Analyze a Nose Work Trial Video
I love love love the trial video thread that has been started!! Such a great way to learn and lots of awesome accomplishments! I did notice some instances of dogs either not sticking at source or just head checking one source and leaving it to search elsewhere. Iíve been lucky to have had some instruction in how to deal with that problem so Iíll share!
I will give constructive notices from two different instructors, both NACSW judges, learned in working spots in great seminars. Iíve not gone to any local classes the last 9 months and have, instead, spent all my nosework instruction money on seminars from really great instructors. Plus, Iíll give my observation of dogs at trials with the info under my belt.
1) If you donít have a dog who STICKS at source, you have trained a dog who COMES OFF OF SOURCE! This is a simple but profound revelation! If you pay when your dog pops off of source, the dog doesnít understand the job, which is twofold: Find source + stay there so the human knows where it is. This problem will bite you over and over if the dog doesnít understand BOTH parts of the task.
2) I have volunteered at 4 elite/NW3 trials in the last few months. I could easily see, with my new understanding, that many handlers have ACCIDENTALLY trained a pattern of dogs leaving source before the handler ďmarksĒ the find. Many many dogs find source and pop off in a blink! Most commonly, they wheel around to the handler or they just glance off a source and leave, in likelihood for stronger or preferred odor (an easier-to-catch rabbit).
3) It is absolutely not dog error for leaving source if you, in practice, consistently pay for the pattern find source-leave source. In other words, if you keep rewarding after the dog has bounced around to face you, or you pay at a source when they have just glanced by a source that was closer to them.
4) This problem is easy to see in videos! Most handlers know they have it and blame the dog, ďOh, he knew it was there but didnít stick it,Ē when actually, the dog is just doing the behavior chain heís accidentally been taught: Either a chain of ďfind odor and bounce around to face the humanĒ OR a chain of ďtake note of sources you pass by, but go to the one you like best for whatever reason and get paid thereĒ.
5) Does your dog ďnote sourceĒ, then pop around to face you? True confessions (come on, I did it!), are you actually watching all the time for that exact pattern of ďfind-pop aroundĒ (vs. ďfind-stick at sourceĒ) in order to make you decision on calling alert?? Is that YOUR cue to pay? Go back and look at your videos with this info. Youíll know the answer.
Hereís a trial video I made an analysis of to demo what I look at. This is after learning about the problem and doing some re-teaching. Itís a recent Performance Scent Dog trial.
There are very simple exercises to (re)teach the dog to stay at source and the time to do it is yesterday because practice makes perfect. If the dog consistently practices coming off source, they will come off source in trials and you will lose your mind a lot in challenges of converging odor, deeply inaccessible hides, high hides, etc.
Why waste your money on expensive trial entries if you have to play guessing games because your partner is unclear on the job to be done?
Also, a dog who KNOWS the job of sticking at source will never fool the handler on smurf sniffing (smurf is my word for where other dogs have wiped muzzles on a non odor box or non odor place) or distractions. With some training the dog wonít STICK IT for those: they might snuff all around a distraction but that will look very different from a STICK AT SOURCE behavior if youíve trained one.
Interesting post, TriciaK. I haven't done nosework before, but reading anything a knowledgeable dog person brings to the table about dogs is fun to read. Fanatics, and I say that in the nicest way possible :D, are irresistible.
I'm going to say this in the nicest way I can - it's hard to convey tone online.
Since only Melissa and I posted trial videos, it definitely "feels like" you're criticizing either her or me (or both) of us and how we train. Given that we both have titled two dogs fairly significantly in the sport, I feel pretty comfortable saying we're not doing too awfully bad in our training. While I know both of us love to train, and in fact, are always doing more training and seminars, it can feel kind of...off-putting to have someone watch your videos and give you unsoliticited training advice that tells you they think you're doing something wrong.
I think this would have come across a little better if you'd posted it instead as "here's a way I train to have dogs really stick to odor" instead of "in the trial thread I see dogs not sticking to odor and here's how to fix it". I hope that was your intent, and I'm going to try and read it that way.
I love talking Nosework and different (general) training ideas...I'd like to continue to do that. I didn't really think the purpose of the trial video thread was for people to offer (unsolicited, specific) training advice.
In response to the actual discussion of sticking to source, I actually have to disagree that this is necessarily a problem, either....
I've also done several seminars with fantastic folks, including with one of the sport's founders. My trainer has been in the sport since pretty much the beginning and has worked with the founders since then. We talk a lot about how many dogs like to "catalog" when there are multiple hides (or, to make sure there is only one). They find a hide, may pause at it, and check the rest of the space, perhaps finding others, but not giving strong indication. They may also "use" those hides to solve difficult odor puzzles without strongly indicating their finds until they are ready. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. What's important is that your dog does indicate a find to you, and more importantly, that YOU can read YOUR dog's finds. There's no one right way to do nosework. I know dogs that have their Elite titles that are really hard for me to read, but their handlers can read them very clearly. That's why it's such a great sport, because each dog is so different and it's the art of the partnership.
