Ep. 90: Instructor Talk: Leveraging Primary

Mar 4, 2023
It is common for Scent Work handlers to want to get off training primary as quickly as possible. "We want to hunt for the real stuff!" However, there are ways to fully leverage hunting for primary to help solidify crucial skills that will serve you and your dog well into your sniffing careers.

In this podcast episode, we have the privilege of speaking with Judith Guthrie about how she uses primary and the general process one may use to transition from primary, or pairing, to hunting for a novel target odor alone, considerations to keep in mind and more.

Judith brings a breadth of knowledge to this topic, especially considering the fact she wears so hats in the Scent Work realm, both as a professional detection dog trainer and handler, an approved Scent Work trial official, professional instructor and mentor as well as an accomplished competitor in her own right!

With that in mind, we are thrilled to have Judith share her expertise with our clients. Be certain to check out her upcoming offerings:
You may also be interested in the Hunting for Primary: Tips and Tricks Webinar with Dianna L. Santos.
    Dianna L. Santos
    Judith Guthrie


      Dianna L. Santos (00:00):
      Welcome to the All About Scent Work Podcast. In this podcast, we talk about all things Scent Work. That can include training tips, a behind scenes look at what your Scent Work instructor or trial official is going through and much more. In this episode, we have the privilege of talking with Judith Guthrie all about using primary for our Scent Work training.

      Before we start diving into the podcast episode itself, let me do a very quick introduction of myself. My name is Dianna Santos. I'm the Owner and Lead Instructor for Scent Work University, Dog Sport University and Pet Dog U. These are online dog training platforms that are designed to help you achieve your dog training goals. And we're very fortunate to have a client basis, worldwide. For Scent Work University in particular, we provide online courses, seminars, webinars, and eBooks that are all focused around Scent Work. So regardless of where you are in your sniffy journey, we likely have a training solution for you. So, now that you know a little bit more about me, let's listen to podcast episode itself. So we're very fortunate to have a conversation for the podcast with Judith Guthrie, who holds many hats as far as Scent Work is concerned. She is a professional detection dog trainer and handler. She is a approved Scent Work trial official with many organizations. She is a professional instructor and trainer, and also is a accomplished competitor in her own right. So we're just gonna dive right into the conversation where we're talking all about using primary for our training.

      Dianna L. Santos (01:16):
      So thank you so much for joining us for our podcast. We're delighted to have you on. So I just wanted to touch base with you because again, you hold many different hats as far as the Scent Work community is concerned. You're also in the professional detection world where all of us little, you know, civilian people are like, Ooh, ah, how exciting. So exciting. One of the things that I wanted to touch base with you about was the use of primary because there's definitely a lot of people in the sport world as like, get me off of this food or these toys. I want to go search for odor like yesterday. So I just wanted to talk to you about what you thought that, what your opinion is on it and how you leverage it in your training, and whether or not people should be, maybe use viewing it a little bit differently. So, okay. What were your thoughts?

      Judith Guthrie (02:00):
      So, I mean, my first thought is primary good. Uh, basically if, all right, so in the detection world, we use primary a lot for a long time. All right. There's a couple reasons for this. One of the reasons is because a lot of times we don't actually know, like if we're starting with a puppy or an adolescent, we don't actually know exactly what their job's gonna be yet. We know that it's detection, but we don't know, are they gonna be a bomb dog, a drug dog, a bedbug dog, you know, a cell phone dog, et cetera. So we're not a hundred percent sure what they're doing. So that's one reason that we use primary because we can teach all the skills for how to work odor with the primary, and then we can just pair it to odor later. But there's a couple other reasons that pri that we use primary a lot. Well, it's because, and I apologize if you can hear the Google in the background. It's OK.

      One of the other reasons that we use primary a lot in the, on our young dog's development is because they're driven specifically for that object. Okay? Whether it's a, whether it's a toy or food or whatever their drive is to that. And because their drive is to that object, they, um, will typically work harder. They'll go through, like, if they're unsure of something or anything like that, they'll typically strive through that moment much harder and, um, much farther, right? A lot less struggle because they want the thing that they're reaching for. They're not having to sit there and go, I want that thing, but I, I have to do, I have to strive through this problem, or I have to problem solve this, and then I have to find the secondary thing and then I get my primary toy, right? I don't have that whole thought process involved. It's very cut and dried. You strive through this, you immediately get the thing that you want. I'm sorry. No,

      Dianna L. Santos (03:55):
      You're fine. I have a terrier drinking in the background, so we're great. We're doing great.

