November 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm #700
Thanks Alana – I’m one of those that need to understand the whys of things and this whole scent “cooking” “moving” etc. is fascinating.November 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm #701
No Worries. Some folks are, some are not. That book will help. We are compiling a list of others that folks might find useful.November 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm #702
Lola has started picking up the scent and dropping it (only the scent disc, not the tea balls) when she finds it and THEN alerts – not sure why. Right now’ I’m ignoring it and asking her to “show me” for her to lie down before she get rewarded – is that correct or is there a better approach?
We’ve been doing all kinds of weather conditions (rain etc), leaving the balls out various times – including all day in pouring rain, under hostas and yesterday we went to my son’s house and she searched new territory/distractions ( his back yard) i think this week we are ready to put under shallow mulch etc. – I’ll let you decide…
There are 3 hot targets and three cold. One cold target that she can see (in the dirt) she keeps walking by to get my reaction but never alerts on it. One target (the last one under the hosta) had been outside for about 45 min. The other two around 5 minutes. I might add, getting Lola to alert (lay down) in wet grass is a major accomplishment.
BTW – got the book, can’t wait to get started – and yes, that was a pot of cacti Lola put her nose in..November 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm #703
After she had a nap we tried with the buried scent. The first she finds under the bush is actually in a hole. The other two are buried under mulch. These are areas she has never searched. I also changed the treats ( which didn’t hurt either) – and yes, she did have another potty break..
I’m thinking this week we’ll go to some nearby parks that she hasn’t been to and try her on a long lead – your thoughts?
November 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm #704
What you are doing in terms of her picking up and dropping the scent etc, is just fine.
In the beginning of the video she is exhibiting really nice searching patterns, and again, you are doing an excellent job of allowing her to work. Notice how at about the 1:00 minute mark she overshot the scent column and then actually steps backwards. That is great- very useful skill in the field when dogs kick the truffle out behind them. At that point she starts to pull away and move on, but as you approach she comes back to it which is good to see. Her lying down when you ask her to “show you” is fantastic!
You are doing a great job of allowing her time to work.
At the tail end of that session (Lesson 3 beginning of week 2) you could see her going in and out of working mode. That is completely normal in complex environments. This where endurance training starts to come in to play- and you build to it. It is quite a large area you have her searching. Keep that up and remember not every session may be flawless. There are many factors, but keep practicing. You really cannot spend too much time at this stage just solidifying these searching behaviors, and building endurance. Practical application in the field, dogs are out “working” for quite some time so you must build to it slowly.
Overall, great job you two!
I would say it is fine to start hiding it under mulch (I have not watched the next video yet) but keep doing area searches like this where it is not buried, but obscured. Once you start burying, you really need to make the search area much smaller and gradually increase it again to encourage sucess. There are always things to work on, like precision, alerts, etc. It is tempting to start burying right away, and I know Lola can do it, but don’t rush this stage as it is critical to long term development. This is a stage in training that we use for endurance training which is critical in practical application.November 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm #705
Practicing on a long lead in Parks is a GREAT idea. New territory, lots of other distractions etc. I would start either lightly burying them, or just obscuring them- depends on the levels of distraction present. Also if there are trails in the park have her travel on the path for a while before you plant a target so she gets used to not finding them right away. That is a key skill that is often overlooked.
As per the video:
Her persistence is fantastic! Love that. At the 1:43 mark- wow. Love it. You guys are doing great! K eep working on her re-alerts, it will be helpful later on, but wow- great job.
That was a great session. Good job you two.November 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm #706
Thanks Alana – I think my favorite part of the second video, that I forgot to mention, is I hadn’t given Lola any cue. By the time I got outside and looked up she had locked onto the scent and started working.November 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm #707
Alana – I just received Lesson 4 and I just want to make sure I understand. No treats until I actually have the “truffle” in my hand – correct? So I assume I will then put the treats in the same hand as the scent…?November 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm #708
First day of lesson 4:
I buried the scent about 2″ – Lola looked everywhere – even sniffed around it, over it and didn’t get it. She never gave up but rather than let her get discouraged I almost uncovered it and she ‘found’ it – very excited. I did it again ( after recharging the scent) at 1″. She alerted about 2′ away, I questioned it, then she re alerted at 1′ away, I questioned again only with ‘show me’ then she locked on, dug up the scent and moved it. Is it OK to let her dig up the scent or, should I stop the digging and get it myself… Or something else?
