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Old 01-22-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default The alert/'tell' (more nosework/scentwork stuff)

No, I'm not obsessed.

Ok, so I am not sure how it nosework compares to other scent related sports. But how did you guys go about developing your dog's alert? Did you train something specific or just watch the dog for its natural 'tells'?

I had been trying to work on getting Mia to paw at the source, however my trainers have said they both do (and recommend) just learning your dog's 'tells' and observing for their natural alerts. It seems much more difficult that way. I want something very clear and absolute. It seems like when I see real working dogs doing any kind of detection work they have the dogs perform a behavior once they detect their odor.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:17 PM
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At the seminar, Ramsey waited until the dog "locked up" on scent (froze, even if just briefly) and applied pressure to get the dog to push harder into the spot. If the dog offered a sit, he'd mark and reward that, but otherwise took the stand.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:23 PM
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With Mia what I've been doing (which I am guessing is totally wrong), is asking her to search. Since I know where the source is I can reward right away and then she will usually go back and start scratching at it. Then I was rewarding that too.

I don't think Mia will sit, LOL.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:27 PM
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Reward at source is def something I see a lot in the nosework stuff I've watched and done. It does seem like rewarding and then encouraging the refind with alert may be working at cross purposes. What happens if you delay reinforcement on the initial find?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:31 PM
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The scratching is Mia's go to 'I'm frustrated'. I haven't really tried delaying the reward just yet. We're so new at everything I've been very good about getting the reward right at the source as fast as possible. So there hasn't really been much time to see what she does. I may try it and see what happens. Tonight was really the first night we did a full run through where I had no idea where the hides were and there was no way to see them. It makes a big difference when you know where the hides are versus having to rely solely on reading your dog.


Tonight there were two instances of a 'false alert'. One was on a residual odor and the other... I have no idea. They were both clear as day, everyone thought she was alerting the container especially.
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Summer TG3 TIAD - (10 year old Papillon)
Hank - (approx. 10 month old Spotty Dog)
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:34 PM
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Yea, I'm not much help in your situation because with the method(s) I'm trying you intro the alert from the moment you start. You build the alert along with the odor recognition.

If it were me, I'd get your alerts correct, then try adding in the new alert behavior so you don't risk muddying the waters on correct indications. Lumping behaviors = asking for trouble.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:39 PM
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That's interesting. How are you going about that?

The trainer here is certified nosework trainer. I really thought there would be more work on the alert than there has been.
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Summer TG3 TIAD - (10 year old Papillon)
Hank - (approx. 10 month old Spotty Dog)
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:43 PM
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Remember tho that in official NW you don't have to have a formal alert. She's obviously teaching for their style I would say.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:45 PM
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I wonder if that would be a problem if AKC or UKC does take up the sport? I guess we won't know if they'll require something more formal until they come up with their own rules for the sport.
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Summer TG3 TIAD - (10 year old Papillon)
Hank - (approx. 10 month old Spotty Dog)
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:47 PM
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I've heard that AKC may just recognize the official NW titles vs starting their own program. Not sure what UKC is planning as far as the alerts go, though.
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