      Judith Guthrie (04:01):
      Cognac's, like I wanna be part of this too,

      Dianna L. Santos (04:03):

      Judith Guthrie (04:06):
      Um, speaking of young Labradors,

      Dianna L. Santos (04:08):
      Right? Uh,

      Judith Guthrie (04:09):
      Anyway, so that is, um, like a, another main and huge reason really use primary is because they're much more driven for that primary object. And so eventually over time when you pair with odor, um, they learn like through association, but it's still, it's never quite the same thing, right? They never strive quite as hard. So if we teach all of that on a primary object that they really want, we have a dog who is, ends up much more resilient in the end.

      Dianna L. Santos (04:40):
      So for those kinds of dogs, for people who are saying, okay, well maybe that works in detection world, but I am gonna try to go get like ribbons and things and there's like distracters that my dog has to worry about. So if I'm trying to teach all these concepts on primary be food or toys, now they're gonna be finding all the food and toys in the search area, Judith, and I'm gonna get my title.

      Judith Guthrie (04:58):
      Okay? So there's a couple things there. One is, there's a reason proofing exists, okay? So no matter what choice you make, this is, this is a huge thing to me. No matter what choice you make, there's a consequence to that choice. Okay? So if I put my dog straight on odor and they don't know how to hunt yet, say I can back chain them into a hunt, all right? That's not a problem. However, does my dog strive to hunt in the same fashion with as much exuberance and willingness, right? Um, are they going to stru, are they going to understand the concepts as much, uh, to get into the corners and to go up high and to self self detail When it's time to do that, are they gonna understand maybe I need to strive to get on a higher plane or a lower plane Right now, that's all stuff that they can learn by back chaining, but there's a, not always, but a lot of times just a piece of that try is missing, right? It's just that that little extra, that little extra oomph, that little extra spark a lot of times isn't there. Or it takes much longer to teach it all right? But yeah, if you use primary, then you have to proof them off stuff. You're gonna have to proof them off stuff anyway if they're working for reward of cookies, right? Do you think that just because you put your dog straight onto odor and you never did any pairing or primary exercises that your dog isn't still gonna want the cookie,

      Dianna L. Santos (06:28):

      Judith Guthrie (06:29):
      Like I'm just saying.

      True. And then on top of that, you need to know what your dog looks like. So I will never forget personal story time, right? I will never forget I was competing in an elite an a ac s w and it was like one of those container searches from hell where there's, you know, a hundred boxes and there's distractors everywhere and everything, right? And he hits this box and he's like, bam. And he's like trying to throw the box, like, he's being a very bad container dog, . And I'm like, that's what he looks like on steak. We're gonna keep going. Well, they put up a map later that was steak, right? So I knew my dog and I had trained enough things that even when it went wrong, I knew what he looked like when it went wrong. Does that make sense?

      Dianna L. Santos (07:18):
      Yeah, that makes perfect sense. But could you maybe like, talk a little bit more about that? Cause I think people have a misunderstanding of what proofing is now. Proofing is though the dog is never, ever going to make a decision that we didn't want them to make. That, that basically their nose turns off to anything else that could be in the search area that it's now, well now I proof them, they only find birch. Could you maybe, you know, talk about that a little bit? So

      Judith Guthrie (07:39):
      , I, in a perfect world that's true. I mean, in a perfect world, our dog will not hit on food, toys, whatever it is that we proved off of. Okay? But that's a perfect world. How perfect is our world, to be honest, right? . So part of proofing is to teach your dog, I don't want you to hit on X, Y, and Z okay? But part of proofing or, or a consequence of doing proofing training is also learning what your dog looks like on other things. So the dog that I was just talking about was proofed against food like crazy, all right? But he has a super, super, super high food drive. So, um, even though he's, he really wants to be part of this.

