The topic was "Reliable Scentwork for the Real World." We had medical alert dogs, SAR dogs, cadaver dogs, bed bug dogs, and fun/sport dogs. And probably some others. Huge variety!
The morning was lecture and the afternoon was dog work and then some demos. We saw a lot of video and a lot of fancy training tools.
Griffin only got to work a tiny bit due to the needs of our group mates. He did 3 reps of his alert behavior.... right only due to luck, twice I think, with one false alert? He was cute and worked half decent for so many people and dogs present. That's after he got his bowl of water though....
- Most of the problems, even with experienced and currently working teams, were lack of a strong foundation , esp for the indication/report behavior ("I found it/it's here"). Foundation is important.
- Many/most of the owners I watched were prompting their dogs. Luring and prompting has it's place...but... most of the morning lecture was about how we really need to NOT be doing this (or be VERY aware of when/how we do it if it's an intentional thing!). Yet there was still a lot of it and some people didn't realize it was going on. I probably did too to some extent...it was really interesting to watch.
- Training is really hard. And not. Yet really incredibly difficult to consider all the parts and especially if you're practically and theoretically thinking about efficiency.