Home › Forums › Developing a Reliable Truffle Dog Team › Homework Forum – Developing a Reliable Truffle Dog Team › Karen & Haggis
August 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm #5834
Welcome to class Karen! 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).
Class begins August 9th but you already have access to the first lesson so go ahead and check that out! You can begin posting video homework and questions August 9th.August 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm #5853
I am in New Zealand, and it is presently our truffle season. I have three dogs that have been trained to search for truffles, two of them work well, Indy (Cocker Spaniel), and Ollie (Sydney Silky x Maltese). The third one is Fozzie (Jack Russell x Border Terrier) who can locate the truffles but prefers things to move so is learning stoat hunting. My fourth dog is Haggis (springer spaniel) who is just a pup at 8 months and is starting to learn how to search for truffles.
I will be using Indy for these classes.August 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm #5893
Welcome back, Karen! Looking forward to seeing Indy in action.August 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm #5900
Thanks Kristin. With how Haggis went at the weekend, I may consider using him for the class instead. He has come leaps and bounds in the scent side, but the harness and lead work is something else. Will test him tonight and then let you know.August 17, 2015 at 1:46 am #5913
I have a small area at the front that I use for training. Unfortunately I live on a very busy road so there will be a lot of traffic noise…there is no escaping the noise. The dogs are use to it so it only affects me, and the person watching the video. Haggis did well tonight so will use him for the course. Sorry for the change. I did video it, but when I just went to open it it wont open, so will have to redo tomorrow.August 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm #5920
That’s great news about Haggis. I love it when they make leaps. It’s like they were studying during the break 😉
Looking forward to seeing him work. I’ll take care of changing your forum title back to Haggis 🙂August 20, 2015 at 12:03 am #5930
Sorry to say that this is a good video for Haggis, but pretty shoddy for me. Handling of food is pretty bad, rushed home threw some samples out and then took the video! Excuses over. Live on a busy road, so sorry about that.
Haggis found 3 hot targets really quickly and after he found them I threw two backwards out of my pocket, so five in total. He is full on with energy and does slow down when hunting for the truffles. Thrilled with his nosework and look forward to your comments.
August 20, 2015 at 1:58 am #5932
- This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by Karen.
I forgot to mention that there were two types of containers. One container was a large plastic container the size of my hand, whilst the other two were film containers with a small hole in the top of them.August 20, 2015 at 10:30 pm #5945
When you can try to cook and age the hides for Haggis. Even if it is you go work for a few minutes (Haggis searches) and then you take a break for 15 minutes doing something else and try again later.
The tails on spaniels! Such a good indicator of confidence in a search for Haggis. You did seem little tense on the line handling. The delay in food reward is not the end of the world. On the first hide at 0:19 you did get the initial reward in there quickly. If you’re doing that again, consider having a treat in your hand ready to go for when he does find something. That way he does’t have to contend with a long (or too long so that creates frustration) delay. Good rewarding at source. He does stay with you, it looks like he keeps redirecting his approach to the odor source to make sure you saw it. Some very nice secondary alerts/ re-alerts at 0:28
The second find at 0:28- We would have drawn the reward sequence out longer. Keep him engaged with you at source. He moves off quickly. Food is your friend here. Do start to label the re-alert and use that cue word consciously. It can provide you with a behavior you can repeatedly reward and will keep him in the same spot.
0:52 is great!
You seem more relaxed with the leash as the video progresses. You’re not pulling him off odor so that’s good!
Great energy at the end.
