Reply To: Best of ?Lola?

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Alana McGee

Excellent Mary. You and Lola are doing great.

As for scents and Odor: You do not need to keep the truffle or Morel scent in the fridge. It is human grade, but I advise not eating it- it is much too strong and isn’t made for that purpose. Do keep it out of direct sunlight.

The morel scent needs to be shaken before being used.

While you can combine the Morel and Truffle solutions on the same cotton, as we discussed previously (making sure you also practice with them independently), since you are also doing Birch with your class it would be preferable if you don’t have 3 odors in the mix at the beginning while you and Lola are forming foundations.

Once Lola can find truffle/ birch etc, it will be pretty easy to add a new scent into the mix and she will ‘get it’ quickly. You want to solidify the desired behaviors before you make it more complex.

If you haven’t done it already, I would suggest you do Truffle and Birch separately- don’t combine them, as your class instructors would likely have a fit- and wait to add your Morel until later stages. If you have already started working the combined morel/ truffle solution ask your instructor if you can substitute your own scent. They may be open to it, but they often have a set regime for how classes are run with one scent source and one scent box. You adding other odors to the environment might be detrimental/ distracting to the other dogs in the beginning stages.

The goal is to have the correct behaviors solidified before you add too much more complexity. The idea in training is to eliminate as many other variables as possible. When beginning new behaviors- which these are in many ways- you want to start with one and then once that is solid, add more.

Kristin is absolutely right however to keep in mind a passive alert for morel hunting. They will hopefully teach you this when your start your NW class for Birch, as at advanced stages the dogs are not allowed to indicate forcefully on targets. You can have that passive alert used in NW also for morels (so Lola doesn’t damage them), and the active alert for truffles. Likely Lola will do passive alerts, once that is learned, and upon further encouragement indicate with an active alert pinpointing the physical location of the truffle.

Make sense?