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Along with the distractions Salu and I are working on shaping soft paw touches. So far so good. He sees the food and clicker and gets really excited. At first he ran over and did nose touches on the target and when nothing happened he got a bit frustrated. Then his paw would accidentally touch the target and after a few of those accidental touches with “click/treat” he caught onto the game. Hopefully I can get a short video of that over the weekend.
Question…. do I wait until he’s doing a soft paw to the target (right now he’s semi-slapping it – but, I think a lot of that is being excited over playing the game) before I give it a “touch” command or give the command and then work on the soft paw.
Yes it does!! And, I’ve been guilty of not doing that.
I’m thinking we might try my friends land this weekend (that I posted pictures of late) and ask her to throw some scent balls out in the middle of the open area (not too large of an area and on the surface) the night before and go out in the morning (while there’s still dew on the ground) and give it a try.
Then tonight on my way home from work I can collect some “distractions” from the park and ask Juli to collect some from her land and we can practice with those this week prior to going out.
Thanks Alana – I’m not sure I”m exactly clear on “priming Lola”. We had not checked out the area prior (which we should have) – we had walked around/past during a couple walks through the park.
The scent disc that Lola was “bracketing” was actually partially buried on it’s side so it could have more exposure to the damp ground and leaves. It is fun to watch when she’s onto a scent…she doesn’t leave much to the imagination…
I should add that way before the end of the video I should have thrown out a tea ball and had a success when it was apparent that his concentration was fading. I really need to practice that… (sorry for another post, the “edit” option keeps coming and going….)
Hey Alana – regarding the Julius Harness…. Lola is wearing a Mini and she has some room to spare. I’m not sure of Lolo’s size but Lola is around 30 lbs. I tried Salu’s vest on her (size 0) and even as small as it would go it was slightly too big and it “looked” massive for her frame.
This is the same area Salu was. Same park as last week only a different area. Lola has not been here prior.
Again, the leaves are damp but the ground is dry. I brought Lola here after Salu this morning to see if she could find the remaining tea balls (btw… these are buries and not marked. They were placed last night and although I know the area they were placed I don’t know where so I’m calling this “pretty blind”). She became frustrated and showed no sign of finding a scent (not really like Lola). We went back to the car and I placed the ones Salu found earlier under some damp leaves and we waited 10-15 minutes. This video is from that point on.
What’s VERY apparent is that once Lola finds one her whole attitude changes and it really hit home how important even manufactured success can be to the feeling of the game. So, are manufactured successes something you, as a handler, will do continuously during the “hunt”? I also saw first hand the importance of moisture in relation to the scent. Lola is a complete 180 from 20 minutes prior when the scent were in dry ground.
Again, I’m more comfortable with Lola staying at this level and practicing at different locations. It takes her awhile to feel comfortable and adjust but I think the more we practice this the more fun she’ll with new enviornments.
Oh, and as we were leaving Lola gets excited and finds another tea ball that we buried the day before. BIG party over that!!
More learning experiences this week… never ending…
As I indicated it’s been VERY dry here making video and practicing difficult. Yesterday we did have some rain so I drove to the park to place the scents but the ground was only damp about 1/4″. I placed the scents about 1″ under with wet leaves on top and waited about an hour. Salu and I then went to practice. Along with all the distractions (I could hear the deer close by) the dry ground made it very difficult – he did find 3 and two were right away (as he always seems to do) but after that he mind was anywhere but “truffles” and I think he stumbled on the 3rd scent while investigating everything else.
I replaced them before we left and this is Sunday morning. It’s very damp and much cooler and the scents have been cooking about 15 hours. He found these 3 in pretty good time but then he started fading (the video stops here) and when he found some deer scat it was all over.. which brings up a question…
I’ve seen you mention bringing distractions into the house where it’s a more controlled environment for training. How is that done?
I think at this point Salu and I should practice/focus on distractions and not try anything more complex until he’s comfortable with that. No rain expected in the next 10 days so trying to move forward would just prove frustrating for everyone. When he’s focused he’s really working hard but then his nose catches something fun and he fades… I’m sure has he matures and we practice in different places this will improve.
I also like that his alert is soft and precise and that will be fun to work with and fine tune.
Thanks Alana!!! that’s EXACTLY what I’d hoped you would say… 🙂
Alana/Kristin – a couple questions…. How long is too long to let scent cook? It’s very dry again and only a chance of rain this weekend. If I were to put the scents out the night before so the soil would be moist from the dew in the AM would that work? Or, make it too difficult? Also, how would it change if it DID rain overnight?
Several times I’ve forgotten teaballs that were buried in the yard only to find days even weeks later the dogs will find them (not sure which one)
Thanks Alana – we’re about 90% de-burred…. still working on the top of her nose. She’s definitely getting the Cloud Chaser.. I did some Googling on gun dog sites and the general consensus is to use Show Sheen for horses. Spray it on, brush it through and let it dry. Bridget actually recommended it to me when I first got Salu to use for mating. I have a bottle so I’ll let you know how it works. The cornstarch will be great for her face though as I don’t want to use chemicals around her eyes.
We’ll start working with the white truffle oil. This week I’m keeping Lola at this same park only in a grassy area with buried scents. I don’t want to move too fast with her and new areas. 🙂
No problem Alana – we’ve re-reviewing the nose touch/clicking. Salu’s used to it but we’re now using a frisbee. He does a down and nose touch no problem. And, when the piece of truffle is in my hand he now does a touch just fine (no licks) – I’m just not sure how to move to a naked truffle by itself on the floor/ground. (Without going broke. In the process.. 😉 )
Alana – bear with me… The beginning of video 1 was accidently edited out – she found a tea ball right before this and this is a continuation.. This is my first day with an iMac and using iMovie – still a newbie… Also, she took a break between videos. 🙂
- This reply was modified 8 years ago by MARY.
We are at the same park as Salu and I were earlier in the day. The ground is still very damp but the foliage has dried out (it’s around noon).
We came earlier (9ish) with the long leash but that doesn’t work for Lola – she needs more “freedom” and it just made her frustrated so she came home and took a nap for a few hours now we’re trying again with a short leash.
I think she’s doing well, she’s anxious as there’s a few other dogs around walking (on leash) and she’s only been here a couple times. There are 2 videos as she had to take a short break. She did find the 5/6 scents – all of which has been “cooking” for about 15 minutes. The tea balls have summer truffles and the spice jars have PNW oil.
Poor Lola – the very last find she rolls around to get some brush off her face and completely covered herself in tiny burrs – her whole face and head. Even one eye was matted shut. I’ve been cutting them out as I can (tonight is a bath) but any suggestions for getting them out or preventing in the future would be awesome.
Also, I have some of your white truffle oil – I was going to start doing some imprinting with Lola and she had she did in the back yard with it. Your thoughts??[video]https://youtu.be/-xpkJTl1Cjs[/video]