly deeper. Same idea- in some instances- say if it is shallow, Wolfy may nose target more than if it is deeper where he will offer a paw/ dig. Something to be aware of is all.

We have no complaints/ few constructive additions to add on this video- it is well done. You do a good job of encouraging where encouragement is needed. 0:54- very nice impulse (and we agree) to move into the space with it to make it a collaborative search. 1:11 was well done Wolfy. He’s not shy about obstacles! That was awesome and made me chuckle. We did not expect him to go up and over. But he determined the best way to access it, and up & over is not a problem!

1:30- listen to him work. You can tell it’s hot but he is working the space nicely. He does a great job. When its hot not only does odor plume quickly (outdoors) but the panting can interfere, but he works the area well. Wolfy is not concerned with either tight spaces/ corners nor it seems physical limitations on boundaries. This is great and at the same time something to monitor later as you’ll be working in both the field (forest) and orchards. Since he doesn’t shy away form obstacles we can safely assume big downed logs and similar in the forest will not pose a blip on his map in terms of concern- so safety and managing his activity level in the forest (ie- not implying himself on sticks) will be something to monitor.

Very nice reward sequences here Bev- at source and on point with matched energy. Well done all around.

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