Dog Training World Forums Specialized Dog Training Specific Odor Detection trying to slow down and establish a search pattern Reply To: trying to slow down and establish a search pattern

  • Michael D’Abruzzo

    November 3, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    Overall I think this looks good. She found the odor and you were conducting a good pattern without cueing her to the odor. There are two obvious things to fine-tune: backing up more than necessary after locating the odor and the slow sit. But, overall Stormy is successfully searching and it is obvious to anyone watching where the odor is!

    Besides maybe you could have presented the reward more between her nose and source to start the play, i think you used good judgment by reinforcing when you did. I would have done the same and then would have digested the session to make a plan for the next session.

    My intuition would be to go back to more repetition with basic item drills because you will be able to get more repetition if you want to have her not back up and sit quicker. if those go well then do the same with room searches again indoors.

    I may be wrong but it looks like the motivation to back up may be so she can see you before she does the final sit? This can be a default to the initial training before rewarding at the source?

    If working this out in easy drills I would immediately prompt her to “search” again if she sits that far away and then prompt her with a verbal “sit” when it is obvious she has the scent (stand behind her) then reward at the source, be very happy, and then move onto another search instead of lots of rewards when she is now in the right position.

    I think her energy and what motivation you have to play with in a teaching drill is best spent on the initial indication and when she gets it right the FIRST time she gets a big reward and moves on. I think there is a chance that she may second guess herself if she isnt getting big obvious reward when she does it great that first time. I’m mostly brainstorming out loud here…

    Keep in mind that the final response in a real working dog does not have to be super pretty, it only has to be obvious to you and consistent.

    All of my dogs would sit (or lie down if it was low find) when they were at the source and then look at ME, and it was very obvious to me and everyone else. If I would say “show me” if i was in doubt they would touch the source with their nose and look back at me.

    So it is what you make it and going with mother nature helps. Therefore i think it is just the initial back up and slow sit that needs fine tuning.. best done in a drill where you can get more repetition. lots of flexibility as to how you think stormy will respond best to prompting her, but the faster the better when she backs up to get her back where she will be closer.

    again, these are my initial thoughts. what i do know is that it is always best to address final response issues first in the easy drills to get more repetition no matter how you go about it, which what you mentioned you were going to do so i agree.