Reply To: Best of ?Lola?

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Alana McGee


As per your recent video:

You are doing a great job of just letting her work! And she does!

What I love is she is checking High and Low. She has taken the initiative and realized it could be at different heights as well. That’s great, and will be great for your NW class.

Notice when she heads to the other room by the baby gate (I assume it is a hallway down that way) she turns around and is like “Nope”. As trainers we love to see that. It is the dog confirming that the scent trail is not that direction and instead they choose to re-search areas they have been previously.

At the 42 second mark she finds it, and then at the 47 second mark she tells you but is unsure. Watch the video again and see if you can see her give you that brief look before she wanders away. That was a very subtle alert. You do a good job of letting her figure it out herself, and waiting for a more pronounced indication.

After you say show me- notice she seems a bit fatigued and stressed- you also mentioned this was the 4th hide and past bedtime. This is the fine line during training between encouragement and setting the dog up for success and stress. You want to push past boundaries gently but be cognizant of the dog’s mental fatigue.

It is fantastic she goes back to it, but I wanted to point this out so you could see the process. At 1:12 she alerts to you again. Let me underscore again, that her taking you back to the target is great! It is fantastic. That is her working through the situation. You did the exact right thing by going over to it and encouraging her as it seems you could tell she was reaching her limit.

You could work outside at this point BUT the aim of lesson two is to build stronger and solid alerts. I would stay inside and even make the hides a easier than that occasionally and just work on perfecting her alert. The more solid her alert is, the easier everything else we be later. Shaping and working on alerts is an ongoing process. I would love to have seen some of the earlier hides so we could see her alerts in those situations. She alerted you 3 or 4 times during that video, not all of them what you were ideally looking for. That’s okay- but re-watch the video and look for it.

We know Lola can find the target even in pretty complicated situations, what we really want is for her to show us with the same consistent behavior.

But in short answer to your question you could start working outside. But make it very easy, as again, we want you to solidify that alert.