      Even though he understands I'm not supposed to alert on food. Like, there's these moments where he loses a little bit of self-control, just like the human that's going. I won't eat those Twinkies, I won't eat those Twinkies, I won't eat those Twinkies. And then suddenly they're like, I can't help it. I'm not my Twinkies. Right? Right. So, I mean, in a perfect world, if you decided not to eat Twinkies, you'll never eat a Twinkie again. But

      Dianna L. Santos (08:49):
      Yeah, no, that, that makes sense. I just think it's helpful for people to have a better grasp of what these things actually are. So the decisions that they're making based upon what they may hear or see or whatever else is more based in reality than just a periphery understanding or even a think of understanding of what these things actually mean of, yeah. Well, I wanna do competition. Competition uses odors. I don't know where the hide is and there may be distractors. So I'm going to immediately, before my dog knows anything, do blind hides with odor alone, and I'm gonna have a bunch of food out in the search area too, and I'm gonna correct my dog every time they go to a food. Like I think that would probably, that'd be bad

      Judith Guthrie (09:25):
      That's gonna make a dog that's conflicted because they don't know. They won't know what choices to make, right? Um, con when you have a conflicted dog, you know, obviously their hierarchy of behavior at that point, they're, they have no idea what they're supposed to put the emphasis and importance on. Um, and that's another thing that goes into using primary to teach the search behaviors and to teach, um, what odor does and how to work odor and all that type of stuff, right? Because that's, we're not just using primary, like we're u if you use primary, whether it's paired or whether it's, um, by itself, you are teaching them all about odor theory and making that mental map and that mental library for them, right? Of like a memory library of all these different things that odor might do with their thing. Okay? So hierarchy of behavior wise, there is a piece of that if you go that direction with primary, where their unfound odor is food, right?

      Their, their unfound odor is food. And so there is a certain point in that hierarchy where that is their highest expectation and that is what they think that they're supposed to find, or a toy, whatever it is. So when that happens, there is a shift that you have to go through when you transfer to odor that you have to have some patience and understanding, right? Like, it's not like, boom, we're there, it's all right, you learned all this theory. Now I'm gonna pair these together and then take the primary out. So I'm gonna pair them together so that you have an understanding that this odor is important. Or I'm going to do marker exercises with odor and food separate so that when you go to, right, depending on how you decide to imprint, there's different ways to do it. But basically, I'm telling you now that now odor means you get your primary. So you still get your primary, but you get it as a secondary step. Does that make sense?

      Dianna L. Santos (11:19):
      Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So for people, so they're thinking about to talk about that is the next step of how do I get from there to now the dog is doing odor or not.

      Judith Guthrie (11:28):
      Yeah. Yeah. So when that happens, there is this process where their hierarchy of behavior is shifting, right? So it's like the tree branch is moving around to, to reestablish themselves in a new growth pattern. And you have to under, you have to understand and have some patience with that as you go through the process and you do it step by step. And when I say go through the process that makes it sound like it's like takes forever. I've literally taken dogs that were on primary for a year and put them on odor in a week, and then they were hunting odor. Like that's not, um, it, it doesn't have to be a long process. You just have to be aware of the steps that are involved in the process. Um, and you have to be aware that during that period, don't get frustrated as that shift in their hierarchy is happening, right?

      Because as the shift in their hierarchy is happening and odor is becoming important and the, and their food or their toy or whatever, you're now starting to say, no, I don't want you to find that there's gonna be some confusion on the dog's part for a short period. And it's our job to make that as simple as possible for them and to not get mad at them if they make the wrong choice. Because they're not trying to be a bad dog. Again, dog's reason on the level of like a two or three year old right? Depending on their problem solving ability and whatnot. So if a, if a two-year-old toddler wouldn't understand what you just said to them or what you just laid out in front of them, your dog's not gonna understand it, right? They can't reason past that. That doesn't mean that they don't have a lot of intelligence and a lot of puzzle solving, but that's the level of their, their reasoning intellect, right? Which is not quite the same thing as their puzzle solving ability.

