Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

Home Forums Recreational Truffle Dog Training 101 Chris (access until November 15, 2014)

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  • #2924
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    We hope Daisy is doing well! Let us know if we can help and how it’s going.

    #2928
    Chris
    Participant

    hi. respect!

    we got off the wagon a little bit there. the spay didn’t phase her at all. we are still playing the games, inside and out. she always seems to find the hot target. no real truffles yet, but then again, we don’t even know if any exist here!

    i’ve been using a small piece of the paper towels you included with the frozen truffles. is this sufficient? it seems to lose odor after a while.

    also just making sure its o.k. to switch between different truffle species regularly.

    the hardest part is the timing with the cooking and everything. it seems to take an hour just to get two or three reps in. daisy gets all excited when i’m preparing the targets and treats, but has lost interest/accepted defeat by the time they’ve cooked.

    #2930
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris!

    Glad the spay went well!

    The paper towel will lose odor over time it is out, yes, so keep it stored with the truffles when not practicing. The VOCs don’t ‘bond’ with the paper towel fibers the way they do with lipids in foods.

    We wouldn’t expect her to find anything yet until you’ve had a chance to start burying truffles and working on transitioning to new more complex environments, but you’ll get there!

    It is ok to switch between truffle odors when practicing, as long as you are confident she can positively identify the odor, that’s fine. Which it sounds like, based on your description, you are confident she can. And for where you are located, actually it’s good to do. It gives you a wider VOC array to work from to allow her to generalize. She seems to generalize well! Just remember to prime her with new species to make sure she understands that this too equals cookies. Pay attention and see if you notice a difference between either alerts or body language or if she seems to have a preference when searching. If so, work on solidifying positive ID criteria for the other species she is less confident on. Does that make sense? Work on the species she is less confident about alerting on in less complicated environments and build that confidence level.

    You can use multiple species in a scenario as well if you are doing multiple hides! Just be aware of what is where, so if she is having a challenging moment you can take note of that and if it becomes habitual, say that she finds whites easily but struggles on blacks, you can later alter scenarios to set her up for success, and work on alerting on blacks. Often times we find that when dogs have ‘preferences’ for one species over another it comes down to reward history in training.

    It’s great that daisy gets excited when you are getting ready. Thats good! What do you mean by “has lost interest/accepted defeat”? What does that look like? Does she just not want to play the games? Is she tired? Tell us what that looks like.

    We can guess- but better if you can describe it to us. What is different about the change in her behavior. What is different about the change in YOUR behavior? What are you doing different when you are prepping things vs when you feel like you are ready to start the training scenario. Walk us through what you do and we may be able to point out a disconnect for Daisy.

    If she gets super pumped by you prepping stuff, do this- play one or two easy reps with her while you are getting things ready, or just after you are done- so she gets to play the game a little. It does not need to be hard finds. Then go place targets and forget about them for a while to cook. Come back to your prep area and if she is still eager to engage & play, do one or two more easy reps and then give your signal for all done! that was it! That then just became a mini training session on building endurance. It doesn’t seem like long- but she had to wait 2 whole minutes (while you placed targets) until she could play her truffle game with you in the kitchen.

    When you want to begin your session in earnest, go to where you ‘prep’ and get her engaged at that site. Play a simple target game there. Get her excited. Then head to your location where you have your targets set up.

    Prime her here with easy reps. We talk about it in the 201 course, but this is what we call the ‘hunt sequence’. Daisy may have decided that her hunting starts when you are getting ready. That’s ok! Daisy may have internalized that you in the kitchen getting treats together etc as part of her routine of hunting and so begins to anticipate the games that follow. We want her to have fun and so the easy reps done right after you are done prepping are ‘the game’ to her. She doesn’t know you hid 5 downstairs, she just knows there is one on the floor she gets to play with! YAY! Do that a couple times and see if there is a difference.

    It’d be good to either see it, or have you describe it though so we know if we are on track with this assessment.

