Bev & Wofy

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  • #6371
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Welcome back to class Bev!  This is the forum topic where you will post your questions and homework videos for feedback from the instructors.  Please take a moment to tell us about yourself, your dog and your interest in truffle hunting (and what you have been working on during the break).

    #6392
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi:

    I won’t be able to post a video until the weekend, as my helper works weekdays. I am going to set up a search in a small new area. I will post then. Look forward to starting this level. 🙂

    #6429
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Looking forward to seeing it!

    #6441
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi: Here is our first video.
    Wolfy is very comfortable in the forest, having walked and played in them since he was a little puppy.
    He is very patient with me , as the first time, I was slow getting his reward out again. This is my new backpack, which I am still getting used to…:) Anyway, the third one, I threw out, when he was looking somewhere else, it is in plain view. The time he took to find the hides was 8 minutes in total. The first two were quite quick the third took longer, then the 4th right away, as it was close to where the one I threw out landed. Thought he did well. This is a park, we have not hunted in before, there are cedar and maple trees mostly, so thought not high to have actual truffles.
    Look forward to your input.

    #6443
    Karen
    Participant

    Fantastic video Bev and looks like a lovely area to be working Wolfy.

    Good timing at 0:06 with verbally praising Wolfy. Are you able to confirm what Wolfy’s indicator is when he locates the truffle as I am not sure on this first indication? There was a very long delay before rewarding Wolfy, which you highlighted in your comments. If there is a delay in getting the reward out, once you have the reward in hand, ask him to show you where the truffle is, and then reward at source as quickly as possible. You could do multiple “show me” and rewards before you remove the sample.

    When Wolfy ‘wandered off’ at 0:30 he may be following the truffle scent as it eddies around the foliage and trees. Well done on allowing him to review the area near the trees. He has good self-awareness of his surroundings as he didn’t get tangled with the leash around the trees but went in and out of them both without you tightening the line, good skills. You can see him ground and air scenting as he is moving in that area. Great voice encouragement to move him out of that area by asking him “where’s the truffle, find it”.

    0:59 – good praising when he locates the sample. You feed at source, and then asked him to show you again, feeding, picking up the sample and then rewarding with the ball. Great self-learning after the first find.

    1:36 Wolfy scratches at the ground and you did really well to encourage him to move way and over to where you pointed. Was this a previous sample hiding place?

    He searches in the new location and scratches the ground, but then moves on, possible some truffle scent had pooled there. He continues searching and then locates the next sample at 1:57. Brilliant. Great praising when he finds the sample, and suggest rewarding at source a few times before removing the sample.

    Wolfy locates the next truffle whilst his ball is in his mouth. Great swap, ball for food, and encouragement for him to search again. Indicated at 2:34 with verbal reassurance from you, which is very good.

    Wolfy has done very well in locating the samples in this new environment, he is beautiful to watch, slow and steady with a good wag of the tail. What was the length of time the samples had been placed out? Were these all above ground, or how deep had you buried them?

    You do a good job of verbally praising him when he is pinpointing the scent. I would encourage increasing rewarding at source whilst decreasing the delivery time of the rewards. You could try having some treats in your hand ready to dispense when Wolfy indicates.

    You have good leash handling skills which is nice to watch when you’re working with Wolfy.

    Well done.

    #6444
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi Karen:

    I forgot to tell you how long the scent was there….my husband went out took 5 mins to hide them. They were only covered by a leaf, as I told him not to bury them in a new location just yet, but not visible. 5-10 minutes by the time we got back to location. Where he was digging there was not a hide, it was part of the path. He has done this before, not sure if he found something or not. Do not think there are truffles there though. Thanks for the feedback, Wolfy seems to really like finding the truffles, I think it is great fun for him and myself.
    Oh, his indication, usually noses it, then paws it. Sometimes he picks up the tin for me.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Bev.
    #6447
    Karen
    Participant

    Thanks for the update Bev about the length of cook on the samples, and Wolfy’s indication. He seemed to have the pattern that you have described, just needed to check. You both look like you are having fun working through this task.