      Dianna L. Santos (13:06):
      Oh, that, that's really helpful I think for people to, I think have a different perspective and a different approach for how they may do it, of just being, as you said, a little bit more patient and a little bit more understanding and be like, oh, you know, this makes perfect sense in my head, but now I need to translate this to the dog . When they may have thought, oh, you wanted me to find this thing, but, but now you want me to go find maybe that thing, but can I still get that thing? Like, it's really confusing for them, particularly if we are breaking it down to small enough pieces, which again, I really wanna, you know, commend you for all the things that you've been putting together for us. You are excellent at breaking things down in concepts into very small little chunks and pieces where I think it helps people along the journey a little bit better appreciate really how complicated all of this is at the end of the day, but that you're able to really encapsulate, okay, so we need this concept to be understood.

      It's not just simply follow step one, step two, step three, it's you have to understand this concept after us understanding, then maybe you can build off it to do X, y, or z. Do a really nice job about that. Thank you. So, um, , it's nice to let everyone know when they're do well. It's just, it's amazing cuz particularly for the webinars you've been doing lately, we've had instructors take them as well. Like, this is really helping me cuz now I can explain this a little bit better to my clients, to have them better understand what the concepts are, what's going on, you know, behind the curtain, right? Anyone can go throw a hide out and be like, oh look, the dog found the hide. They get it. But actually maybe a lot more complicated than that and you're doing a really nice job of explaining all that. So, good job. Yay. That's

      Judith Guthrie (14:36):
      Exciting. I got a cookie

      Dianna L. Santos (14:38):
      So for people who are like, okay, that sounds interesting. I think I kind of understand what you're talking about. How do I know if I am potentially not being patient enough or that I'm not breaking it down or I'm not being clear enough when I'm going from primary or pairing to now I just want the dog to find odor, or I'm doing my proofing exercises. How do I know that maybe I'm, I'm, I'm making a mistake going too fast, being confusing to the dog.

      Judith Guthrie (15:04):
      Okay, so there's a couple things there. First off, my typical progression for knowing when I can add more to something is that I do three to five reps in a row and there can be a lot of variation to what a rep is. Okay? So I can't be like, this is exactly what your rep's gonna look like. Um, but I do three to five reps in a row successfully, right? And I don't mean like I did two and then messed one up and then did two. And so that means I did four reps, which is three to five. No, I mean I did three to five correct reps in a row where we rocked it before I take the next step forward, right? Um, I don't wanna hang out there too long because then you get the dog that sits in your kitchen and won't sit anywhere else. Um, and then, but I also don't want to, um, go faster than that because if my dog can't show me at least that much consistency in repeating the behavior, then how am I then, then I can't know that they understand it, right? I mean, I'm not saying that there can't be other ways to know they understand it, but that's part of how I understand that they understand it, is that they're demonstrating it to me by re by giving me repeatable behaviors.

      Dianna L. Santos (16:10):

      Judith Guthrie (16:11):
      Okay. Um, so the next part of that is, and this isn't always the simplest, so you have to kind of think a little bit, but don't be afraid to sit down away from your dog and think about this is I try to look at something and go, well, what are the actual pieces or components to the thing that I'm about to ask you to do? And then do, and then can I work each component individually before I put the components together? Does that make sense?

      Dianna L. Santos (16:36):
      Yes. But I think that people can be like, that's great. What are the components?

      Judith Guthrie (16:40):
      Well, it would depend on what we're talking about. So if we're talking specifically about, like, give me a piece.

      Dianna L. Santos (16:45):
      Sure. So my, I've been working on, I did primary, then I did pairing. Do I wanna do just odor? Okay, what, how do I do that?

      Judith Guthrie (16:54):
      Okay, so, um, well the first question would be how are you, so are you doing pairing in boxes or are you doing pairing just like your hunts or pairing, et cetera? So,

      Dianna L. Santos (17:05):
      So it would be like the hunts. So basically they'd be doing like interiors, exteriors. So they're have a, okay, a birch hide out and it's got a treat on it and they've been providing secondary reinforcement as well.