    Cooking, yes, is time consuming. Unfortunately it is a critical part of training once we get to the stages of burying and by doing it now you are getting Daisy used to and prepared for how scent moves in more saturated and complex environments. More impotent for some dogs more than others, but once the target goes underground, you have to allow odor to permeate the soil. Especially when you get to depth or compact the soil. It will pay off in the long run.

    #2940
    Chris
    Participant

    what that looks like is just “this is taking too long. i’m going to go eat some horse poop or a deer leg or take a nap.” she has different energy levels – high, medium, low. its simply a downgrading of energy level when prep is taking too long. i’m doing the easy kitchen games while prepping and that is great. she could go all day. i wish i had all day to give her. high value treats seem to keep her energy insanely high as well.

    can i ditch the clicker? it seems obsolete at this point. i get the vibe that daisy thinks it is obsolete. i don’t see it in your videos much. its much easier to film without it.

    can you elaborate on the retrieving techniques you mentioned the italian trainers will use? daisy really enjoys bringing me the truffle and has handed me targets several times when training. i think this could be beneficial. she loves retrieving.

    more film coming soon.

    can you go through what an actual hunt generally goes like? how much time spent and how to handle the dog and treats and truffles? how do you carry truffles through the woods? i’ve seen some internet videos and just wondering what your real hunt looks like. what’s the goal here?

    one of the things i really want to train her away from is over excitement when meeting new people/strangers/dogs. how much of this is trainable? how much will she grow out of? when we are in a busy public space or there are many people/dogs she is very calm or panting/wanting her den. when someone is new one-on-one or in private she can get very excited and bark at them and/or jump up on them. traci seems to just ignore this as puppy behavior. do you have a technique for staging a houseguest/door knock scenario? our last big dog was the worst at jumping on people and our second to last big dog was the worst at charging and barking at people, especially on the beach. we are trying to avoid these behaviors. what does it take to get a dog so on a mission and un-distracted as the dog in this video? also, is this video for reals?:

    #2941
    Chris
    Participant

    down to a week and a half. please make it count.

    #2942
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris. I’ll take a look at your videos in just a sec.

    Because Kristin and I have been MIA the last couple of days we are going to extend your access until the 15th.

    We have other informational forums we are going to be posting info on- mostly about truffles themselves and scent sources, how to care for truffles, habitat etc that you will still be able to access and ask question on for basically the next year too- we have just been compiling all the data/ topics necessary and hope to get it up soon.

    #2943
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    I?m going to break this post into sections with Bold Titles so it is easier to follow. (edit- ok it won’t let me So i’ll CAPS IT)

    THE CLICKER: Yes you can certainly fade the clicker! It?s good to have a tool later when you are trying to work on precision skills or to problem solve should the need arise, but yes, you can fade it!

    THE RETRIEVE TECHNIQUE is simply a retrieve. In Italy dogs are trained generally by someone literally throwing a truffle and the dog bring it back. This, as a searching technique, leaves many thing to be desired as it is not incredibly accurate and subjective to the dog. But dogs with high retrieve instinct pick it up fast. There can often be a disconnect once the dog is asked to find a buried truffle though! And it isn?t as reliable.

    But the idea of Daisy bringing you the truffle is ok. We tend not to advocate this approach unless it is a behavior the dog chooses to manifest on their own because any time a truffle is near a dog?s mouth there is an increased likelihood of it being consumed. Intentionally, or accidentally, often through excitement.

    If Daisy offers a natural retrieve- she puts the tin her her mouth and brings it to you, great.—This is also usually more likely with tins- putting it in the mouth as they are bigger and harder than with actual truffles, but some dogs do do this! And that is fabulous. Nothing really wrong with it!

    We have had one student in the past where her dog will find the truffle, pick it up and then spit it at her, but that is rarer. Because that was her dog?s natural alert, we went with it, but that dog will still offer a nose target and a light scratch at the soil when she finds it.

    ?Daisy really enjoys bringing me the truffle and has handed me targets several times when training.? That?s great!
    Playing retrieve with a truffle scented item or above ground is great, but the retrieve game is not something that is easy to practice one you are working with buried hides in the sense ofthrowing a ball. Sure, she can dig it up and bring it to you, and if she does that, fabulous.