This is her first time finding scent in actual dirt.
I questioned the first two alerts as I wasn’t convinced by the look on her face, that she really knew where it was.November 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm #709
The main goal of that exercise is to prevent false alerting and encouraging your dog to wait while you retrieve the truffle before they are rewarded as in the field sometimes it takes a moment to extract the truffle from the ground and ideally your pup wouldn’t be off hunting again without you. It doesn’t matter what hand you have the truffle in, or the reward. It is the idea of building a delay into the reward system- that and not rewarding anytime the dog indicates unless there actually is a odor cache.November 15, 2013 at 10:16 pm #710
Yes, the scent must now be in your hand before Lola gets the treats. HOWEVER, you can praise her and start the party WHILE you are gathering up the scent. Yet another opportunity to build duration You will be working with both hands to put the truffle away so rewarding from either hand is fine. Try to keep it close to the scent for good measure.
The time that you are taking to gather up the “truffle” still needs to be exciting. If you watch the demo video of Da Vinci, you can see him practically vibrating as I put the truffle away and get out his hot dog/ cheese/ etc. He will often come close to knocking me down. Start the party with the alert but pay up after the truffle is in hand.
2″ was too deep. Scent changes a bit when it is in the ground. Start by nesting it in the earth so it is still partially visible. Then move to LIGHTLY covering it. Then just barely out of sight (you may spend a little more time at this stage). Then very gradually bury it deeper and deeper. Make sure you always mix in some easy ones too. I will still bury some and leave other out on top of the ground or nested in grass.
Trust your dog! There is no reason to question the alerts. Since you are holding onto the treats until the truffle is in hand, there won’t be any harm in trusting her and acting on it. Go look where she is alerting. If there isn’t a truffle there, simply give her cue again and carry on. Lola need to know that if she alerts, you will look…every timeNovember 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm #711
That is great, and the exact right thing to do. You always want to encourage sucess- and not suprising that Lola didn’t key in on it. Thus far she has notr been asked to check for scent coming out of the ground. There also can be a myriad of factors as to why an odor may not penetrate above the soil. That is why you pratice in as many varied situations as possible.
That is perfectly fine– and in fact even ideal for your situation. She does her passive alert at a distance when she detects odor which works well with your other nosework classes and then with the “show me” cue she has associated that with actually retrieving the truffle. That is very good. You will want to encourage her and praise when she passive alerts but not reward until after she has showed you.
As you practice Nosework with her passive alert that behavior will still be reinforced- so you’re in great shape.November 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm #712
Thanks Kristen, but I’m a little confused… In my lesson 3 videos we had done this already and Lola had been doing well. I thought these were the instructions for lesson 4?November 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm #713
Kristin just means when you start burying start very shallow- and she is absolutely correct. In lesson 3 you and Lola were already doing shallow/ obscured hides in mulch. Mulch being the key here. Now we want you to do it in the ground. There is a difference in how scent moves between the different mediums. Soil is much denser and doesn’t allow odor to move the same way. Start very shallow- less than 1″ if possible and then once that is easy, vary the depths. As you progress to deeper hides – I consider 2″ pretty deep at this point- you ideally need to let them ‘cook’ for a period of time- 5 minutes to an hour or more if you have the time. This too, along with weather conditions, will change how scent moves and how Lola reads it. Eventually you will hide real truffles at these depths for practice
Also dig “fake” holes so you can check to see if she is alerting on disturbed soil as opposed to odor.November 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm #714
Alana/Kristen- thank you! I re read the assignment and I obviously got ahead of myself… OK – another question…
In the NW class Lola is alerting on the scent (birch) in a row of identical white boxes. I’m thinking if putting some truffle scent on a Q-Tip, burying it in some soil inside a glad container and occasionally using that as the scent to alert on or even having two scents (separate) in the ‘line up’ at times. This would be in addition to working outside…
Good / Bad idea?
I would keep that container airtight and just swap out the lid when using it in the box.
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