      Judith Guthrie (17:14):
      So the next step I would do if I'm, if I'm getting lots of consistency with my dog hitting my pared hides, right? And I'm assuming that you're hitting a pared hide, they're, they're hitting it, getting the pair, um, food or whatever. And then you're also stepping in and giving a additional reward. So I'm gonna make that assumption in this story. Yep. Um, my next question is, or my next thing there would be, all right, well if I take the same exact thing and I take my paired hide, but I put it so suddenly my dog can't get the pair, right? So it exists, right? But they can't get it cuz it's like inaccessible in some way. Um, what happens, right? And now that doesn't mean I'm gonna do that and then go, all right, like, I wanna see that you are digging into this chair stack.

      Cause that's not our goal. But what I do mean is if literally in the time it would take me to come in and give them a reward, if I have that inaccessible, um, are they gonna leave before I get there? Or are they gonna hang out long enough that I can step up and do and give them my reward? So then the picture looks the same. It basically looks the same except instead of them grabbing their cookie, they can't quite get their cookie. But then I got there and gave them their cookies. So it looks the same, right? Because I'm, I'm giving them their reward. Everything's the same except for the fact that they didn't self reward on that one cookie. Right? Now, if I have that consistently, and I have another question that goes into this too. Am I, when I'm coming in on the paired hides for a to reward, am I waiting for my dog to make a decision and communicate it to me? Or am I just as soon as I hid the food or the toy, am I in there either playing or rewarding with more food?

      Dianna L. Santos (18:55):
      So typically people are doing the latter.

      Judith Guthrie (18:57):
      They're waiting for the,

      Dianna L. Santos (18:59):
      They're not waiting for a decision. Okay? That's just as soon as the dog hits it.

      Judith Guthrie (19:02):
      Well, I'm just making sure, cuz like I said, it makes, it's hard for me to say, oh, it's X, y, z if I don't know what you're doing. Okay? So in this specific case, if you're not waiting, you're just getting in there, then that's my next step is will the dog wait long enough for me to get there? Right? So they weren't able to self reward, but instead of leaving immediately, I had a half second to step in or whatever. Okay, well if I have that now I'm gonna intersperse or intermix my, my primary and my, or my paired hides and that they're accessible and paired hides that are unaccessible. All right, I'm gonna, so that some of them are accessible, some of them they can't get to the paired. I'll do that a few times. I'm getting some consistency. All right? Then I'm gonna say, okay, well on that unpaired one, instead of me still rushing in, if I wait a half second, right, like a half second more before I step in, will they stay?

      If they don't, don't panic, don't worry. Just go, okay, my dog's not ready for that. Right? Take that step back to where you were, but if you can do it, cool, let's put that little bit of pressure. So now we have a dog that's waiting a full second before they get their next cookies, then I can progress that for a couple reps. And then if that goes well, I might do one and I might not replace the pairing, right? So like in the session, I might still have all my food, my food or my toy, whatever it is I'm doing out. Uh, but instead of replacing the toy or replacing the food, I might have one that's pure odor. And this is a test, okay? So it's not a bad thing if you don't pass, it just means you're not ready. So we already did the step where we have paired and then we have paired with inaccessible food and we did the step where we waited.

      So we now we have a full second or a second and a half before we're stepping in and we have a dog that's still sticking for that long. At that point, now I'll do the next step where they don't have anything with the odor. If my dog shows ch and that time, if my dog gives me changes on it, I'm not even expecting that that time it takes for me to get to them. I'm almost like verbally praising as I come in or whatever it takes before I even get a, you know, again, we're not asking for decisions here, but that moment where they go, what, what is this? Right? I'm not even asking for that. What is this moment? I'm literally going, oh, you're sourcing it. Perfect reward. Right? Right. And then, and then I have those intermixed, and this might sound like a lot of steps, but literally you can do it fast as long as you do it piece by piece. You've got that, you get some consistency with that until you can pull all the paired out and you're coming in, these have to be known obviously, and you're coming in as they're sourcing. Now I'm going to do half step. Will my dog give me that? What is this moment before I step in with the cookie? Right? So instead of like, oh, they're there before they even source it, I'm saying, okay, okay, now they're there and I'll go in. Right? So you, you're, you're building upon each little step. Does that make sense? That

      Dianna L. Santos (22:08):
      Makes perfect sense. I know that some people are gonna be like, great, okay, that works for interiors and exteriors and vehicles. What about containers? ? Because now if I'm waiting for an inaccessible closed container that's paired, my dog is not destroying the containers, now I'm getting faults. Thanks Judith.

