Reply To: Bev & Wolfy

Alana McGee

Bev’s question:

When do you use vocalizations to encourage your fogs and when should you be quiet?

This is a great question Bev. It is going to be different from dog to dog. We certainly don’t want “noise” but there is a difference between noise and overusing cues and genuine encouragement. Cues should be reused if a dog is confused and looking for information, Encouragement often can take that place as well in many circumstances

Where encouragement is used primarily is for confidence boosting and adding information to a scenario where a dog is already on odor but not confident or is struggling. Watch Tim’s video from this week for a good example of when to use it. As a dog starts to zero-in on a difficult hide you can use words of encouragement there.

Encouragement also sounds a bit different. You Husband is right, it more peppy for Wolfy anyway!

0:32 would be a good example if he was struggling on when use encouragement. (he wasn’t struggling here, but for a reference) You can see when he’s close on odor and working it out. The pumping up at the beginning seems to be working for Wolfy

1:20- is this common? Let us know. This kind of digging can be a frustrated/ stress signal. It is handled here REALLY well, but if this common we should discuss it. It can also be an exploring signal not an alert, which appears to be the most likely case here considering your husband also said there used to be one there.

It was a nice transition away from Ball- but remember you can toss with me for a second too- it doesn’t have to be one and go.

1:33 was a perfect time for pumping it up. It seems to provide focus for him. You aren’t talking too much. We’d let you know if you were! The key is you also are not using his “cue” but more common words. You want to avoid using the “cue” over and over and over again when he is actually working. Which he is, this entire time!

2:04- 2:08 Another thing to try in this scenario…”psyched up”, yes, but Wolfy is being challenged here and showing stress, so this is a prefect to manufacture success. Try it next time. Drop one for him fairly easily and let him fine it, then party! then you can keep trying to fid the other truffle. We don’t want him to be frustrated with the situation one way to do that is to provide positive reward history. He works through it here with your encouragement (husband was well timed again 😉 ) but much longer than that and we’d say give Wolfy a target to find that is easier. Then you can keep working on the buried one. Finding targets buils confidence and hypes him naturally because finding them is fun!