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  • in reply to: Week 6 Assignment #5727

    Tim/Molly, Post #5678

    Tim it has been such fun to watch you and Molly these last few weeks.
    Molly shows amazing energy that just won’t quit. Molly has accomplished everything we could hope for through the Introduction to Truffle Hunting course. You should be very proud of yourself as well! As I’m sure you noticed, the hardest part of training is training yourself to follow the guidelines and lesson plans with the ability to modify them toward your dog. You did a great job of observing Molly, applying advice for certain situations such as the ball, and repeating until you had an alert both of you can use and understand.
    Use the time between classes to continue shaping Molly’s alert. Remember to collect the target before offering the ball as a reward.
    With River I still find it hard to stay on our routine, especially when in the field and finding TRUFFLES! But, nothing will benefit you and Molly more than practice and consistency. Make a habit of picking up the target (I then make sure to stand up), then remove the reward from your pocket/backpack and reward Molly.
    Just keep up the great work you are doing and it will all fall into place. Developing a Reliable Truffle Dog Team (level 2) will continue to help you improve on the lessons you and Molly are practicing while also preparing you for team work in the field. Registration begins August 9th and we look forward to continuing training with you and Molly. Great work!

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5652

    Yes and yes. I will reward her with more praise and introduce a treat to the Chuck It game. We sit atop a mound of frozen truffles, both black and white (even a Kalapuya or 2). Once she is consistent with the Chuck It, I will move directly to the truffles and have video late this week. Thank you for the advice.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5637

    I did have some video from the other day, forgot we took it.
    This is just the practice with the Chuck It, working to get a gentler alert.
    These were done over about a 30 min. span while just hanging out after work. You can see her really start to understand what I am looking for. It has gotten better since these were taken earlier this week. 1 of 4

    2 of 4

    You get the idea.

    I hope this is an acceptable modification of Kristen’s suggestion. This allowed us the most time and casual environment to fine tune her alert. We will move to applying this to our truffle targets next week.

    in reply to: Week 5 Assignment #5636

    Referencing Tim and Molly and the ongoing ball discussion.
    Hi Tim. Molly is attached to her ball much like River is. If there is no food involved, the ball is IT.
    While River gets food treats for her alerts in the field, the ball is still her end game and she really enjoys it. I often let her take the ball between patches and while hiking. I occasionally throw and she just keeps it until we reach our next area, at which time I take the ball and place it back in my backpack.
    River never guards the ball, she will on occasion keep it and chew if she is tired, or if she is really into it and knows I am stopping. A food treat at the time Molly tries to guard from the ball will help her to let go at which time I suggest you put the ball out of site, even out of your pocket and into a backpack. Out of site, eventually out of mind, especially if a food treat is being offered.
    If you have time, just take Molly for a walk, allow her to see the ball being placed in your pack and then just walk. Walk until she forgets, even if it takes a long time. Offer no reward, just a walk with the ball in your pack. At the end of the walk, or even on the way back (simulating a finished day in the field) just let her take it. Every time you leave with Molly, even just to the store or whatever, you can allow her to see you put the ball in the pack and just go. When you return from your errand or outing, she gets the ball. This has always been a great thing not only for River, but myself as well. If we have had a frustrating day in the field, the ball lets us both know that the day is done or at least that area is done. Often it is just as much a relief for me to pull the ball out as it is for her. Keep up the good work, you and Molly are doing really well. Its called fishing, not catching, just keep shaping your alerts and figure out the best place for the ball in your activities, it all comes together.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5635

    Hello. I apologize again for my tardiness, its been hectic.
    River and I aimed to do a video this Sunday morning (5th), but with the 5 extra persons in the house it has proven too hard to get time in a space that works. However, we have had plenty of time to work on our gentle alert. I had to modify Kristen’s suggestion to fit our schedule and situation this week, but it has worked well and River is progressing nicely.
    I used the Chuck It and the ball. While sitting and visiting with family after work I would sit and have the ball in the Chuck It, I placed the ball on the ground. River would sit as usual waiting for me to throw. Before I threw, I asked her to “show me”. At first she was excited and would just rip it out. This resulted in me ignoring her and holding the ball. Repeating the process, River started alerting with her paw, as her usual. If she knocked the ball out, it resulted in me ignoring and holding the ball again. There were no treats involved besides the ball being thrown. River gradually gave a softer alert, it started away from the ball a few inches, I awarded quickly on easy alerts. We moved to the ball directly, when she alerted without knocking it out, she was rewarded.
    This game was easy and allowed us to train while still entertaining our house guests. We have continued working on this and it is translating nicely into our training.
    I will have my house back late next week and will skip to posting a lesson 5 video next Sunday. Again apologizing about our tardiness. Soon, very soon, they will all be gone.

