June 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm #5278
Lesson 2′ video 1: Salu does alert on the wrong box on one pass – did I handle that correctly? I should mention that I accidently put the scent in the wrong box and changed it – so he may have been alerting on that. I don’t know but it’s worth mentioning.
Also, excuse Lola in the background… Our routine is, when Salu is done I bury the scent in the yard for Lola to find – the highlight of her day! I’m sure she knew what was coming and was excited…plus, she knew Salu was getting treats and she wasn’t 🙂June 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm #5279
I watched the video a few times and noticed a few things…. When Salu alerted on the wrong box and I was waiting I took a step towards the correct box – no doubt giving him a clue. Also, I should have probably waited few more seconds and let him finish his alert before starting the reward. So annoying when I see those things…June 11, 2015 at 10:56 am #5280
Hi Mary. Are you able to cut your videos down to under 3 minutes? Video analysis on more than 3 minutes creates huge files 😉
Your first search looks great! Salu knows what he is doing and stays at source which is AWESOME! It sometimes takes time to get to the dog and it is very helpful if they stay at source or will re-find the truffle. Good job asking for a “show me” and rewarding more. This was a long and lovely reward sequence. One thing to note is that you will never stand back just watch him alert on the truffle. Get down in there and be part of the party 🙂 Good job remembering to pick up the box…he is training you 😉
I am guessing pass #2 is the one you mention he alerted on the wrong box. Yes, you handled it correctly. Simply ignore incorrect alerts. What he did was go back to the last location he received a reward. This is very common. You did a nice job of ignoring it and positioning yourself so he would check the other boxes. Even though you moved toward the correct box, I wouldn’t worry too much. Ideally we don’t guide them to the correct find, but clues are ok when dogs are working to sort out exactly what criteria gets a reward. Next time, you could go to the incorrect box, inspect it and put it back down. Then face the direction of the other two boxes and let him choose how to search them.
Be careful when observing his body language. What he did at the incorrect box was not consistent with his confident alert. He was unsure and even barked. He had many reasons to go back to that box (mainly reward history there) so he was just narrowing down criteria. If you watch it again you will see that his behavior does not match the alert we are used to.
2:14 I would have jack potted this one BIG! You asked for more from him and he gave it. He wasn’t as enthusiastic because those first cookies didn’t appear but he was happy and I’d have paid for it with a big party and more rewards.
Overall, well done! Salu is doing great and he is happy. That’s the most important part. Let’s see you get into the party more. When truffles are underground, you will be down there with him so let’s set that stage now. We want him to be happy about you being down there in his space searching for truffles in the dirt.
Add some paper towels to your boxes to remove the visual cue of seeing the tea ball inside the container. That way all of the boxes will appear identical.June 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm #5283
Hi Kristin – thank you, good info. We’ll work on it and submit a (shorter) video in a few days. And yes, some of my most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my dogs 😊 Salu is a good teacher…June 13, 2015 at 4:05 pm #5323
lesson 2; video 2 (under 3 minutes!! Yay!! 😄)
I changed a few things after the last video, I went back to the clicker – my timing is better, Salu is used to it and he does well with it – a win-win. I also changed the reward from Zukes to smoked liver pate frozen in PVC end caps. It definately raised the bar plus it’s easier that trying to get the treats right.
Two places in the video he goes out of camera range – he’s actually looking on top of coffee tables. In one practice, a few days ago, I put the scent on a table to see if he could find it. He didn’t on his own but now everytime we practice he checks the tables.June 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm #5372
Way to go Mary!!!
You and Salu have such wonderful energy together! Love it. Take a look at the video analysis below. You two are progressing nicely. Keep it up!June 15, 2015 at 5:02 pm #5379
Thanks Kristin – just so I’m clear… Only click on the pawing rather than the down, nose and pawing. Just pick one alert and don’t move the target. Just let him continue to move it as an alert- correct?June 16, 2015 at 10:39 am #5395
Correct. Pick one behavior to click during a session. It’s up to you if you are looking for a down at the truffle or the paw at the truffle. If he moves the target when he alerts, it’s not a big deal. Reward at the source. You can hold it down once you arrive if he continues to push it around. The key is that he is showing the truffle to you, not you showing the truffle to him.
Boxes moving around isn’t anything to worry about. Truffles don’t grow in boxes and they won’t be as easily dislodged from the ground. In the long run, Salu will be expected to locate a dislodged truffle in the field so this simply sets a foundation for the long term.June 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm #5452
Hi Alana/Kristin – sorry about the late assignment but it’s been a crazy week and when I did get one recorded the battery went dead 3/4 of the way through…. Anyway here it is. My timing is off on a few alerts – but in spite of that Salu just keeps at it..June 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm #5453
oh sorry , the above video is lesson 3.June 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm #5468
Mary this looks good. No real complaints. This is MUCH better on the clicks/ alerts per Kristin’s previous comments. Notice how he is now showing you the truffle 😉 Great energy entering the scenario.