    With white truffles that tend to nest (aka you find more than one in a small area, and they are smaller) It is unlikely she will pick up every truffle and bring it to you though so you would still need to inspect the site of the alert.

    What we mean by retrieve is, it sounds like, basically what Daisy does now on occasion- which is bring you the truffle. That?s great!
    I would still recommend not relying on it as the only form of alert behavior- which you haven?t. But if she brings you a truffle great. That?s awesome.

    Any time a truffle is near a dog?s mouth there is a chance they may consume it, or it may be damaged as well.

    European species of truffles, namely Summer truffles (T. aestivum/uncinatum) and Perigords (T.melanosporum) have thick outer skins that are harder for dogs to damage. Some of the species you are likely to find will be more delicate, and so Daisy if she mouths them, may damage them.

    WHAT A HUNT LOOKS LIKE:

    First off- every team is different in how they prepare themselves and their dogs. I personally handle each hunt differently depending on what dog I have as they each have different methods for priming and getting ready, and different personalities- so you will develop a routine with Daisy that gets preformed when out in the field. We call this the Hunt sequence and it is something we go into depth in in the 201 course.

    Boiled down: The hunt sequence is basically you arrive at location? Then it varies depending on where you park your car vs where the site is. If the site is 1/2 a mile, you?re not going to want to ask Daisy to start working right away, you?re going to walk to get to the location before you ask her to start looking.

    So that is called transporting. Getting from one point to another prior to the search.

    This is where specific gear which can signify the game can come in handy for some teams.

    Walking to a location can take time, so if the dog in question is conditioned to a specific harness that is only worn when working in the field truffle hunting, the handler can walk the dog to the desired location, and then don the harness on the dog signaling the beginning of working. You can build association and value in this piece of equipment so the dog eventually realizes it is part of the game. It is also a great tool for being able to transport a dog out of an area. Harness off- no more truffle hunting.

    Example- you have been out in the field for a while, found a bunch of truffles, but your car is a mile away. If Daisy keeps hunting the whole way back to you car finding a truffle every 10 seconds literally, it is going to take AGES to get back. If you can have a cue- (in this case the removal of the harness to signal the end of hunting) it can make that process faster.

    You notice in the videos of Heidi the Belgian Teruvern she is wearing a harness. That harness is only brought out when Heidi is truffle hunting. Heidi gets SO pumped by the sight of the harness and anticipation of the game that the harness itself has become a marker or a signal for what truffle hunting. So her handler can be out hiking, have that in her backpack, get to an area, and THEN break out the harness for Heidi, who then knows- TRUFFLE TIME!

    So, the Hunt is hyper specific to each team and everyone will vary. There are so many variables at play no one experience is exactly similar. Generally you start searching and when your dog finds a truffle, you start the party. It depends then on the difficulty of the truffle and if YOU as a handler can find it easily. Digging out a truffle, depending on species, depth, etc can take a while- sometimes a couple of minutes. This is why it is important a dog remains at source, with you, engaged with you. If you?re busy digging out a truffle and your dog is off finding more without you, that?s no good!

    Ideally your dog will be engaged with you at the site of the alert and helping you to pinpoint the truffle in the soil. They are not always easy to see (Pictures will be in one of the forums we are populating). Finding a truffle in the soil is as much about the handler as it is about the dog.
    Again, we cover many aspects of this in the 201 course, as that is practical application in the field finding truffles, but it is often handler skills that come into play even more at that stage.

    If Daisy alerts on a ?truffle? and you can?t find it- That is handler related, but at the same time you don?t want Daisy to start to get frustrated you aren?t finding what she just told you was there,. This is why we spend so much time on foundations and solid alerts. It is critical to be able to trust your dog. If she says it?s there, It?s there, not matter how small- she is detecting the truffle VOCs (which actually can be given off by the truffle mycelium at a certain stage as well). BUT this is also where that extra target we always say to have on you comes into play.