    In this situation you knew that a sample wasn’t there so Wolfy was redirected to the place where you did know where a sample was. On re-watching the video it appears that a pink flag is there and is close to where he had found a previous sample, so there may have been a pool of scent where he was digging even though you had previously removed the sample. The timing for re-direction was spot on and this process was nice to watch.

    #6465
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi Bev,
    If you review your video again around 2:37 you will see a wonderful and special behaviour from Wolfy. You can see that Wolfy dislodges the sample with his pawing and rather than going into the initial position where the sample was, he pinpoints where he has moved it you. That is FABULOUS and something that many dogs need to be taught. When you see this next happen make a bit deal of it with Wolfy. That is BRILLIANT.

    #6467
    Bev
    Participant

    Thanks for pointing that out, when I see it I will make a big deal of it. 🙂

    #6473
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi:

    Here is week 2. We are in the park behind my house. My husband hid the targets 8 in total not under anything, and we waited 20 minutes to go back into the park. Wolfy and I did not know where they were. It took Wolfy about 20 minutes to find them, we decided to take some rests with Wolfy as he was finding about 2 or 3 and started playing or showing signs of being not interested in hunting. Once we gave him a little break then he was on again. He had 2 times he did not indicate the target…I thought it was weird, but in hindsight I used European truffle oil on two not just the oregon truffle. He indicated most of them, except two. Going to test that theory tomorrow with two European that I can mark and see if he does not indicate on it. I had introduced the European, but mostly trained the Oregon oil.

    #6496
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi Bev

    Thank you for the great introduction of the video you have sent through. Sounds like you have found a few things that you need to test, which is wonderful.

    You mentioned there were times today were Wolfy’s wasn’t so interested in hunting, did you do something different today before your search? Was it a new environment, you mentioned it was a park behind your home, was it busy?

    (0:07) Great location of sample by Wolfy, good encouragement when you saw he was in source, and GOOD timing of praise when he located the tin. It is also BRILLIANT that you asked him to show you again so he received two rewards for this find. EXCELLENT.

    The second find (0:36) was well timed and a wonderful locate by Wolfy.

    At 0:46 Wolfy turned and sat down looking at you. Did you stop because you saw the sample? Great that you moved towards the sample, causing him to get up and turn and ultimately find it. Well done on this manoeuver.

    At (1:07) it appears that Wolfy was in the right place for the sample, and at (1:09) was over/at the sample and it wasn’t acknowledged (little hard to see what happened here) and so he stretched further into the tree and then sniffed up the tree and then walked away. You asked him to come back and it appears that he found the sample but then started digging. Has this previously been a rewarded behaviour when locating truffles? Then you take the sample out and reward him. You make the comment ‘he is acting weird today’, and am wondering if it was one of the European Truffle Oil samples, as he have different behaviour here compared to the locating of the other samples.

    (1:37) was a good hunt and indication of sample for you, however he picked it up and then dropped it and turned away just as you gave him a ‘yea Good Boy’. Was this one of his times of showing disinterest or was there a distraction? There was good praise for him, be careful what you are praising for?

    It was EXCELLENT that you asked him to relocated the sample with a ‘show you’. He did a little search forward and found it for you and you gave him his ball. You could have drawn out the reward sequence longer for the ‘show me’ locate. Having a treat prepared in your hand to deliver to him once he re-located it and extending the reward could keep him engaged at source. However, you did well to bring him back to you at the stage he turned away and keep him on task. Well done.

    (1.57) Wolfy locates, picks up and drops the sample. You did encourage him to relocate this one as he had dropped but it looked awkward for him as he walked backwards, bending around his legs, moving forward whilst sniffing. As Wolfy is standing on the (known) sample, moving him away by circling around and then bringing him back into the area would set him up to search forward again. You could again assist with encouragement to relocate the sample. (2:16) When he did relocate the sample you voice praised then picked up the target without food reward. Treating at source and several times will help cement what he is out there to locate and this was an AMAZING relocate for him.

