After a search earlier this week I decided it would be a good idea to improve Raven’s final response when she alerts me to a specific odor. As of right now, Raven’s alert is to stop at the odor, stand still and look up at me. I read from one blogger that “there are top dogs in the sport of K9 Nose Work who can communicate clearly and consistently just by looking at their handlers once they've found the source.” This is Raven; she is very consistent in her behavior when she’s found the target scent. However, I have concerns with how well this response would convince a jury had we ever had to testify in court.
So today we started working on a new final response. This video is our 2nd session; in the first one I asked her to sit, but she chose to lie down, so we went with what she preferred. Here, I did not give her a command other than the one I use when I want her to search for human remains; which is what is in the can 🤢(yea, sorry).
You’ll see her initial response when she looks up at me. Usually she gets a reward here but I didn’t give it to her because I wanted her to sit or down. You can see her trying to figure out what she needs to do to get her reward. Once she gave me the behavior I wanted, I rewarded her.
I love watching her think and problem solve. She is so intelligent and it won’t take long before she is alerting with a down consistently.