Reply To: Annie & Dottie

Alana McGee

Hi Annie

Welcome back to class. Those sites look great.

Working in areas with moles/ voles is fabulous distraction. Be sensitive to Dottie’s attention span in these areas.

Many productive (as in truffle productive) christmas tree farms do have grass like this with mice/voles which can be a huge distraction for some dogs, so be conservative on criteria & expectations. Also many orchards in the US are plagued with critters like these, so it is good practice for those too!

We’ve seen you working a bit in these areas previously and they are great. The stump/ dip in the ground, density and height upto first trees branches on the smaller trees will all provide ample different scenarios for you to work through in the coming weeks. Start to be sensitive to notice (once hides are around obstacles) if she has a particular angle of approach or if she avoids anything as an additional stimuli (thinking branches overhead here etc).

We aren’t quite at that time of year yet, but considering your location, and ecosystem of that area it wouldn’t surprise us if truffles are present in either the older stand of trees, or possibly the christmas tree farm. If you start to notice Dottie (or Tuesday) alerting where you have not planted hides, please let us know, we may need to amend assignments for you if there is truffle mycellium off gassing in those areas. We wouldn’t expect that to happen for at least another month or so, but please do be aware that these locations could potentially could harbor truffles.


Thank you for labeling Tins. Yes, that makes it much easier to see.

Good persistence Dottie! Love the feet shuffle of excitement!

(0:24) Execllent job on leaving the scenario and re-setting.

(0:35) You are right on the money here Annie. Good instincts on when to wait & encourage Dottie for a more forceful and clear alert. If you continue to see that ‘quick’ paw, ask and encourage her. We also love the moment at 0:49 where staying at source trumps toys (you point this out after the next find when she goes right back into searching as a reward, but you can see this behavior forming here)! You handled that well, and notice the change in her behavior upon review after you pick up the target. Great work. Thank you for letting us see a glimpse of the transition into play/ reward as well. It is a helpful reference point.

1:38- GREAT. As you mentioned, the neighbors are normally a huge distraction. Well done. Dottie has decided searching is really interesting and rewarding in of itself. You, as a handler do a good job here of making sure you are still aware what Dottie is doing, and rewarding appropriately. It is a Handler distraction!!Those happen just as often as canine centered distractions. Glad it was captured on film, so you can review and analyze how well you handled this scenario.

This is a great moment of Team work. It highlights the principle that you rely on one another, and can adjust and adapt. When one team member is distracted, the other carries that weight.

Had Dottie been distracted by this (we see her glance briefly in that direction), you would have needed to pull your focus more away from the nieghbor to re-engage her in the game. We say you always want 100% focus on your team mate when hunting, but this is one of those real world scenarios that are unexpected and tough to plan for. You handled it very well. If Dottie had been in a slightly less confident state this interaction may not have gone as smoothly as is it did. Not a critique- but something to be aware of. While you were distracted slightly by communicating, you were very aware of Dottie and her positioning. Well done Annie!

The cluster was good. Glad you did this one

Real world scenarios all around!

On to lesson 2!

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