    If you can?t find the truffle itself, throw the target in the hole and have Daisy alert on it, and then reward her. It is completely OK to manufacture success like this. It is better to just leave it if you can?t find it instead of causing Daisy to get stressed or impatient with you lack of response. There will be more truffles. Don?t dwell on one.

    You ask about ?Time spent? handling dog, truffles, treats. Every handler is different. And personally I will do different things depending on what is going on that the time. Some of us will put newly found truffles in a pocket of a coat, some a backpack, some a basket we have along with us. I believe in 201 we have an entire hunt sequence demonstrated from start to finish of finding a truffle. It is a very good question though, as to what that actually looks like.

    After the dog finds a truffle we pick it up and then reward, and THEN I put the truffle away- after the reward. you don?t necessarily want to build in a really long time where you dog is impatiently waiting for its reward for the successful find. Some dogs are better at handling that duration, and you can build on it.

    I often have a small container I carry around (Think large yogurt container) and when we find a truffle, I have that ready (outside of my backpack already) to put the truffle into quickly and then after our reward sequence we can continue on our way relatively uninterrupted.

    Depending on how fast we are finding them I will sometimes put the container away. I also occasionally will use a small mushroom basket to carry them- but be wary of it tipping over and out spilling all your truffles!

    You can transport your truffles in a variety of ways in the field. It is what works for you. As we have said Truffle hunting is a messy sport when it comes to odor. You?ll have truffles in your pockets, in your bag, the odor on your hands? It is a fact of life when truffle hunting that odor is all over the place and contaminated for the dog that is searching. They learn that it is only source odor, in the ground that counts as a viable criteria for success. But is Daisy noses your bag, she?s not wrong! In fact, good puppy! She knows truffles are in there. Eventually if she is not rewarded for that behavior or alerting on your backpack when it is on the ground she will stop alerting on it. We always verbally praise when dog?s recognize odor like that though. Maybe not a play or food reward, but a confirmation, of ?yes, you?re right, those are truffles. Good girl?.? and then you move on. Soft praise.

    I?ll respond to your other training questions in another post- but as for the KLM video- I saw this and heard about it- but Huff Post reported as it being PR. BUT the practice of ?matching to source? which is exactly what that Beagle is doing in that video, is valid. That is what Search and rescue dogs do often. Or Blood hounds you see in old movies tracking fugitives. They are following a specific trail/ odor source from a particular item to the strongest source. It is a fun skill to teach.

    NOT the best for truffle hunting because it teaches hyper specificity whereas we want to teach generalization. If a dog is hyper specific (I have one like this naturally) you would show him say a white truffle as a primer? You go out in the field and he will only find white truffles although there are black truffles right next to a white truffle. He only would alert on exactly what matches the sample you gave him. Great for hyper specific detection work, more complicated for truffle hunting.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by Alana McGee.
    • This reply was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by Alana McGee.
    #2946
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    one of the things i really want to train her away from is over excitement when meeting new people/strangers/dogs. how much of this is trainable? how much will she grow out of? when we are in a busy public space or there are many people/dogs she is very calm or panting/wanting her den. when someone is new one-on-one or in private she can get very excited and bark at them and/or jump up on them. traci seems to just ignore this as puppy behavior. do you have a technique for staging a houseguest/door knock scenario? our last big dog was the worst at jumping on people and our second to last big dog was the worst at charging and barking at people, especially on the beach. we are trying to avoid these behaviors. what does it take to get a dog so on a mission and un-distracted as the dog in this video? also, is this video for reals?:

    Some of it may be puppy behavior but I think you are astute to want to address it. Some of it may dissipate, but it may not and it may actually get worse if self reinforced, so i think you?re astute not ignore it.

    One of the thing I would teach- and it can take a bit of time, is a ?go to a place? or ‘go to a mat? cue/ command. This means every time Daisy goes to that mat she gets cookies. Work on sit/ stays there.

    Practice with knockin/ door set ups but put the mat close to the door. someone knocks. Ask Daisy to go to the mat. Even if she doesn?t, if she gets close, click/ treat. Slowly raise the criteria for what she gets a treat form.