      Judith Guthrie (22:21):
      Well step one, maybe don't use uh, cardboard boxes for this piece. Use something they can't hurt break. Right? Okay. So, um, that would be something like electrical boxes or a heavier wooden box or basically anything, I'm not telling you to use a concrete, um, brick like that would hurt anybody. But like I've seen some dogs that are big that like to push things around that like you set it in the brick so that they can't quite quite do it. Right? Um, so you can do that. You can also say, Hey, I'm gonna do containers when I can have everything open, right? So when I can have the lids off, I can do my containers, but then when I'm going through this specific piece, maybe I won't do containers for a few sessions while I work through this piece. And then once they're showing me that they can give me the, what is this moment, right at that time I can go back to my containers because now they're not messing my containers up. Does that make sense? Because if they understand the containers with the open tops and then they understand the concepts with their vehicles, um, interiors, exteriors buried, whatever, then they're gonna be able to understand it on the container.

      Dianna L. Santos (23:32):
      Perfect. No, I think that's really, really helpful. And it just to talk about and to think through it in the way that you described it, I think can help people because again, I, I think that a lot of times we get stuck on, well I heard X and someone had some horror story and now I am worried of blah blah blah. But they're not thinking about the way that you described it as far as the actual thought process of doing these things. So it's not as though having your dog start on primary and go through all these different steps and learn all these concepts is bad. It's actually can be really helpful. It can be really effective for your training. But thinking about like what you were talking about that there's consequences to everything and consequences are not bad. They're just results of things that you have to deal with and now you have to make new decisions and be mindful and thoughtful about it. And again, I like the way that you're describing it. Yes, there's a process, but it's not gonna be doing this for like a year. like Yeah, it's

      Judith Guthrie (24:25):
      Yeah. You asked me to break it down. I'm like, well I can break this down step. I tell you, step if you want you want.

      Dianna L. Santos (24:31):
      It's perfect cuz I think that it makes it less mysterious for people where they think like, oh my God, I'm gonna have to do this for, you know, the next three years before I can do anything. I wanted the pretty title Judith. It's like, well it's not gonna take that long.

      Judith Guthrie (24:44):
      No, no. It really, really doesn't. Um, and the other thing too that I wanted to touch on that I didn't say when it comes to using primary is if anything ever goes wrong, especially if you have a more sensitive dog, if your dog's still on primary or at least paired and say the stack of boxes falls over and your dog is sensitive and it freaks him out and they run off into the great beyond and you're like, oh no, now what do I do? If they're on primary, they're so much more likely cuz instinctually right? They're more likely to say, all right, I can, I'm gonna come back. I might sneak up on it, I might act weird about it, but I can come back and kind of try to work through this. Versus if it's only odor, they might suddenly decide that odor is just not worth it. Right? Right. Because they already have to go through these extra steps. They're already conflicted, they're already a little unsure what's going on, and now suddenly boxes are falling on their heads. Why do I want this?

      Dianna L. Santos (25:38):
      Right. So have you, and this will be what we'll wrap up with really quickly is have you actually had either client dogs or dogs that you've worked with that have had those kinds of experiences on odor? And how difficult or challenging was it to get them back onto odor? That's something that I'm always warning people about, like, this is a possibility, but if you've actually have a thing that you can share, that'd be great.

      Judith Guthrie (26:00):
      Yeah. So, um, but I'll, I'll share, I'll share one of my detection dogs. We were working a dog and we were putting them on actual odor, um, like, like actual odor, odor for detection. And, um, the dog was on a long line because we didn't want to, the location we were, it's a long story location we were in. We needed to be on a long line. Um, and the dog got wrapped and, and we had a, a novice handler handling the dog, which pros and cons, but you don't learn without handling. Right. And the line got wrapped around a vehicle, like, um, like they went around the vehicle and then it was like the bumper, like it got stuck in between bumper and the right. And then the dog was like booking it around this corner and then got yanked. Oh, like yanked. And then at the same time, I'm really lucky that we were at like a scrap.

