Join Date: Oct 2017
Dogs Name: Hoss
Titles: Proud European Doberman
Dogs Age: 3
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These instructions come from my training school:
When the dog gives the alert signal to the wrong box it is called a "False Alert". This can occur any time during the training program, but we usually see it start once the food is used to reward the dog for finding the scented box. When the dog notices he gets a cookie for finding the hot box, he may, if he is anything like our dogs, try to see if he can get a cookie at other boxes.
Sometimes the False Alert will show up when the boxes are closed, and the scent is fainter. Use open boxes in training for a short while . Either way it is not a good thing .
Almost every dog that has gone on to the Advanced Levels of scent work has gone though a period when they false alert.
The best way to stop this behavior is to always know where the hides are ahead of time. Ask your instructor to point out which container has the target odor before you run your dog. Then, if the dog gives you a false alert, you can use your leash to get your dog moving ahead, and you ignore the unwanted behavior, never saying a work other than another "find it" type command. Once the dog learns nothing happens when he alerts to an empty box the behavior will stop.
On another note: AKC rules say handlers can talk to their dog while they are being judges, they can touch their dogs too, and the rules allow you to reward your dog with a treat after the dog has found the target odor. You can control your dog with the leash, but you cannot give your dog a correction with the leash.
Our Big Scent Work trial is November 16th, 17th and 18th. Scent work has become the fastest growing dog sport in AKC and our last trial filled in less that 48 hours. You may want to come and watch the dogs working, and maybe you will even try your dog and see what he/she can do.