    The idea is every time someone comes to the door she would want to run to her mat and stay there thinking TREATS ARE COMING IF I STAY HERE. And then do, reinforce that treats do come if she stays there. You can practice this at dinner times, and other times too! You can stay by just putting her in a sit/ sit/down/stay on the mat, and then work a few feet away from it and see if you can get her to go there. Aka Say ?Mat? throw a treat/ lure her on the mat- click treat again. Rinse, Repeat

    The other thing is very similar but basically to teach a command that is contradictory to

    The problem with this is it requires more impulse control. If she REALLY wants to jump up, it?s what she REALLY wants to do, so sitting still can be tough. It?s possible to teach- but takes a lot more will power on Daisy’s part- but she may be just perfectly capable of it. But she is a puppy still so impulse control is hard.

    So when someone comes to the door. She can come to the door, but before the person can come in she must sit. If not- door closes. That?s it. No more fun for daisy. Door opens, Daisy sits, person gets to come in and giver her pets?. and progress along those lines. Daisy doesn?t get pets unless she is calm-ish? Don?t expect the world and a zen like Daisy over night. Takes time. So reward Daisy incrementally- just like you would for any other training. If she?s slightly less barky- reward when someone comes in, if she gets half way to a sit- awesome. What she likely wants, like most dogs alert barking at new people, is attention (but i?d have to see it to know). So give her that attention once some of your criteria is met- aka slightly less barky/ and calmer!

    I wouldn?t ignore it.

    If you?re out in public- calm is great- panting likely means she?s a little stressed- so I would reward her for times when she isn?t panting and is calm but positively interactive and build confidence. Even just verbal praise.

    Example- one of my dogs is similar. She?s not a big fan of cars on the road. When a car goes past she doesn?t flinch but her body tenses, so, every time she doesn?t try to create more distance between the car and herself ( it used to be quite bad) she is verbally praised for a job well done. Don?t force Daisy into situations where she is obviously uncomfortable- but if you notice her being calm and relaxed Mark that and praise her. Good Girl. Good job just hanging out with all these weird people going by and not freaking out. Just because she doesn?t react much in those situations doesn?t mean she?s totally at ease. We?d like to build to the fact that oh yeah, being in public is the best! But mild panting doesn?t have to mean more than she is slightly stressed. But If she seems relaxed- praise that! Good marks for awesome behavior you like!

    Also as for the house guest- there are lots of kinds of barking. Depends how long she goes on, what that barking looks like etc. But try the impulse control games-= mat tricks

    #2947
    Chris
    Participant

    first three here is her first hunt of the day. super high energy. video does not show much of her search but she usually finds it right away. i will continue to challenge her. high value treats also evoke this super high energy. can treats ever be too high value?:

    she found it and i didn’t have any treats with me.:

    in this one she finds the truffle after she has passed it about five times (not all the passes are in the video).:

    7, 8, 9 here are a multiple hide outside. the first one we are both having trouble pinpointing the truffle, but she persisted at the source and we found it.:

    here she gives a little point before pawing:

    here she finds it but i help her pinpoint it a little.

    i have seen a few times now where the scent column turns her whole body around. so that’s good.

    a few other times i have seen her go straight to the target, look up at me, walk away from it and then come back to it and alert after an encouraging find it command. its like she is testing me to see what is the least she can do to get the treat.

    she is very paw-happy. she bats everything with her paws. i think that is her main alert. every morning for our first greeting she puts her paw over my arm while i’m petting her.

    and her toes are webbed! i love this dog. what a good girl!

    #2952
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris. Just got in (it’s midnight) Hand tight I’ll get to these by tomorrow afternoon.

    #2954
    Chris
    Participant

    here are three videos from today’s single target outdoors with cooking times of 5 – 10 minutes.

    question: would you agree that the smell of t. lyonii hints of asiago cheese?

    #2958
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    In response to your question- can treats ever be too high value?

    In general no- but depending on the behavior manifested by the reward there are other approaches to try to bring her energy down a little. If you want to show us a video of what that might look like we can better offer advice.