      Like we were at like a junkyard scrapyard. So this guy was not mad at me, but I was like the dog. So when it, the dog was booking it so hard that first off he came off his feet, which was, I was like, anyway, long start. But um, came off his feet and the bumper was already apparently not fully attached and partially came off too and made this really loud screeching noise . And the dog was like, okay, I'm done, I'm done. I just got like seriously corrected, you know, doesn't matter. We didn't mean to correct the dog. Like the dog got seriously corrected. The line was wrapped around this bumper. The bumper made this huge screech. Then the dog wanted to leave and it was still screeching because it was like tied around it. And there was, luckily there was like three of us, so like one of us almost, it's like here dog and like holding the dog and the other person was holding the line so it stopped moving the bumper and so we could get it unwrapped like it was a mess.

      But that dog was like, I am done. I am not finding meth again. Thank you, and it took, you know, we kind of went backwards and we worked, we actually worked environmentals completely separate. We worked noise and a bunch of different things like that with the dog first. And we actually used toys like cuz it was a toy reward dog. So we went and worked noise environmentals or stimulus using their primary, not specifically hunting for it, but just as part of it so that they started to associate the thing that was scary with the thing that they a, that they liked. And then went actually back to some pairing work and then were able to bring the dog completely back from there. So yeah, it was sort of a mess. , but

      Dianna L. Santos (28:33):
      Yeah, it's, it's, but I, I appreciate you sharing that because it's helpful for people to really appreciate that this is particularly for people who are in the sport world. Again, this is all voluntary and it's all extracurricular activities. We're not out there, you know, saving lives, but you know, your dog is just trying to determine like, okay, is this worth it to me to do this? But they could also make that association like what you were talking about if that were to happen or something similar that hey, I smelled birch the car tried to eat me and my feet fun suddenly came out from underneath me. But at the very same time, maybe, you know, there was a plane flying all her head or maybe there was a, a person in a, in a red hoodie that walked by. So now those things are added into the picture of what could potentially be scary. Yeah. So then you're like, oh look, my dog is terrified of planes and red hoodies too. It's like, yeah, no, this, this is all bad , this is all bad things.

      Judith Guthrie (29:24):
      I knew a dog that was scared of cows because of that.

      Dianna L. Santos (29:27):
      Yeah. It's crazy.

      Judith Guthrie (29:28):
      That's weird that there was, there were cows in the pasture next to where the dog was working and the dog decided they were scared of cows after that.

      Dianna L. Santos (29:33):
      Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. It's, and but I appreciate you you sharing that because it, it underlines that this is absolutely a thing. So we should be very protective. Our, our odor. Don't rush into it. Take your time. Have your dog understand the concepts, particularly if you are interested in competing like that is you need your dog to like odor . If they suddenly decide that my, my odor is deadly to me or is scary. You're up shit's creek.

      Judith Guthrie (29:57):
      Yeah, well, and you really, and, and you really wanna make sure like take the, like don't be afraid to take the time it takes to build that foundation. Um, both for the skills of on, of hunting and whatnot, but also when you do get to the association part, don't rush it. Don't be like, all right, they're imprint. Go like, take your time and make sure that your dog is solid because you want that, that's the foundation for what your dog will do for the rest of its search life. So especially if you wanna, especially if you wanna be competitive, you need that association to be, uh, uh, trying to think welded.

      I'm like, there's a word here I need for bond.

      Dianna L. Santos (30:39):
      Yeah. But it's, it's a really good point. And the fact that I just hope that people can just take a breath. The ribbons and the titles are not going anywhere. They will still be there in, you know, a couple of months in a year. It doesn't matter. Take your time. Have your dog really understand and so that when you do go to trial, it's not that big of a deal. It's like, oh yeah, sure. We're we're basically just doing another the field trip search with my person. Yeah. They seem a little bit nor nervous and weirder than usual, but whatever. We're just outta new place to find the stuff that I like and then I get cookies and toys. Great.