    (2:19) there is some BEAUTIFUL tracking and great leash handling skills from you both. He does appear a little distracted and you ask him to come back on task, which he does. Good catch. When he started scratching at (2:37) I would encourage you to go to Wolfy and check out that scratching with him and become part of the locating process. Then when you see there is nothing there, then ask him to ‘find it’ and continue searching. Good mark at (2:45) when Wolfy locates the sample.

    I would encourage you to feed at source or throw the ball at source to keep a strong association between the source scents and the reward. How well does Wolfy indicate on the European Truffle compared to the Oregon truffle at home? Do you think that Wolfy needs more time to learn this new scent at home or was this an off day for him? Were there a lot of people around in the park that could have cause some distractions during this session?

    Overall you are both doing really well, and work well as a team. It is good that you identified that Wolfy was showing signs of disinterest in hunting and you took a break. What did the break consist of, resting or playing with the ball? Do you have a special toy for rewarding Wolfy when truffle hunting over other games you play with him?

    Well done and look forward to your feedback.

    #6498
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi Karen:
    Wolfy was doing really well hunting the truffles, he did get a little distracted and what you did not see was the squirrel alert and a few whoa…what have we here! moments…he was a little distracted. Yes, it seems there were also few more people there then we anticipated and had one lady walk through our search area. Anyway, I was not unhappy with him, and the European tin? I should have put in a different tin for me to tell. The one where in the tree where he puts his head in and then looks up the tree, I thought he found it, my husband said he did not touch it, and it became a discussion on whether he alerted on it or not. He thought Wolfy might of found a squirrel… (my husband trying to be helpful while filming) We let Wolfy have a little rest as in lay down and relax with his ball. His ball is the most important and only reward he really wants, even over cooked meat! He is totally ball crazy! If I could wear the ball around my neck then I would have his attention in a ring for sure! 🙂 I did do a little scent discrimination outside in the back yard with him, but he does get a little bit lets pick up the tin and see if I get a click after a while. Something for me to do again, when he has not been hunting. I might post the exercise after this one, I have not edited it just yet.
    Here is a pic of him resting and then going to truffle hunt right after.

    #6500
    Karen
    Participant

    It’s not easy Bev, and the great thing about videoing is that we see learning opportunities. There is nothing wrong with walking away if things are not going well for either of you. Throw out an easy find for him, give him lots of praise and rewards when located, and walk away. Yes, we only see the snapshot of three minutes so miss out on those squirrel escapades and the distractions walking through.

    The different tin is a learning bump, and a great idea to put it into a different type of container to identify the various samples. It will be interesting to see if Wolfy gives a different indication depending on the sample type.

    The great thing about truffle hunting is that you will get very close and personal with Wolfy. You could confirm Wolfy’s location of sample by going right down into where he indicated and ask him to show you, which brings him back to the sample, and then lots of rewards, and then the gas.

    Yes, lots of people say the same thing about ball crazy dogs. Would you every try and give Wolfy the ball within the scent so the truffle could be the cue for the ball to come? Would it work in your favour if he stays with the sample/truffle in anticipation of the ball? Or what if the ball were used as the final reward for a job well done at the end of the truffle hunt? If you clicked just before Wolfy picked up the tin would this prevent the tin lifting behaviour to continue?

    You are a great team and doing really well together.

    Look forward to seeing the scent discrimination exercise and your feedback.

    #6515
    Bev
    Participant

    Hi Karen: Here is a sample of 15 minutes of scent discrimination in the backyard. Wolfy gets ahead of me in the beginning. The round tins are the same ones we used in the forest earlier that day, in the video. The rectangle or sliders were empty. There are 6 hot, 6 empty. If Wolfy hit on the rectangle one I did not respond to it. The round ones I did. I picked the hot ones up, after he alerted on them. Then showed him the other ones, he was not alerting on them. Some of these he is actually in scent…the one at the end, on the deck, is the very last of the 15 minutes and he is somewhat doing the what will get me a click game. He is smart, and we have done scent discrimination exercises before. Sometimes he just picks up a tin to see if he gets a click and reward….time to stop the game when he does this. He has had enough. Overall I was happy with his work.

    #6523
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi Bev, sorry for the delay in responding to you, I will post something to you later today.

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