Reply To: Mary Hammond & Salu

Alana McGee

We do cover 2 person handling and one handler multi dog situations in the 3rd level of our course.

We don’t recommend it as a practice generally but there are occasions and teams that can do it successfully. It will depend on many factors, but one of the things that is difficult working two dogs in the field as a handler is your attention is split. You’ll often hear Kristin and I saying you should have 100% attention on your dog at all times while you are working. Your dog deserves that and with two dogs something suffers. There are teams where the dogs will work in concert to locate hides, but often you’ll have two dogs who are off finding truffles in different directions and you can’t be at both locations at physically the same time. We will address this concept in depth later. Inter-dog dynamics come into play as well at that point.

*Personally I have worked two dogs at a time, but it is a rare circumstance and often is heavily managed if I do it at all. I prefer to work each alone for some of the reasons described above.

Dogs can and do Learn through observation, and that’s okay as long as that isn’t the only tool in the tool box. It was okay to do that as described, and YES rewarding him, and showing him where it was so he can engage in the experience with you & Lola was appropriate and even encouraged in that situation if he was viewing it anyway. Later in the course series if that is something you are interested in, it might be interesting to explore the dynamic of how the two of them & you work together to truffle hunt- but we’d say not yet. Because you also want to be respectful to Lola in those situations and provide all the support both dogs need at this stage. But yes, that was okay and there are some teams who can do it successfully- but again it depends on the dogs, their dynamics, and how they work together (or apart).