Scent Work 2-2 Intro To Hunting Games 1 & 2

The focus of this week is to introduce hunting and continue to build committment to source! We build that committment (odor obedience) by having a strong history of rewarding at source and feeding liberally at source.

Note: It’s important that your dog has a history of reinforcement at source from your first week’s exercise before proceeding to this week’s lessons. If you did not get enough practice in on the first week assignments, please do not move ahead until your dog quickly goes to the source hand with the tin, within a few seconds, without offering additional behaviours like chewing or pawing source.

When starting these hunting games, we want to ensure that our dog is clear on what we are asking them to do. We are asking them to find the container with odor with a nose touch/nose at source. If we wait too long to reward they will have doubt on what they are supposed to do and may start offering other behaviors like pawing, perching, moving the container, etc. We want to address this before you move on to more containers.

  • If your dog is offering undesirable behavior like chewing/pawing/moving container, we need to address this first. See homework 2-1 on setting criteria of behavior at source. Do not add any duration. Mark/feed immediately and never mark/feed when they are offering a behavior you don’t want. We are looking for a nose touch or a nose stay at source. Pull the container away if your dog is pawing or chewing at source. Place it behind your back for a few seconds then bring it out again … it removes the opportunity to gain reinforcement and your dog will figure out what WILL pay and what will NOT pay.

We start easy with finding 1 container and then choosing between 2 containers.  Give your dog time to investigate the containers and reward immediately for nose on the hot container.  Feed your dog lots and lots of treats for investigating source in the hot container – as much as 10 treats!

Start paying attention if your dog is coming off of source after you mark their indication if, for example, you are reaching into your pocket to get a treat or when walking in. Walking in and reaching for food IS reinforcing to your dog. We want to limit reinforcement they are receiving if they are off/away from source. Otherwise you could accidently chain your dog to hit odor, and come to you for reinforcement. The clearer we make it the clearer everything is – your alert to the judge that your dog found the hide, knowing exactly where the hide is (if asked by the judge) and develping great odor obedience (staying as close to source as possible).  So once you mark, you want to move in FAST to reward at source! If your dog starts to come off of source, stop your movement and wait for your dog to return to source then move in again. Think of it as Red Light Green Light.

Time Commitment: Plan for 2 times a day for a few minutes each session.

Supplies:

  • Tin with fresh qtips inside
  • 1 hot plastic container with venting holes in lid
  • Something to weigh down your container to avoid dealing with moving/tumbling containers

Game 1: “I’m the only one!”

This game is using only ONE container and having the dog find the ONLY container with odor that you obviously are placing on the ground. Dog is rewarded right away.

  1. Put a hot tin inside of plastic container.
  2. Have treats available on you and nearby to reload.
  3. Have dog in the room with you, place the container on the ground with your dog anxiously waiting to play! Place container with tin on the floor. They’ll check the box out, mark and feed immediately. Feed many treats right on top of the container.
  4. Pick up container, place it on the floor again, repeat above steps.
  5. When you are done with your training session, pick the odor box up as you walk away so that we are not pulling/taking your dog away from source – since our objective is to have them to STAY at source.

Note:  Evenually we will have you generalize in new locations including outside. So for now, please start these games in your famliiar training area where you trained your first homework assignments.

Game 2: “Find it!”

This game will introduce a search cue and focus on searching for one hot container without the dog seeing you place it in the room.

  1. Have dog out of the room and place your container on the floor.
  2. Have treats available on you and nearby to reload.
  3. Bring dog into room.
  4. Start using a “search” cue. Pick any word/phrase that you would like that is not used for anything else. “Find it”, “Search”. It won’t mean anything to the dog at first, but they will soon associate that word to start hunting/searching.
  5. Mark and feed immediately AT SOURCE when they go check out the box.
  6. When you are done with each search, pick the odor box up as you walk away so that we are not pulling/taking your dog away from source – since our objective is to have them to STAY at source.
  7. Reset, place box in different but very visible place.
  8. Give your search cue and reward immediately at source.
  9. When you are done with your training session, pick the odor box up as you walk away so that we are not pulling/taking your dog away from source – since our objective is to have them to STAY at source.

Extra Credit for Dogs ready for some challenges:

  1. Play same game in different rooms in your house.
  2. Place the container slightly behind an object so they have to search a little more. (Similar to the second video)
  3. Place the container further behind an object.
  4. Place the container off the ground on a stool, chair, couch – something that is still easily accessible to your dog and won’t get knocked off. You can place something heavy in the container to weigh it down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s