    1st video: 10.14.1- She is quick & on the point! That?s great. The fact that she interacts with object is totally ok. We like the enthusiasm. We like her persistence and that she stays with it! It is perfect okay if the Teaball is a game. It just reinforces the finding & reward behavior even more.

    10.14.2: What and awesome party you have with her! She responds so well to that. That was super awesome rewarding and matching energy level on your part. Well done! Nice re-alerting.

    10.14.3: Your parties chris, for reward when she finds it, are awesome. Really fabulous. LOVE LOVE LOVE at the 0:15 mark how she is being pushy on your hand. We like demanding dogs in this sport saying ?cookies, cookies, cookies? The value has really benn build up in this behavior chain, and that is awesome.

    10.14.4: GREAT searching behavior. Really fun to watch her work an area. She is totally engaged the entire time. If you find yourself without treats (it happens) just engage in personal play as a reward- rough house with her a little and play. Our impression, based on the party you throw for her and her amazing responsiveness to that, is she would love that too. She would still want cookies- but personal play likely will get a similar response.

    10.14.5 Good job after the initial reward bringing the reward down to source level. This will make a lot more sense later when you are getting outside and working buried hides. Very nice re-alert as well.

    10.14.6 There can be any number of reasons she may have passed it, the most probable being she simply did not hit the scent column. Hard to say without seeing it. When she paused at the end of the path and looked at you- that was her being slightly frustrated/confused as to what to do. She went back into working, but if she hadn?t- movement from you would likely have engaged her again in the game- as would a verbal cue from you, as she is responsive to that.
    What IS really nice, and fabulous pinpointing behavior is at 0:18 when she finally has picked up the odor and then is working on where odor is coming from under the gravel. Really well done on her part to stick with it and her alert is pretty darn precise! That?s fabulous. It will be interesting to see how that translates when you are outside working in dirt.

    10.14.7 You are giving her a nice amount of space to work and are note crowding her. Well done. She has a really nice, easy, clean working style, it?s fun to watch.

    In this video her first alert to you is at 0:13 when she looks at you. That?s an ?I found it?. Then at 0:16 she paws which is a clearer, more active alert.

    You do a good job of getting down lower (I am guessing based on camera angle here) and asking her to engage at the site of the initial alert. What we would like you to do in this scenario where you are trying to pinpoint, is not physically point it out to her (to begin with) but pat the ground around near it and actually help her look for it. (you do do this at about 1:30) By being engaged and setting inattention at the site where the truffles is you are bringing her there will you to be engaged.

    At 0:37 she scratches once and that is ok. Often dogs will do a few scratches like this to investigate odor. Any time a truffle is either under debris like this, and even more so when under the soil, scent moves around differently and dogs will interact with odor in a different manner as it isn?t as easy to get at source. That is why we incrementally increase depth. Some dogs don?t understand how to alert on an odor that isn?t readily accessible, so we must teach them how to go about getting at it.

    She does a REALLY good job of sticking with it.

    At about 1:30 you start moving your hand in and helping her, and that really is pretty darn perfect chris, and a really good instinct. Together you do find it- and that is ok! If you didn?t in that scenario, this is one of those time when it would be good to place your extra target in the hole and have her alert on it and manufacture success. Well done though.
    She does a great nose touch at 1:50 unsolicited. YES. that is really great 🙂

    It may seem like that was painful (you say that) but it actually was really good. You had very good communication with her on when to increase your level of encouragement and assistance.

    10.14.8 Great. Again, we LOVE the unsolicited nose touches.That will be really helpful later when trying to pinpoint inside a hole. very well done. And you?re right, she does do a bird dog point. Interesting. Will be fascinating to see if that develops when she is on odor later and close proximity.

    10.14.9 You do a good job of encouraging a more precise alert through withholding which is basically asking for more precision in her alert. It?s a fine line though at this stage. Just be aware that if you start to see her pull away from a hole like that after she has alerted it means you should deliver her the reward faster for less criteria (aka not as precise). You are still building value outdoors in this lightly buried/ obscured environment and we want to keep the confidence building up. She didn?t seem like she was going to break away, but if you do see her do that, aka disengage with you and odor source, bring her back and try to engage her at source and reward. Then you know in the future you?ve pushed the threshold of fading/delaying the reward just a little too far and you would then keep working on building value and confidence without asking for such strict precision.