On the first hide what you clicked was his nose touch on the target. Whether that was intentional or not based on your comments, we may not be certain, but we’d say it is a decent choice to make in this scenario as we want to provide information that he is indeed correct after several less accurate attempts at nearby boxes. The re-alerts are very well done with timing actually as you are marking his pushing it with his nose. Again, great. This will be helpful for actual buried truffles eventually. 0:43- nice moving the extraneous box out of the way slightly to help his (and your) precision and set you both up for success- him with accuracy, you with timing so you aren’t accidentally marking him hitting the other box.
Love how he is gentle and lays down as a secondary alert. He is laid back, just like his daddy. It is genuinely laid back, not unconfident we think, which the two can look very similar sometimes, but we can see that he enjoys this.
You do a nice job of re-cuing him to re engage after the first find. It’s a nice transition. Notice how he is lazer like focused on you, waiting for more information. In this case, there is more game to play, and you cue him to do that, very nicely. Just something to note. You can tell he’s had other trick/ play training, and over time (you do a good job here) we want to build confidence in the independence of searching (you can see it a little at the end of the video). I am sure you can notice even now, he has a different style than Lola.
You do a decent job on the set around 1:20 as he roots around for odor, clicking and marking the moment he is nose on the target. Notice how he shuffles back a bit so he can nose target on it. Clever boy. This is a big improvement from last week.
A few things:
Stay engaged with him as you exit the scenario- we can’t see everything that happens right after you turn off the camera, perhaps you play with him a bit here. He’s still focused on you as you put things away, turn off camera, and we’d like to see your ending. What happens after the session is done? Partly because he is so focused on you, we want to see the shift from the end of the game.
He looks what starts to be a bit of an independent investigation after you walk away, which is great, he’s checking for odor in absence of cues from you. Just something to note.
If you can, next time show us the end to your sequence as well.
Also we’d be curious to see what happens when you open up those boxes after the re-alerts. Will he alert on it again, or use his nose inside it?
You’re doing great, and this looks really nice, we definitely think you can progress to more complicated hides.
His coat looks so incredibly touchable!
Well done team.June 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm #5475
Hi Alana – what types of more complicated hides whould be appropiate at this stage? I don’t want to move too fast and siscourage him.
I’ll confess that when the video stops the game stops so I will correct that and show more video after the last ‘truffle’ find and let him contine with the celebration. When we pratice often times his nose goes back from the truffle to the box several times then ”lands’ on the truffle.
The focus is something we’ve been working on as during classes all Salu wanted to do was snorkle the ground. I literally had to stop and hold his head up to get his attention so I’m glad our work paid off. 🙂June 23, 2015 at 12:13 am #5484
It is a great(!!!) impulse you wanting to go slow and build that reward history. What I was perhaps overstating, but meant was changing the scenario a tad.
Do you have a differ room you could play in or change the game without upping the difficulty or adding too many new elements? Have you been cooking the targets? Lengthen the amount of times the hides cook. Start with that. Go slow but build.
As for after the game:
Much of truffle hunting is about communication. After the ‘game’ is over you as a handler want to communicate that fact. Think about adding an “all done” cue. Personally I use “free dog”. This is helpful later as it provides information to Salu on what is going on. When you use that cue he’ll know that ‘okay, game is over and now I get to do (insert activity here)…’ Whether that is play with a toy, or run around and have fun, it will depend on what you want to do together. He may decide to keep looking, but the point is it is about communicating your intention and expectation. It is about providing information.
Also we are looking for a continued connection. Call it tapering. If you’re really “high” (as in excited and energetic) and then all of a sudden that sensation goes away and you drop from a 8 or a 9 to a 2 dramatically it is not necessarily the most positive of associations. And Truffle hunting should be about fun! Think about someone offering you something fun that you are excited by or love, in a very excited fashion- whether that is an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas or a big piece of cake (bear with me here on the analogies, it’s late…). Someone offers it to you “Oh Mary, guess what, We have this awesome vacation you get to go on. We have it all ready for you. Don’t you want to go!” and then they turn around and walk away. It leaves you perhaps just a little confused. We want to avoid that. I’ll think of a better example in analogy form, but does that make sense? Continued connection and transition to other activity/ party if appropriate.
‘Snorkle the ground’ is a great image 😉June 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm #5514
Alana/Kristin – this video I think shows a better end to the game and shows Salu with more difficult hides. I added a empty cake mix box (which I thought would distract him) and some objects he’d never seen. One “truffle” was in a cosmetic bag and the other inside a eyeglass case – which I’m surprised he found (good puppy!)
I edited the video off to keep it (just ) under 3 minutes but you can get a good idea of how we ended – belly rubs and his favorite ball.
The next video will hopefully be in the basement if I can get it puppy-proofed. Unchartered territory for Salu.June 25, 2015 at 4:42 am #5528
oh, and I realize this may not be the way the game ends in the field (or maybe it dones) but I’m a bit short on space inside… outside it would likely be throwing the ball around a few times. 🙂
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