Reply To: Annie & Tuesday


Welcome Annie and Tuesday to the course.

Thank you for your introduction about yourself and Tuesday. It is always so exciting when you find your first truffles, and I wish you every success again this season. Wow…Tuesday’s tail is such a good indicator of what’s happening, and it doesn’t stop, just a change in speed!

This is a great size of area to start Tuesday locating samples allowing both open space and obscured samples. Which direction was the wind coming from? Were you using two types of rewards in this session?

What a good idea to place a sample higher up as sometimes critters do extract truffles and carry them up a tree.

(0:09) Tuesday very quickly locates the first sample up the stump and we hear ‘good girl’, which was spot on for timing, well done. Between the first ‘good girl’ at 0:90 and the ball reward at 0:21 Tuesday performed other behaviours where a ‘good girl’ was also received, including showing you again where the sample was that was being collected. This distance between the locating of the sample, and the reward, gives Tuesday opportunity to offer additional behaviours which could create an unwanted chain of behaviours if repeated often enough. Having a “party” at the scent source shortly after ‘good girl’ will continue to build the value of the searching game, especially in this new environment. This can be via ball or food reward.

(0:57) Tuesday locates the sample near the tree and then (I think) brings the sample to you, great job. Did you reward her at source when you bent down or did you bend down to pick up the sample?

(1:17) Ball was retrieved from Tuesday and you ask her to ‘find it’ and her head starts to move from side to side searching for the scent trail. There is some BEAUTIFUL tracking of the scent, she double backs to a scent pool behind the tree stump, and then searches backwards and forwards working hard to locate the source. Between 1:47 and 1:53, where she found the sample, her tail was wildly indicating that something was there and was possibly being given some encouragement from you that she was on the right track. Sorry, there is background noise at this stage and unable to hear. Then ‘good girl’ when she located it and bought it out to you and she did a great double nose tap on the sample at 1:57 to check you saw it. Brilliant.

(2:36) you highlighted that you wanted her to search the open area, and took a few steps towards the back area, Tuesday read your body language well and does a wonderful search of the area and finds the sample. Lots of praise for her and the throwing of the ball. Great job.

You mentioned that you throw the ball 3 – 5 times after each location of the sample. Do you think that this could reduce the number of samples that Tuesday locates during the searches? If you reduced the number of ball throws after each find do you think this will increase the number of finds that Tuesday could search in a session? Could this increase the ‘worth’ of the ball as a reward and in turn encourage her to locate more samples? Have you experimented with the types of rewards to give her in this new environment compared to earlier training?

You are a great team to watch and I look forward to your feedback and seeing your next video.