Reply To: Karen & Haggis

Alana McGee

Hi Karen

A few things are happening here.

There seems to be a pretty decent breeze and that is why he is focusing on the fence line as it acts as a collection point for odor. You are working into the wind which is good. This first target is a bit hard in that instance because it is so close to the fence line that odor coming from it is actually bouncing off the fence and being sent back out due to the direction of the wind.

(oh if only I could draw diagrams!)

Fascinating if you watch the moments at the beginning of the video where you can see him following odor being pushed around an eddy around that box (like thing! Don’t know what it is!) on the right. That is where the odor from this truffle is moving. It’s a great scenario actually! and good that the targets have been out an hour. That makes it more complex and all told you both handle it very well.

0:23-0:33 He’s on the odor here. This would be a good time to offer encouragement. You know the truffle is there and his body language (even though there is no clear, solid alert like you are looking for) is giving you indication he is on odor. This is when you start offering more encouragement with the intent to build confidence.

We can’t hear you here, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t verbalizing, so let us know.

The encouragement vocalizations are different than praise. Just like you would if you were cheering on a friend in a marathon… “you can do it, good, job, keep it up”. The ‘party’ doesn’t come to the end. The energy of encouragement is more delicate and tends not to have such peaks. It is more fluid, less staccato.

A determined and honest worker that one.

Great line handling skills here.

The scenting of truffles in pocket is part of the context of rewards. That will improve with time, and alerts on truffle in pocket aren’t rewarded, eventually once they realize the source location they’ll switch away from it easily.

1:12 you are doing a good job of spending more time down there with him,a dn he is doing a good job of staying at source. Much better than previously. Keep at it. Movement isn’t bad. He’s a spaniel, so he’ll always be wiggly, but being engaged with you is the important part, and this looks much improved Karen.

1:54- he’s working nicely here. It is interesting to note that when he loses an odor column, he goes back to the space in the yard where he knows it has concentrated so he can work to pinpoint from there again. For some reason, it is pooling in the grass right there. (the wind shifts— it looks like briefly) around 1:30)

1:50- this is also excellent, and adds to his experience library, which is GREAT- watch this section again. He hits on the odor column for the first truffle and checks back to where it leads, but he’s noticed that you already removed that source so he then continues on. This is really nice.

2:03- that was a perfect time to ask “where is it again”. He likely would have gone right back onto searching, but this is one of those moments the builds you relationship. This kind of encouragement is great, and well timed.

2:14 that was a very clear “paw” as an indicator. Nice.

Make sure you always have an extra truffle on you to manufacture success. This is a really nice reward sequence. well done.

This was a good amount of time from truffle to truffle. Had it gone on much longer we would have suggested you throw out a manufactured success to keep him in the game. He’s a motivated lad, and a fun worker to watch!

  • This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Alana McGee.