This looks good. We’d love to see what he looks like working a larger area!August 21, 2015 at 12:44 am #5947
Will take some video of him tomorrow in a truffiere. I am going to my friends place down in Rotorua so will be able to get them to put some samples out and video the search. I have been doing small searches in various truffiere’s to get him use to going to new places, new smells and new people. Yes his tail is amazing as is Indy’s does a lot of their talking for them.August 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm #5955
That’s great Karen
We look forward to seeing it! Have fun.September 1, 2015 at 1:56 am #6019
OK. So I put two fresh truffles out to cook for a short time and got waylaid so they were out for over an hour…approximately. They were both in different types of tea balls, and although in the same area, it was larger for him and near trees. I missed an opportunity on the first truffle as he noses it and then walks over it, need to do some more work on his indicator. He does indicate with an active indication of scraping his paw, and finds the second sample. I am feeding him to try and get him to stay in place, but he is very fast and is actively trying to help me find it. I can also see that he was scenting the truffle in my pocket as I was up wind, but he was good at locating the second one. He hasn’t had much harness training at present, and is wild until we start searching and then he appears to forget about it. Looking forward to your feedback.
September 3, 2015 at 12:18 am #6047
Hi Karen. My video isn’t loading. It;s not you, it’s me! Internet being silly. I’ll try again in am. Hang in there!September 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm #6059
A few things are happening here.
There seems to be a pretty decent breeze and that is why he is focusing on the fence line as it acts as a collection point for odor. You are working into the wind which is good. This first target is a bit hard in that instance because it is so close to the fence line that odor coming from it is actually bouncing off the fence and being sent back out due to the direction of the wind.
(oh if only I could draw diagrams!)
Fascinating if you watch the moments at the beginning of the video where you can see him following odor being pushed around an eddy around that box (like thing! Don’t know what it is!) on the right. That is where the odor from this truffle is moving. It’s a great scenario actually! and good that the targets have been out an hour. That makes it more complex and all told you both handle it very well.
0:23-0:33 He’s on the odor here. This would be a good time to offer encouragement. You know the truffle is there and his body language (even though there is no clear, solid alert like you are looking for) is giving you indication he is on odor. This is when you start offering more encouragement with the intent to build confidence.
We can’t hear you here, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t verbalizing, so let us know.
The encouragement vocalizations are different than praise. Just like you would if you were cheering on a friend in a marathon… “you can do it, good, job, keep it up”. The ‘party’ doesn’t come to the end. The energy of encouragement is more delicate and tends not to have such peaks. It is more fluid, less staccato.
A determined and honest worker that one.
Great line handling skills here.
The scenting of truffles in pocket is part of the context of rewards. That will improve with time, and alerts on truffle in pocket aren’t rewarded, eventually once they realize the source location they’ll switch away from it easily.
1:12 you are doing a good job of spending more time down there with him,a dn he is doing a good job of staying at source. Much better than previously. Keep at it. Movement isn’t bad. He’s a spaniel, so he’ll always be wiggly, but being engaged with you is the important part, and this looks much improved Karen.
1:54- he’s working nicely here. It is interesting to note that when he loses an odor column, he goes back to the space in the yard where he knows it has concentrated so he can work to pinpoint from there again. For some reason, it is pooling in the grass right there. (the wind shifts— it looks like briefly) around 1:30)
1:50- this is also excellent, and adds to his experience library, which is GREAT- watch this section again. He hits on the odor column for the first truffle and checks back to where it leads, but he’s noticed that you already removed that source so he then continues on. This is really nice.
2:03- that was a perfect time to ask “where is it again”. He likely would have gone right back onto searching, but this is one of those moments the builds you relationship. This kind of encouragement is great, and well timed.
2:14 that was a very clear “paw” as an indicator. Nice.
Make sure you always have an extra truffle on you to manufacture success. This is a really nice reward sequence. well done.
This was a good amount of time from truffle to truffle. Had it gone on much longer we would have suggested you throw out a manufactured success to keep him in the game. He’s a motivated lad, and a fun worker to watch!
September 23, 2015 at 2:05 pm #6229
- This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Alana McGee.
Training has gone backwards a little at the moment as Haggis has started realising he is a male and the hormones are causing a little havoc in his brain. Just working on general training rather than anything specific as he spaces out really quickly. Will hopefully going over to a truffle orchard this weekend and get some video (without the traffic noise) of him working the tree lines. He was successful in finding a truffle at the end of the season, buried under approx 2cm (3/4″) of soil. The video is good for a comedy skit, but not really for how he should be working.
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