In the NW class we are just starting to introduce cold targets – starting with one and then slowing increasing them. It’s not as fun as working outside but a good refresher and discipline for both of us. We will also be introducing the alert next week – again, this should also be good reinforcement.
You’re right about this being SO fun for Lola – when she sees the scent balls it’s like we’re headed for a party (I suspect homemade smoked salmon treats don’t hurt either – can treats be too high value?). The first scent ball where she did the lame alert I didn’t pick up immediately (after thinking about it later I wish I had – lessons learned) but the others I picked up after she alerted (thus the fingers in front of the camera ) I only had hot targets for her to find – what may have looked like targets were her bones scattered around the yard.
OK, I’m out to find more tea balls for cold targets – I think I’ll hold off on burying this week and just practice hot and cold targets set outside in different areas for various lengths of time and making sure she gives me a solid alert. I’ll give a progress post this weekend.
I’d really like to understand more about a dog’s relation to scent and how this all works. Are there books or good resources (websites etc.) you would recommend for this?