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Yes, of course play is better than shutting down 🙂 We don’t think she was shut. Play is always good 😉
1:33 GOOD use of movement to re-engage.
One of the important take-aways from this video, and valuable for you, is in the recognizing truffle odor search behavior vs. other search/ play behavior. You do recognize it, but in the field later this will become very important as complexity levels increase in the forest.
You do a really good job of being connected with her down at source. 3:16, that was also perfect on your part for asking for more at source there. More games! A mini-game of re-alert to try to engage her more. Good job. It provides you more time to stay connected with a positive energy and grounding. When you pull the toy out after that notice the shift in her energy. She becomes MUCH more playful. (4:05) it is a shift from the beginning of video.
Accidental well timed clicks are the best 😉
If this were habitual (which it isn’t necessarily) we’d say to decrease the complexity of the scenario, probably by limiting the size of the area you’re working, and to yes, decrease your criteria for success. You guys are doing great, you are, but this was harder for her partly because of distraction. Keep that in mind when you re approaching more challenging situations. If you read she is being more easily distracted by her environment, Drop criteria and have a party.
Well done working through a complex scenario however. You two handled it well.