    in reply to: Welcome Hybrid Instructors! #5554

    Hi Bev. River and I have more field experience than training experience. Having River, more or less, regress has proven very difficult. One of the issues is her enthusiasm. Its amazing. It leaves a lot to be desired in terms of fine tuning. River and I are connected, as most of us are, in a special way. Translating her behavior from what I read into our lessons harder than I thought. Following a lesson plan has never been our thing. We are determined to use Kristen’s suggestion in post //truffledogcompany.com/forums/topic/jason-swindle/?bbp_reply_to=5471&_wpnonce=61cfc10947#new-post
    I will have time in the coming week after some guests clear out to try this out and get some progression on camera.
    River does paw hard, especially black truffles, always the black truffles. I keep her nails well down during the season and keep right on her. She is very easy to read to me, so I’m usually right on it. Whites she does have a tendency to kick behind her if they are small. She has been great about stopping on large whites, that is because she does not seem to like to mouth them as she does the blacks. I hope to show some control of her heavy paw in our exercises later this week. Thanks for your comments.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5552

    Thanks for the feedback and the tips.
    Unfortunately I have too much going on this week and have not had time to implement these tips. I have in laws in town and my family next week. Temperatures Friday and Saturday have made training/practicing difficult and far too much frustration was generated on both our parts. I am not going to submit a video for lesson 4 this week. I have a work schedule from hell this next week and am not going to have access or time to get anything done before Thursday. My apologies.
    When we are able to return I will update our Lesson 4 and 5 video and catch up in the Instructors assignments.
    Family. . .not my favorite thing.

    in reply to: Week 4 Instructor’s Assignment #5531

    Commenting on post #5514, Mary and Salu.
    Mary, this is a great video and shows wonderful progression.
    You have a clear beginning command.
    It’s my feeling that at this point you could lose the clicker and just go with voice commands, Salu definitely understands the game and the desired alert.
    It’s so nice that he sits after his active alert.
    You may want to avoid letting him alert after you are on the ground, unless it’s in your hand. Reason being, in the field, once you have found your truffle, there will be no more alerts, at least not on the ground. Rewarding while it’s in your hand for a passive alert is still fine, but when River has been rewarded, I move straight to “find another”, which you do beautifully after you collect the target.
    One of the objects of this lesson was to experiment with cooking your targets. If you did, great, let me know for how long. This will afford you with how Salu approaches targets based on cook time. Try them at 5, 10 and 15 minute cooks to start.
    Wonderfully done with the difficulty of the box hides. Keep changing it up as much as possible.
    Overall this was a great video and really shows not only Salu’s improvements, but yours as well. Great way to end the game. That is a useful trick, not only when you end the day, but also in between truffle patches. I allow River to carry the ball between patches, let’s her know it’s ok not to work.
    Great job, work on cooking the targets and I look forward to seeing Salu in action in a new environment.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5469

    Thanks, Alana. I’m going for a softer paw touch. She’s getting old, while a nose alert would be nice, I think it would be better for her to remain more upright when possible. We will keep working on it.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5449

    Lesson 3 gave River and I a chance to work on her alert. River has a very enthusiastic alert, something not desirable for a 90lb. canine when targeting delicate truffles. My goal was to fine tune her heavy pawed alert with a more gentle alert, possibly saving us a few truffles.
    Today’s targets were jars, something we have never used. We used Tuber oregonense. Today’s treats were cheese and carrots. Unfortunately I had to move practice outside, our house is just too small and I could not get the results in the confined space of the garage. There was a north to south breeze of about 5mph, with south being at the camera.

    In the first video I allowed her to alert as she would normally. You can see and hear just how hard she alerts on a target. I award as usual, often having to hold the target so it doesn’t go flying. This is a great example of just what can happen to a truffle in the field, check behind your canine. A softer alert will help keep the truffles in the alert area.

    In the second video I awarded on the initial alert. When I went for the “show me”, I held the target in place and asked for a “gentle” or “easy” alert (both commands River understands). I awarded with praise for the alerts that were the her normal, but did not treat. Once I was able to move my hand off the target and have her “show me” without kicking it away, then she was rewarded with a treat. It is difficult to see in the video, but I move my hand off and to the side on the desired alert.

    It will take time to gain a final alert that is more gentle than the one we use now, but this is a great thing! The classes have caught up to us and shown us a way to fine tune an alert we have used for years, costing us several canine damaged truffles.

    in reply to: Week 3 Instructor’s Assignment #5420

    I am commenting on post 5418, Tim and Molly.

