Monday, July 25, 2011

Griffin Training: Working on the Search

Griffin is learning to identify a certain odor. When he finds it, he is supposed to lie down with his nose pointing.  In some circumstances he really wants to dig or retrieve.  Other than that piece, his indication is getting to be quite strong and fairly reliable.

One piece we haven't worked on is his search...getting him to work longer before he happens to come across the scent.  We had done maybe one lesson on that and last week did another. I thought the exercise the more experienced dogs were doing would be too difficult for him and that I would need to intentionally start closer to the scent.  

As always, Griffin surprised me.  He got to work right away and kept working, even for several minutes.

Here is one clip of two repetitions. I knew where the odor was but I was trying very hard to not prompt or guide him in any way.  If he seemed to know where he was going, I let him go off of our back and forth path, but if he seemed to be randomly searching, I would bring him back to a search pattern of sorts. 

Never repeat that horrible leash handling...  normally Griffin wears a harness. For whatever reason he did not. I was trying to be careful and not pull on his neck, yet needed to direct him at times.  The results were rather embarrassing  However, the quality of his work is so nice that I can't not share. 

Note that when we change one variable (a lot of search) we decrease our criteria and went back to verbally cueing the Down at times.   This is also to decrease/prevent naughtyness and incorrect behaviors with the odor. 

Isn't he adorable?

This week I came across these videos on youtube:  I've only actually watched two....but been -very- impressed.  Watching two I was really happy and thought, "He -gets- it."  The person has good training skills and good teaching skills and does such a nice job presenting information.  So maybe the rest of them aren't so great....but with the quality of what I saw, I have quite a bit of confidence that most of it, if not all, has to be great.   

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