Our latest session went really well! I hid 4 hot targets around the room and she found them much faster than I was ready for. 🙂
[[Disclaimer: I apologize tremendously for 2 very embarrassing things in this video: 1) obnoxious screeching in the background. Waiting on the sidelines has become increasingly more difficult for Tuesday, my other truffle dog in training. We’ll be working on calm, quiet behavior on the sidelines during our time off! And 2) horrible camera action–I’ll be investing in a tripod and better camera during our time off, I promise!]]
I did catch myself rewarding slightly away from the original source on the second find, because she kicked the tin toward me. I’m still working on trying to remember to take the odor back to the original source to reward.
I am especially pleased about a couple things in this particular session:
1) Dottie seems to be getting the hang of the “Find em” verbal cue. I know this isn’t a big deal right now, but even so, I think it’s starting to become clearer to her.
2) at a couple points, she picks up the scent column and makes a quick turn toward the source. I feel like she is becoming more aware and confident of what odor she is looking for, and that her searches are becoming more methodical and deliberate.
3) her new crinkle toy is a huge hit. She was so happy with it when I brought it out as a reward (after find #2), and she stayed pumped up through the whole session. This may seem small, but I had been anticipating trouble with her ability to “get back to work” without re-setting the room/scenario, so I think it really helped to have a toy that kept her pumped up and wanting to do more.
4) I have been working quite a bit on getting her to use only her paw to target and to not pick up the targets/containers anymore. This seems to be sinking in, as she didn’t actually pick up any of the tins, and was much better about using her paws instead of her mouth.
Lots more to work on and refine, both with Dottie’s skills and mine. But all in all, I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made over the last 6 weeks! Thank you Kristin and Alana!