Lois & Speed (DRTDT)

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    Alana McGee

    0:33 That head shake is something to pay attention to! We don’t recall Speed doing that much before and may be a behavior you can pick up on. One that means “I smelled truffles but I’m not quite sure”. In which case it might be worth taking him back to that spot to double check. IF there is one, great. If not, tell him good boy “thank you for checking” and continue on.

    1:19 god work on this one and how to react on a previous hole with trace odor.

    1:26 PERFECT! REALLY well done!

    1:40 Nice job recognizing that was not an alert and allowing him to go on. You is giving him the opportunity to experiment with other behaviors that work. It has nothing to do with the act of you not indulging him. More to do with the fact that you are giving him the FREEDOM to investigate smells and decide which ones are worth his known alert. And you aren?t jumping the gun every time he shows interest in a smell. That is very hard! Good work Lois!

    The moment at 2:35 is SUPER realistic, and YES, good Speed.

    We also love how you set up scenarios like that of the ?creek bank?. Very creative and good practice!

    3:06 is exactly what will happen in the wild. Especially that enthusiasm on your part when you find it! BUT, you were so excited you picked it up before Speed interacted with it.

    This will happen. It is partially WHY we want you to pick up the targets before delivering rewards to the dog. 1) the reward doesn’t come until the truffle is in you hand.

    2) IF in all that enthusism Speed swallows a truffle but knows the criteria is truffle in hand=reward, he will be a bit more mindful about NOT swallowing it the next time so he can get his reward.
    *Please note this is slightly different for dogs that actually eat them more regularly, but the principle applies in that case too- we just would add more to the sequence then

    This requires a long history of consistent behavior of picking it up before rewarding.

    Well done though.

    The other thing, is if you couldn?t find that truffle that was lost, don?t dwell forever in that location. Present him with a target in your hand (because after all, he did find it you just collectively lost it), reward, and then leave the area.

    Alana McGee

    I will keep an eye out for the head shake. Nice observation, I completely missed it.

    We went to the tracking workshop this weekend. I did hides in tall grass in a new location using the same location for both days figuring he needs to learn to eliminate previous experiences and old scent. The 2nd day I expanded the area.

    Both days I let him find all the hides because we had nothing better to do and plenty of daylight. He was crated most of the day and I decided it might be a lot like truffle hunting. It was nice, I was relaxed with the thought of “dude, we can meander around this field looking for truffles or we can sit around at the motel.” It was a beautiful day too!

    At the motel, I got out the clicker and we worked on precision. His paw target is dominant over nose target. He thoroughly enjoyed the game and once again we had nothing better to do.

    No video and I will make this our last post. I need to regroup/re-read lectures etc. I’ve yet to watch all of Lecture 6.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we look forward to class starting on December 1st. It will be nice to have 3 weeks to settle into buried hides and begin to work on precision. The precision is going to take time with Speed.

    Oodles of thanks and appreciation for another fantastic class!!! Speed is so happy to be a focal point too!

    Alana McGee

    Glad it was a beautiful day. And it is GREAT practice to work in areas to practice eliminating older scent

    *other students please do not try this yet unless you are at a comparable level where you are confident in your dog?s alerts and when to read it as a confident alert. Always start with the hides marked when you do this so you can make sure you ignore old odor/ reward correct source properly.

    [quote] His paw target is dominant over nose target. [/quote]

    That?s fine Lois. You know that now. That’s good to know. Keep pushing (but not overly so- it will come with time) for the nose target. It helps. Trust us. BUT paw targets are just fine. DO, when you are looking for real truffles/ smaller targets in the soil, see his paw alert, but YOU watch his nose. WATCH where it is. You?d be surpsied how he may paw alert, but his nose will actually already be right on top of the truffle. It?s subtle but start trying to get use to looking at where his nose is, even if you are rewarding for the paw.

    Precision is NEVER an overnight kind of deal. It is on going. Always evolving and improving. Just keep at it and keep fine tuning mechanics when you can- and remember- it is OK to walk away from an unfound truffle. Happens. Better that then dwell digging around in the dirt frustrating all parties involved. There WILL be more. I promise you that. Precision is one of those things in the field that gets better over time with more and more practice. Sometimes it isn’t as necessary (on orchards it won’t be as much of an issue likely), but MAN it is helpful.

    We’ve loved having you & Speed in class and it has been a blast to watch him (& you!) progress and see the differences in his & Monza’s style. Just keep working on the buried hides, you’re dong FABULOUS.

    Remember, IT’s okay to take breaks too! Vacations are good 🙂

    Alana McGee

    You and Speed did fantastic! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

    See you December 1st!

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