Today marks day 5 since the dogs were introduced to the truffle scent. I've been having them work on the scent source 2-3 times each day and they are all progressing nicely. I spent a couple days working on identifying the scent and pairing their reward with it. Callie is moving along the fastest, but that is to be expected because she is so high drive and ball motivated. Cash seemed to have an "ah-ha" moment yesterday and he all of a sudden was confident that he knew what he was looking for. Da Vinci is still working on identifying the scent and will probably take some time to really make the association between his reward and the truffles. His older brother and sister have played many "find it" games so they are familiar with this game already. Yesterday was the first day I actually hid the truffles for Cash and Callie without using the scent boxes and that seemed to clear up any remaining confusion they had ("ahhh, it's that smell you are looking for...not a scent box!!!! I get it!").
We met with our instructor for a second lesson. This time, they would be searching outside and greater area. This was their first outside hunt. Cash and Da Vinci went to the lesson. Poor Callie is not quite recovered enough to be off leash in such an open area with uneven terrain. Cash worked for most of the lesson and he did REALLY well! He showed us all that he knows the scent source, and by his third hunt, he was totally on task and focused. Way to go, Little Buddy!!!! Da Vinci came out for a shorter session and we worked with the scent boxes. Let's just say he has not quite figured out the game...but, hey, he's 4 months old and never played a "find it" game before. Big brother and sis have an advantage. He's going to catch up in no time! We came home and hid the truffles in the backyard for Callie to work. For the first one, I walked on the outside of the fence, reached through and placed the truffles with her ball under a couple logs...that way I wouldn't lay any tracks inside the yard that she could follow. Wow! did she do great. She was on it from the release and no one had set foot in that side of the yard since last night! Two more hunts for her and she did great.
What a fun day...and the snow just made it even better :D