Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unsuccessful with Scent

I am not good with scent. I've been reading about dogs for ten years. Almost that long ago I was reading tracking books. I did very little scent work of any time because it's so hard for me to understand.

Last year I finally got brave enough and started teaching tracking to Blaze and Griffin, with food on the track. The luring-ness was painful, but it worked fairly well.

But then the article indication part happened. I tried multiple things with Blaze. It didn't go well, and I mostly attributed it to his brain damage. Maybe this is one of the things he can't learn (like go to mat, two on two off...and a recall) unless his meds are working?

Griffin has had a bit of trouble with scent articles.

And then with another scent project we're doing. Today was week/session 5. He is nowhere near the other dog that started at the same time. That dog made more progress on the first day than Griffin has so far. Griffin doesn't understand that scent can provide a cue.

We tried shaping. We tried breaking it down. We tried classical conditioning. We tried operant conditioning. We tried using cue transfer.

So we're going for some sloppy training (tugging and fetching and then finding a hidden scented gu) to get him searching and then going back to clean training set ups. And hoping that works.

I need more scent resources and I need more scent successes.

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