Kimberly Buchanan

    Ok, here’s what I’m seeing;

    Blackie comes into the search and immediately goes to the salmon, very insistent at first by pawing but leaves to continue investigating and showing a bit of interest in other distractors. You comment that she finds the Birch at (:28) but she GOES to it at (:26) and sits at (:28). You are inadvertently rewarding the sit, not the find. Take a look at the reward process. She only gets to odor twice in this search (I would have liked to see much more than that) but each time the reward is delayed by 2 seconds and not until she sits. She is rewarded twice the last time but again, not until she sits.

    Blackie sits/paws/looks at almost all of the boxes, offering behaviors. I recommend breaking that chain of behaviors because it will haunt you forever. For some reason, Blackie feels that these things are what earns her reward, not by going to odor so I think you need to back up a step.

    PART C of this exercise for you is to re-run this exercise with the 3 distractors (moved from the previous locations) and use 3 odor boxes. Off-leash will be easier and she’s not going anywhere. As explained in Part A, you MUST reward FAST. Do not wait for a sit, if she starts to go to the odor box, race her there to reward. (REWARD THE SNIFF!) Also, choose odor boxes that are lower. I think part of the issue is that your odor box is higher so it’s possible the odor is drifting onto a distractor box and confusing the issue. Mark the distractors with the sticky (remove the sticky note if it’s now blank) so we can see what she’s doing. Let her investigate “for awhile” so hopefully she is not even trying to give you any indication on a distractor but going back to odor only, ideally with enthusiasm since she knows she’ll get paid quickly. You might need to move your search area to a larger space so the boxes can be a bit further apart. Post the video so we can see how this goes! 🙂

    Kimberly Buchanan
    Joyride K9 Dog Training