Reply To: Week 6 Assignment


Annie & Dottie #5679

Success Criteria
• Looking at the success in this video I would guess that Annie has over 80% accuracy with Dottie.
• Dottie did locate on a verbal cue each of the 4 times
• Indicating using the paw 3 out of 4 times, but due to height not because Dottie forgot

Hi Annie, it is wonderful to see the relaxed body language in Dottie as she works. Dottie’s very enthusiastic with her searching and it’s nice to see you work with that enthusiasm and encourage is with a soft voice.

At 0:10 Dottie finds the truffle, and you give the good girl and ask her to present it again, due to the video I am not sure if you rewarded at the tea ball or not. However, I would encourage that you continue to do this whilst you go through the process of picking the tea ball up. Once picked up you gave her the cue to find again but appear to be distracted when you gave her the cue to seach ‘OK”. Dottie found the second one at 0:33. But didn’t get her expected ‘good girl’ but a “find it” so she walks away and then you ask her “what d’you find” and she takes you back to the sample. Great praise during this and she certainly enjoys her crunch toy.

Dottie then goes back to the kitchen to start searching where the previous samples were. When you called Dottie and said ‘find um” you then moved more into the second room which gave Dottie the clue that the kitchen had been cleared. She then actively searched the second room and found the sample in the basket 1:34. Because of the container, Dottie didn’t indicate as normal due to the height of the basket. Are you happy with her when she points with her nose in place of her pawing? You encourage her beautifully during this search and both of you enjoy a great play with the crinkle toy.

I like that at 2:17 you reset Dottie to the start of the room and asked her to search again. She did a wonderful paw indication on this, and you praise her beautifully and reward at source, and then have another great play with crinkle toy. I think that you did an awesome display of searching for truffle scent and Dottie didn’t show any stress during those searches. It was a dream to watch.

During the down time between these courses, can I suggest:
• You proof the paw indication on both hidden and high samples. This will allow her to indicate the exact position that the sample/truffle is whether underground or taken up a tree by an animal
• Choose the search ‘cue’ and before each search use that cue only. Whether it is ‘find it’ or OK, although I would suggest not using OK as the start cue.
• Rewarding Dottie with the crinkle toy is great, I would set this up as the end game play session rather than in the middle. This can be seen both as an end cue for the search and tell her a job well done. You could have a finished cue that you can associate with the crinkle toy so Dottie understands whether you give the finish cue or the crinkle toy.
• You spend time working at ground level picking up the sample with Dottie there watching. As she is a small dog, standing over her could be overbearing so working on this behaviour with her will help when you are out in the forest
• Find some new areas to practice searching that are different, more demanding due to distraction, although your dogs in the background are already providing wonderful distractions.