    1st target: Tim’s click is a little late. When Molly sits and the camera turns off, I’m curious is Molly began searching again on her own or with a cue from Tim, this would be a good part of the film to leave in as it helps make a accurate assessment. I like that Molly needs no verbal cue to continue working after the ball is removed. Great sign of a dog that is eager to have a job and enjoys the game.
    2nd Target: It looks like Molly may have been back tracking a source when Tim motions her back. Molly needs to be able to go backwards sometimes, it’s her process of elimination and a part of her alert chain, very important, especially on breezy days in the field. Tim starts toward Molly before a click, since the target was in a corner, this was a give away to Molly. Tim would benefit from shortening up the game area and standing still if possible.
    3rd Target: Tim is right on with his click, this would have been a good time to try for an active alert. Leaving the target on the ground, holding off on the ball till a different alert, Molly just needs to be slowed down a touch and I’m sure she will give another alert.
    Molly is an amazing dog. So much energy, reminds me of River. Perhaps the ball would be better offered at the end of the game. A food treat would require less time and allow Molly and Tim to move on to the next target quicker. Seems like Molly will work regardless of reward, much like River, so an end game, like the ball, may make it easier to move along.
    As for more difficulty; maybe a porch with a breeze way underneath. Target approach from the downwind side will force Molly to go around the obstacle, or, if she is like River, to dig through it. This will be good for Tim as well as he will have to allow her to back track, he will get to see more of an alert chain, which includes the heavy nose breathing that he has already noticed ( I LOVE that noise! ).

    in reply to: Week 3 Instructor’s Assignment #5410

    I am commenting on post 5402, Bev and Maah.

    Maah is doing a great job with a clear passive alert in the nosing of targets. Bev would benefit from leaving the target box on the ground when opening, simulating digging for a truffle. With the “show me”, I would expect a more active alert before rewarding, with the target on the ground this will be easier to achieve.
    1:31, Bev is right on with her praise on the foot cue from Maah, even if Maah didn’t do in on purpose, thats exactly what Bev will want in the field. Removing the lead should have waited until that target was cleared, or picked up.
    Maah should have been allowed to continue at the 2:00 mark. I started wearing sunglasses while training, apparently I have a bad poker face. Bev gives in too early to Maah’s look, sunglasses help hide our tells. Maah needs to feel frustrated a little to continue. Maah understands the game, but like River, he is smarter than the trainer. Maah knows its in one of those things and the faster he can clear them the faster the reward.
    Delaying the help will force Maah to focus a little bit more. Again, leaving the target on the ground would be more applicable toward field work.
    At 2:28: This is just what Bev is looking for and does a good job of leaving the target down, rewarding on the passive and again with slightly more praise on the active (could have spruced it up, but I’m the same way, sometimes a little change is all the dog needs). With this drill I would have ended on the active and rewarded a little more, but overall it was a great drill.
    The final drill is very nicely done by the team. Bev is perfect with her timing on the passive alert. If I have to say anything on this one, after the second passive alert, hold off on the reward until a more active alert is demonstrated. Although, at this point it is hard for me to tell if Maah’s final active alert will be nose or paw. Nicely done by the team, this video showed real progression.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5340

    I notice you can’t hear my “good” on the last target, it happens right when the lid makes noise.

    in reply to: Jason Swindle #5339

    This is Jason and River’s lesson 2 video.

    It has proven very difficult to try and get a passive alert from River, something we have not done in years.
    We were getting frustrated often while attempting this video, so we did the best we could while trying to stay in the guidelines of the lesson.

    I used winter white truffles, something we have never trained on, River has always used blacks.
    Today’s treat was carrots.

    I tried to catch her passive alerts (nosing) and reward for them as well, something we have not done in a long time.

    We stayed in the garage. That proved a challenge as we are both not small dogs.

    To try and incorporate the scent as it relates to wind, I opened the back door and cracked (no jokes about mine!) the roll up door, creating a nice breeze. This was fun to watch as you can see River leave the camera area, following the breeze and the scent trail.

    We kept it short. I treated River on first alert and then again for showing me with a more direct alert on the target itself.

    Normally, when I say “good”, River knows to stop. In the field, this is where I would retrieve the truffle and River would be rewarded once the truffle was in hand.

    I always end a session with the ball, it helps us both to know that we are done and there is no need to continue looking. . .cause River will. . .forever.

    in reply to: Assignments #5338

    While setting up for River’s lesson 2 video this morning, I had another thought.
    One of the objects of the lesson is to recognize your dogs alert chain. In such a small area its really hard to get a feel for the little things, the tails position and action, the body squaring up, the low head sweep, etc. Perhaps Salu’s ques would be better seen if there was more room to work.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)