Reply To: Best of ?Fancy?

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Alana McGee


The garden looks fantastic! It is a great place to practice!

What would be good before you ask Fancy to start searching (remember to limit your verbal cues!) is to allow her some time to walk around and smell the area- get her ‘wiggles’ out. It is good you made these hides easy in the beginning, but with time and practice you will be able to make them more complicated. Also with so much vegetation allow the container with the truffle odor to ‘cook’. That means allow it to sit in one place where it is hidden for a predetermined length of time and vary those times- and do it in different weather conditions. That can mean leave it out for 5 minutes then have Fancy go check, or an hour. All of these factors will change how the odor moves through the environment, what it clings to and eventually how it reaches Fancy’s nose. These are all important skills for her to learn how to work with and adapt to.

This is where having more than one target is beneficial. You can hide multiple at a time, find one, and move on to the next.

Around the 2 minute mark I noticed some tugging on the lead. Take a look at the video and see if you can see what I am talking about:

Try not to pull Fancy away from whatever she is doing. We want her to learn to leave whatever distraction it is on her own- or with gentle coaxing. In the wild when she does this and you don’t know if truffles are present you don’t want to be inadvertently pulling her off of a truffle scent. Grass eating is a distraction, but give her a minute to get over it before you pull her away. Allow her the opportunity to make the decision to stop eating grass. If she does, it becomes a much more salient learning moment for her.

The next hide after that Fancy is using her nose even though I know she can see the target visually. Very nice to see. Remember to not overuse your verbal cues. Keep practicing that!

You guys are doing great. Keep it up!