Kimberly Buchanan

Ok, good, I’m glad you’re making conscious decisions. The biggest thing I noticed was something probably very unconscious, however, and that’s your body language when you know where the hides are and where they are not. This is (I think) a direct result of wanting to reward Hunter quickly when there is odor. However, what this *can* result in is a change in your body language in the presence of odor. So if you take a look at the places where Hunter is “guessing” where odor is NOT, your body language is telling him it’s not there since you’re not responding to his cues. Whereas when it IS there you are quick to respond to his cues and pay him.

SO – how to get out of this cycle? You said you second-guess him in trial because you don’t know where odor is? You wait for a second hit on the odor. WHY NOT do that same thing in training? If it’s really there, he’s going to tell you, right? I know it’s sort of “testing” while training, I prefer to think of it as “proofing” in training. You have to try REALLY hard to not cue him to odor. Because it is extra confusing for both of you when you don’t know where it is. If you practice this in training it puts the onus back onto Hunter to insist. Rather than pay early, DELAY your reward right now, and see if he more insistent. This will evolve, of course, and is counter to the communication of paying early to elicit the communication but since this seems to be an issue, I would suggest experimenting in this direction for a bit to see if it makes a difference.

Just something to think about. 😀

Kimberly Buchanan
Joyride K9 Dog Training