February 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm #4078
Welcome to class Erin! 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.
*to be notified by email of replies in this forum topic please check the box below your reply.February 21, 2015 at 10:09 pm #4082
Excited to have you and Mika with us.February 25, 2015 at 11:16 pm #4122
Your quiz has been graded. You can hover over your answers to see our comments! We are excited to see you and little Mika working together!March 2, 2015 at 7:39 am #4145
Still learning to navigate. I just upgraded to full student from self directed class to get more out of class.
I’m a mycophile and love foraging, want to find truffles! Mika Ina 5 month old Formosan mountain dog.
Where we are at: Currently practicing hides with truffle oil and Mika is having fun. Using tins under small plant pots. Mika taps her paw on target but often falsely alerts. Sometimes we revert to imprinting scent.March 4, 2015 at 12:10 am #4181
We graded your quiz and you can move to the next lesson! Please hover over the questions to see our comments and there are a couple things in there about video, so make sure to take a look!March 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm #4198March 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm #4202March 5, 2015 at 10:35 pm #4204
She’s adorable!March 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm #4205
GREAT! We like how you notice even in the moment you area touch late with the click. That’s ok! Recognizing timing is the first step. GOOD picking it up and moving it.
What you did at 0:28 is something that we actually go over later when we talk about teaching dogs to back up and check their ‘trailings’. That means the dog kicked the truffle out behind them and now they need to find it! You did it organically and it worked wonderfully! Way to go guys! Mika does a great job with it and with her movement in recognizing where the tin is. Impressive guys!
Watch the video again and practice clicking when Mika’s nose touches the tin. You want to click RIGHT as she does so. If when you are practicing this stage of imprinting you need to hold on to the target longer in your hand until you are ready, do that. There is no hurry here. You do a good job for the rest of the video. It looks pretty good.
The click at 0:39 is a great example. Remember you can always “reset” her as well by tossing a treat elsewhere in the room away from where you are staging the hide.
Look at the video example of Lois & Monza on their thread doing this exercise for that behavior.
0:48 GOOD! Good rewarding at source. You can even do it on top of the containers. What happens at 0:57 would be a good example of when a “reset” might engage her again. She offers the behavior (good for you for giving her the opportunity to offer it before jumping in), but if you get stuck here, that is a good thing to try. We would even encourage you to do so when you re set up the hide by moving the boxes.
Wow- she offers a very clear behavior at 1:17 fabulous! You can turn that into an alert if you’d like a bit later. Think about what you would like her alert, or series of alerts to be.
At 2:00 mark looks like you weren’t quite ready for it, but Mika was experimenting. That is completely expected!
We suggest that you graduate from these boxes to tuperwear wherein you can start to practice lengthening the reward sequence more and have have her re-alert via nose touch or paw inside the tupperwear once you have opened it up.
Your energy level is nice- and more importantly, matched. We talk about it at length later in the courses, but a lot of truffle hunting is relationship and communication with your dog. You and Mika are on the same wavelength. It is genuine, and calm while still having fun. You don’t have to be over the top in these scenarios with rewarding and we think you do a really good job here of matching Mika’s energy levels.
Remember when ending a session to pick up the target and take it with you… THEN you get her interested in the toy for playing. It’s great that she wants to play truffle games! That’s exactly what we want at this stage.,Short and sweet and full of positivity!
This is the first time we have seen Mika in a video- but watch it again and watch for this in particular: It isn’t truffle related, but look at her body posture when you are trying to give her reward of physical contact after a successful find. Your hand comes over the top onto her should blades. See how she shifts her weight down and backs off a bit putting more weight in her hind quarters. She seems slightly less comfortable with that form of reward/contact in this particular scenario. We’d suggest you pay attention to that in subsequent training and see if it was just this day, or if she does that often. If it is frequent, try a different angle of approach. Pet her sides or chest. Try not to come over the top of her head or shoulders. Examples of what I am referring to: 1:23, 1:49 (although this almost has elements of play/ focus on target involved), 2:27, 2:36, 2:53
Also watch her tail 😉 That we think may be a indicator for you later for her on odor.
This looks really good Erin and you guys are often to a fantastic start! Good timing, nice rewarding at source, and you read her very well. Very excited to see more! Great work.March 6, 2015 at 4:50 am #4206
I’m still working on my clicker timing I swear it looks so easy but I think I must be really uncoordinated, Ha! I LOVE watching the video after your comments it is seeing in a whole new way. I write down all the times and what to look for then watch. Its really fascinating to learn this way.
Body posture: So right! I was aware of that little move- it is new for me, I need to adjust my own habit to hers…I’m learning (i suspect) when she is engaged with a task she wants to concentrate and doesn’t like the distraction of me petting her.
A normal pattern we when she comes in from outside-always comes and leans on me for the “good potty petting” and relishes it. Looks like it just doesn’t work here!
Tail: very cool! Is this a common thing?
Alert: Already working on that tap, as is her natural. If I wait to treat that is what she does next. A bark would be neat. Tap seems like an easy alert to miss in field but I’ve never seen a dog truffle hunt before. I’m so excited to learn and be here thank you.March 6, 2015 at 9:46 am #4207
Alerts evolve over time and it becomes a chain of behaviors. The foot tap is very useful and you can eventually elongate that into repeated foot touches. Barking is great too- and this can come with time.
One of the more useful alerts in truffle hunting in addition to the ones you mentioned is a nose targeting behavior. Truffles can be hard to see in the soil, and feet touches while excellent can either (if aggressive) damage truffles (not that big a deal in wild settings), or be not as precise depending on the dog. Nose touches are direct on target. That’s why we encourage students when possible to explore the nose touch. When you have dug out a small hole and you still can’t see the truffle, Mika can then go in and touch it with her nose… “oh THERE it is” you’ll say. Also comes in handy for that backing up maneuver you actually did.
Dogs when locating later in the field will often put their nose right on the truffle. We tell students to always “watch the nose!” If you have this as part of your behavior chain the behavior is much more noticeable and clear and easy to identify. What you are doing now looks really good though. It will evolve.
As for the tail, it depends. Some dogs do it, some do not. Some VERY much so and have helicopter tails. Just start paying attention to it if you can because it can be an indicator of shift in odor or if she is on source. You’ll notice it likely on video play-back more.May 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm #4821
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Thank you for joining us! We hope to see you in the next course, Developing a Reliable Truffle Dog Team!
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