Holy cow! Iím so surprised. And really sorry that my post offended anyone.
I only offered what I learned in the seminar because someone, and I donít know who because I donít think in terms of criticism of anyone, made a comment that their dog left a hide. The seminar notice to me, of my dog leaving hides because I had accidentally trained a chain of behavior, was a big revelation and by doing a few simple exercises to eliminate the chain (find a hide, leave the hide to find the handler) our performance has improved very much. By the way, Iím well aware that the founders of NACSW donít want to hear anything about marking behavior (mark the dog at source), so any discussion of that concept always get a lot of controversy.
Like any training observation or suggestion, you are free to take it or leave it. I meant no criticism but, anyone who watches their videos and sees their dog find source and pop off of it to do anything else has a behavior chain in place. Thatís not criticism, thatís just simple behavioral science. It was something I had never seen in my team, because we just had that rhythm going, doing the same little chain all the time in practice. Plus, you canít see yourself so you donít notice little things like that are happening. But in trial situations, Boonís lack of understanding that the only task he has is to find and stick at source did cause problems; the problems magnified when we got to NW3.
I did not have one thought of criticism in my head when I wrote that post. Most of us learned to reward our dogs after they found, then popped off a hide, thatís the way the founders have teachers teaching it. That doesnít make it good or efficient training. The last behavior in a chain is always the strongest, so, if you have the chain, the behavior of leaving the hide (to get a treat) is actually stronger than ďfind sourceĒ. Not criticism, just science.
Again, I offer things Iíve learned in a very open kind spirit. Iím a certified advanced freestyle teacher and I see that my post was framed just like I would teach a class. Of course, you are not my students and didnít ask for my help, so, Iím really really sorry that the info came across as criticism. I wonít get into ďteacher modeĒ again, donít worry.
By the way, there is an online trainer who trains with a marker from the beginning, uses odor from the beginning, trains the dog to stick at source until marked, and mixes up to 7 odors for training from day 1. She has a dog who went all the way to elite champion without ever making one single mistake in trial. Not one. The founders would have apoplexy at those training methods.
Bummer Tricia.....I am starting a beginners scent class in September ............I love your posts and suggestions......and the take it or leave it attitude........IMO your heart is always in the right place.......always has come across that way to me ....I will really miss your comments.......maybe once I start class you will offer comments because I will specifically ask for them assuming you are still hanging out with us and monitoring posts ..........so sad this happened because in a short time I have learned a lot from you.....just through simple posts.........
Dang it !
Like I said, since tone is hard online, I didn't think you meant it the way it maybe came across a little. Thanks for clarifying and this post is appreciated.
I'm always happy to discuss different training ideas and methods, and I certainly don't want you or anyone to feel that we shouldn't do that. It's just nicer if it's a little more "abstract". Hopefully that makes sense.
TK. I think you should start a tread on free style dance ó- with plenty of videos !!!!! :grin2::grin2::grin2:
You know, Iíve read this thread many times and I fail to see any hint of anything negative. Itís very obvious Iím simply comparing a LARGE NUMBER OF DOG OBSERVATIONS to what Iíve learned in seminars. By the way, 4 trials as a timer = 144 team runs observed + however many runs were in the thread here on DT.
Many of the words I used are almost exact quotes from seminar teachers . No one got offended in class by those observations, at least not publicly. I donít know what they may have felt inside but no one left; all participated enthusiastically in exercises, including me after my notices. One awesome notice came from my working partner and it was awesome for correcting a bugaboo in our trial work.
If you post a personal video in the working dog forum, it seems like a given that you might get comments on your teamís performance. My comments were completely confined to observation based on behavioral science and my statements about ďaccidental trainingĒ of a behavior chain that might cause problems were obviously about all of the 144+ runs I had observed; there was nothing that implied insult to anyone in particular.
Personally, Iíd be thrilled if someone noticed something in my comments or video that I perhaps hadnít seen before and gave me some info to think about. Iíd be happy to have this video I posted here critiqued. I might learn something new to ponder and see if works for my team. I certainly expect critique if I put it up for all to see. Just like any words I post here on DT: subject to critique and comment.
Iíd be grateful for any potentially helpful notice, especially if it came from a person I had seen, over the years, post many comments based on sound theory and practice, offered in a sincere caring way. Maybe if you are sensitive to those kinds of comments, you might state, ďIím not looking for feedback on this video.Ē
Tricia ....so glad to see your post today because I thought Hoss and I had lost you forever!! Hoss and I need you!!!
You have helped us so much .........and then this happened.
Let me be the first to say .....I am sorry .................and I am thankful you are still communicating with OUR group.
We have all written to one another for so long......and you are part of our crazy doberman family.
Hoss and I are hoping to get some tips from you as Hoss starts intro to scent class 9/1...............it appears they start off using green tennis balls and boxes.