    –You say you see her find the target, look at you, move away, and then come back with encouragement.–
    We don?t see it as testing you, we see it as asking. *note-it is different than a question of confusion and being unsure about what to do. Try this:

    When you see her do that head look- she did it in video 10.14.7 at 0:13, ask her if she found something. What you are doing by having a verbal communication at that exact moment is acknowledging her alert. You aren?t there, but it is a confirmation that you are coming to her. It make take a few repetitions of you doing this in this scenario and then showing up and still encouraging her to find it again with you, but eventually that head look (which is essentially a subtle alert) followed by your acknowledgment will then develop into her offer her full alert behavior chain if a truffle is actually present. Does that make sense?

    It is coming along so well Chris. You and Daisy look great. You seem very in-tune and matching energy levels which is fabulous. It really looks really good! Good work. She?s is going to be a very fun dog to work with. It is fun to watch!

    #2959
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Pecan truffles:
    I was curious so I just went and asked everyone in the house what they thought of the Pecan truffles after making them whiff a batch. It?s one of the harder truffles to describe in odor (for me anyway- and everyone else too it seemed)

    Asagio was not one of the things anyone had come to mind (I asked them before and after in regards to that as a suggestion), and I don?t perceive that as an aroma, but I can see how you may get that. I don?t have many other good descriptors. Parmesan rind, and by association Asagio I can understand. They odor is distinct, and pleasant, but we couldn?t classify it well. It seemed to rest in that void between cheesy and nutty. One person said meat. (just generic meat- I don?t get that either). It is a hard one to describe. They are much milder than their European or Oregon cousins.

    10.14.10: Daisy has a fabulous search style. This is a large area to search and she does an awesome job. Very focused. Really nice alert sequence and reward sequence from you. Really nice.

    Excited to see you do multiples. I know you have done multiple successive hides indoors- you haven?t done that outdoors yet have you? Just remember when you start with that to not make the search area too massive to start with. I am sure she could handle it, but we want to set her up for easy success when you are transitioning to a new skill in a new environment.

    Really well done!

    10.14.11 I like how she checks the pumpkin first 🙂 you do a good job when she is about to question you about coming down the stairs- as that engages her outwards and keeps her moving in the searching behavior. Nice boxes for debris. Really well set up chris. This was a very good scenario with lots of things going on. well done.

    10.14.12
    Another great search Chris. You?re making it look easy! nicely done on getting down with her and engaging close to the ground. I know we can?t see your body in these shots, but we can tell your engagement level and it looks really good from this vantage point. 0:50 is great 🙂 She likes the game. And cheese.

    We are excited to see you both work on multiple hides and then progress to buried hides in this area. Again remember the principle about buried hides and just try to set yourself up for success.

    It looks really good Chris. Really nice engagement, energy level, connectivity, reward sequences, etc. Way to go. Again, said it before, but fun to watch.

    #2962
    Alana McGee
    Keymaster

    Your lesson 4 has been graded.

    #2965
    Chris
    Participant

    yes. 10.14.7, 8, and 9 were in sequence on a multiple hide. here is another multiple hide from yesterday. 10 minutes of cooking:

    in this first one she has beat me out the door (i was grabbing the camera) and is already all over the truffle when i get there.

    she is obviously doing a great job of following my scent. i will proof more next time.

    so much for keeping the area small. in this one i have placed the flag at a decoy hole, which she checks first. i will try ditching the flags and remembering which trees i’m hiding under. alternatively, i will mark the trees well above the ground.

    lots of opuntia to dodge…

    today i had my wife hide the truffles and i am planning on letting them cook for several hours. of course, now i am afraid to let her outside because she will probably go find them without me.

    how is setting up the 201 course going? we are anxiously awaiting a winter vacation to a real truffle spot!

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