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Old 07-09-2013, 10:43 PM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 30,963
Default How do you train an alert on odor? (plus other question)

I think I am going to need a new approach for Summer.

Mia alerts on odor very well now. What I did with her was capitalize on her frustration. She has always been a big sniffer and I had noticed when she trailed a mouse (or something), she'd start pawing/digging at it. Or if she treed a squirrel, etc. So...I stopped treating her immediately for putting her nose on the odor and started waiting until she pawed at it. Now she will go in, locate the odor paw at it pretty vigorously, then look at me.

Now Summer...doesn't do that or follow her nose much. We are still pairing odor and food most the time for her and she is definitely getting the game and developing some drive for it. I decided to try to get her to start an alert behavior. Well.... she doesn't naturally paw at things but she has a good 'touch' command. So I was holding a vial of odor out and asking her to touch it. She picked up readily that I wanted her to touch it. But when I put the vial on the ground, she started running around and trying to touch everything in the floor I don't think she's getting that finding the odor then pawing it is what I want.

So.... would you continue on the way I am doing it and only reward for pawing at the odor source? Then separately work on finding the odor source? I still don't have a huge window there where she'll stick to the source to wait her out. I need to reward fairly quickly or she's moving on.

Also, Mia kept really wanting to alert on my mop today. She's usually really reliable but she kept alerting on the brush on the mop. I had used lysol to clean the floors last week with it (it's brand new). Could she be mistaking the orange lysol for birch?

Hank CA - (approx. 1 1/2 year old Spotty Dog)
Mia CGC - (6 1/2 year old Papillon)
Summer TG3 TIAD - (11 year old Papillon)
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