Pairing up the ball and a treat..... that they search for in one designated box (amoungst many empty boxes)
What games can I do with Hoss now that teaches him to Stick at source once he elects the correct box .............would like to avoid starting any bad habits from the get go...........do tell.......even if you want to do this through a new thread ..........I am asking for your help and advise........please and a real big thank you.
You have a great heart and willingness to help others......not to mention you are a FANTASTIC teacher.
Thanks for your words of understanding.
Huh. Tennis ball?? I was a judge’s steward at an AKC trial last fall and a tennis ball was used as the distractor, placed right in the open, tucked up beside a CPR dummy’s head. The dummy was lying on a cot and many of the medium to large dogs were interested in the ball. No lie. 2 dogs could not resist the ball, grabbed it, and completely stopped searching!
I have a hard time imagining why any teacher would use an obvious toy to begin teaching dogs scent work. Maybe you could find out more info? I’m curious to learn the thinking behind it.
In a new thread, I’ll post an easy exercise for teaching a dog to stick at source.
So I will research further ...........see!!!! Hoss says thank you ..you saved me from my crazy Mom !!! LOL
Rule number 1 in critiquing a video is to make sure that the person posting the video is asking for, or at least open to hearing, a critique. :) They might be perfectly happy with how they and/or their dog performed, and/or they might have already gotten a critique from a person the know and trust, and are posting their video simply to share it. I know that I usually fall into the latter category, since I'm in an online class with a fantastic TA helping me out, and have posted some videos here that both she and I agree that, while not perfect, are still very good performances. Other than that, Denise Fenzi wrote a great blog about how to critique a video. https://denisefenzi.com/2014/07/givi...ideo-critique/
I have some time. this afternoon and was going to watch the video - it says error - and can not watch it ó. Am I doing something wrong ?
Thanks Rosemary! I’d like to remind anyone reading this thread, this particular discussion is all information learned at seminars. I am not the creator of the info but I have benefited from it. As always, take it or leave it. If you take it and it doesn’t work for your team, obviously, throw it out. It fit well into my framework of understanding and training, meshed beautifully with everything I’ve learned about back-chaining in a 16 hour seminar with (amazing!) Michelle Poulliot plus a great back-chaining Fenzi class.
Hmmmm, don’t know what happened to the video link; heaven knows I’m no pro at that! Here it is again.
Thanks for re- posting the video ! I love these! I have the highest respect to all that do this sport ! Too cool !
Now wife. Is saying - Ken ! There are storms getting close and I have. To mow the dog lot. 😩 again
Great work by all
Working on staying at source actually backfired a bit with Lily. She was SO sticky that taking her off the hide was not only difficult, it was a type of punishment.
Nice Introduction !
And excellent video..........slo mo and everything.........great work Tricia.
This punishment transfers backwards to what just happened before it. Thatís why I party and feed all the way to my car. If Iím talking to the teacher in a class at the end of my turn, Iím feeding my dog as my primary job. Just observe at a trial how many dogs show great disappointment at the end of searching when no party is started.
When you teach staying at source, you build duration AND a break out, just like any other behavior. The release gets paid too. And the cue to ďfind moreĒ becomes a reward. Itís just like training other behavior, there is nothing different just because a dog is following his nose, although some teachers would have you believe itís magic stuff. >:)
So, I am going to post these videos here for a critique. Feel free to comment. I know what I think about them, and I know what the TA for the class I'm taking thinks about them. :)
For more information, it was 91 F, humidity was 62%, and the heat index was 103 F. Winds were variable, changing from west (at our back at the start line) to east (coming at us at the start line), to sometimes from the south (our right at the start line) and gusting upwards of 15 MPH. (In other words, a fairly typical summer day here in SETX.)
Since we were in our fully fenced back yard, we were searching off lead. The target odor was clove. The hot container had been cooking for at least an hour and a half by the time we ran this search, and this search set-up had sat for at least five minutes before we ran it.
Lily ran first.
Leo went second today.
Hoping this is OK .........I begin scent class in September so I am just reading at this point.......so by my third chapter I have read of the importance of "Looking for a behavior change" .........so just for fun may we try to point out what we viewed as the behavior change within Rosemary's videos.......just for fun for us newbies ? Is this OK Ms. Rosemary?.......
For fun I just started reading the entire nosework thread over the weekend.......so interesting...........watching everyone go through there early stages of nose work training ..........I kept reading over and over......what did I learn today......TRUST MY DOGS NOSE !!!
Fun fun......love this stuff........
Lilly ...touches find with her nose...........and then in a second step with encouragement from handler..... goes into a front end down.
Leo.....Leo huver's over the find....... while keeping a eye on handler .....and then automatically downs once he knows he has your attention or approval for his find.
So handler Rosemary .....using the same video's ....what was your first sign from each dog.......because that's the correct answer.>:)......what did you see each dog do that was a sign they were on target for electing the correct object?
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