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Old 06-01-2012, 10:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Beginning Nosework- Update (with Video)

Class is going pretty well. Pimg seems to understand the concept of sniffing out food pretty well, and I've played with hiding it in bags even. I didn't do it in this training session, but I'll start branching out into some more interesting hiding locations like gym bags, shoes, under clothes, etc- stuff that's a bit harder. I haven't yet purchased a nosework kit, so I haven't started doing any scent work. I did find anise and clove locally, but I guess you start with birch- so I haven't messed with those oils yet. Here's a fun video where I was trying to replicate the situation explained here: One smart cookie! errr.... doggy!, but she didn't repeat the funny behavior. That's ok- she was just showing off in class...

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Old 06-02-2012, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What fun for both of you. They really seem to love to succeed.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey there -- Wildo , what is the dog working for? Still no reward --
Tell me what the dog is finding . I know the little treat in the box . So then why is she not indicating on the bowl of treats sitting on the steps - which is scent intense -- and why she walks right past this bowl of treats going up the steps to get the treat in the box. She should be so focused on that bowl .

How do you want her to indicate . If you did not know where the hidden object was there would be nothing in the dogs behaviour to let you know if she had found or not.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh- Carmen, I admit I forgot to respond to you about this in the last thread I posted. I wasn't trying to ignore. I'm with you- I understand the need for indication. However, the school I'm taking this class at doesn't teach an indication at the very first level. They only teach (and trust me- I use that term loosely) a search drive. We hide a treat in a box, and the dog finds the treat and self rewards by eating it. I agree that this is not ideal. Certainly once we move to scents we don't want the dog to eat the scent...

Never the less, this is my only introduction to the sport. I don't know how else to do it because I've never done any detection work, and I've never even seen a K9 Nosework trial. I can tell you that I don't intend to take the next class, rather I plan on purchasing the Andrew Ramsey DVD from Leerburg. I suspect I will learn quite I bit more from that DVD.

So for now, we're just having fun. Even if we're doing it totally wrong (which we probably are) Pimg is still using her nose and sniffing stuff out-- even when it is difficult for her to do so. And there's something to say about that.

Regarding the food bowl- No, there is no reason for her to find or indicate on it. I've taught my dog that the food bowl is out of bounds while training. She should never attempt to steal reinforcement from that bowl- and you can see that she clearly understands that concept. She walks right past that bowl multiple times in the video and it doesn't phase her at all. This is Susan Garrett's game called "It's yer choice." Pimg has a choice of stealing reinforcement from there. But I've worked with her to the point where she no longer has a need to. She works right passed them.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Also- before I started the class, I had in mind that I would teach a sit as a passive indicator. But the instructor did mention that it's important to watch the dog over time and see what behavior is more suited for that dog. Perhaps that dog might prefer to offer a down. Or a stare. Or a bark. Or a.... She claims that if you teach a sit right off the bat, for example, it might not be as effective as some other indicator might have been.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I think there could be considerable truth to it. My dog really, REALLY hates to sit while in arousal. It's a real struggle. So perhaps a sit would not be a smart thing to require for an indicator. On the other hand, this is a sport- just like agility. I wouldn't train my dog to go around a jump just because they don't like jumping... So I think there is a place for trained behaviors regardless of if the dog likes it or not. In the end though, I'm not sure my girl will ever have the snappy obedience as some of the higher drive working lines and requiring her to sit on indication when she hates to sit really could be a bad move.

So I guess- all that to say that I'm not sure what indicator position I'm going to train. I'm really hoping that the DVD clarifies this for me as I'm not even sure if there are "dumb" positions. I mean- my dog actually loves to "down" but if the hide was really high, and she indicated with a down- how in the world would I know where the scent was? So I see issues in quite a few indicator positions that I'm not sure how to resolve. For the time being, I am not interested in training a passive alert until I have more info on the topic.
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How fun! We just started a class last week and Nikki loves it, amazing how fast they catch on

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Old 06-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Regarding the food bowl- No, there is no reason for her to find or indicate on it. I've taught my dog that the food bowl is out of bounds while training. She should never attempt to steal reinforcement from that bowl- and you can see that she clearly understands that concept. She walks right past that bowl multiple times in the video and it doesn't phase her at all. This is Susan Garrett's game called "It's yer choice." Pimg has a choice of stealing reinforcement from there. But I've worked with her to the point where she no longer has a need to. She works right passed them.
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Wildo - I haven't had much time either to comment or reply to some PM's lately so no worries.
Your comment above is what I am talking about . What is her reward . The whole thing is a controlled obedience exercise without drive . She finds the box , oh boy lucky me, eats the treat , and walks away . You ask her to go to her crate , which she does obediently. When you have a new find for her you ask her to come out of the crate -- where she is sitting nicely, "good dog" , and she strolls out and does her rounds till she is lucky again. Rinse and repeat.
You taught her to walk right past her reward -- way way too much obedience - and confusing to the dog . If she is to find "something" (the bits in the bowl) she is too find them here there , everywhere and indicate , and not in a select area - which is reminiscent of an agility exercise - too much direction .

For a starter there are too many boxes .
Two would be good.
Use them as covers , not open.

Hide object under . Let dog go back and forth between the two. Once there is a glimmer of committment or heightened interest in one , then YOU go in and reinforce it -- is it here? where is it? , get beside the box show you are happy , tap the box , get her to be more interested look at it , look at you, look at it again, hoping that she will touch it or bark -- but party mode . Up end box , whoa , there it is good girl , you found it, good guy , (celebrate) make the dog feel the reward , which you give her .
That is your strong indication . The dog stays with the location till you arrive to confirm. She can walk around it , nose pointing, look to it , look to you, look back to box, scratch at it , move it around , but she has to stay with it .
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