      Judith Guthrie (31:06):
      Yeah. Well, and even that, um, I know it's not what we're really talking about, but touch on it really fast. Sure. We, cause I did mention proofing, um, those nerves from your trials and stuff. Don't be afraid before you go to trial to actually try to simulate those nerves in training. Whether it's by having a friend put like time pressures, like completely unrealistic time pressures on you. Or having someone take symbols as long as it's not gonna freak your dog out, takes symbols off in the corner and drive you nuts with it. Or like, have people like constantly talk, but whatever it takes. But whatever it takes to make you eat, like have heightened like nervousness or energy or even frustration, right? Because if you can simulate that in training, then when you actually go to that trial, it's even less of a thing to your dog. Cause they're like, oh, I've seen mom do this before. She's just a weirdo. Right.

      Dianna L. Santos (31:55):
      Oh, that's perfect. Well, I really appreciate you coming on and having this great discussional about primary and all these other things. I really think it's gonna help people better understand. Is there anything coming up for you that you wanted to share as far as things that people can look forward to as far as what you're offering? Either through us or if you're officiating for any trials, if you're doing any other workshops or speaking engagements that people can know about?

      Judith Guthrie (32:17):
      Uh, I don't have my calendar in front of me, but I know that I am judging a trial in Hawaii. Um, next month. Um, we have the, I have a USCSS course starting in the beginning of March, uh, with you guys for the games specifically. And then we're doing an entire series after that one for, um, one class for each level. But the very first one is just the games because they're super fun and you can do them at any level. So that's, that's why we decided to start there. Oh, we start with the fun, then we can figure out the other stuff later, . Perfect. And then I believe I have the webinar on the, I wanna say the 15th, but I might be off. Yes.

      Dianna L. Santos (33:01):
      Yes. And that one is, um, for if you just wanna talk about that quickly, that's about the more than odor environmental consideration. So people are like, what's this about?

      Judith Guthrie (33:10):
      Yeah. So, so basically what we're, so what I'm doing in that webinar is I'm talking about some of the other things that go into your search. So yes, you go out there, you need a dog that finds odor, you, you've proof them off things you don't want them to find. They know how to hunt. There's teamwork between you and your dog. Like all of this stuff is hugely important. But one of the other things that we don't consider a lot of times is the environment itself. Especially if we're always training in our training location or, or or whatnot. Um, and there's so many different variants of what we could come across. So that's, that's kind of what we're talking about is some of the, in the actual, the actual environment and things that we can do. So that could be like the considerations of the fact that you might be, um, trialing in a school and you've never actually, like what are the environment environmental factors you need to consider that are present in schools that might not be present in your normal train.

      Even if you do field trip training, maybe your field trip training is to your, your, you know, it's, you know, you train at your house, you train at your, your training facility, you train at the local park, right? Like you might go and train multiple places, but what are the factors that are present in say, a school environment if you know that's coming up. Okay, well have I simulated that stuff in any way, shape or form? Like what do I need to like, um, have I trained around children, right? Have I trained around bicycles? Have I trained around playground equipment? Cuz it's weird. And sometimes odor does weird things around playground equipment because of the way the plastic is, right? Um, or have I trained, uh, in a museum, like I'm in a museum, like maybe it's in a museum and uh, okay, have I, have, I considered the, the concept of working around breakable objects are, are our skills appropriate for working around these breakable objects, right? So just things like that. So that's, that's basically what we're covering is just talking about, okay, what are some of the other factors you need to consider past your actual teamwork and skills? And then making sure, breaking it down and then making sure that you actually, uh, work on those or if you don't, understanding that you haven't worked on them. So when you go into the situation, you, you know, this is a thing and what's my management technique?

      Dianna L. Santos (35:32):
      Perfect. Very excited about that. Well, thank you very much for taking the time for talking to us. I think Cognac was a fantastic co-presenter and, and was a great participant in this podcast, I'm sure. Alright, so thank you so much.

      Dianna L. Santos (35:47):
      So I wanna thank Judith for having this conversation with us talking all about primary and ways that we may be able to leverage it a little bit more in our training when we're talking about network. I did just wanna provide a little bit more information about the various things we have coming up that you may be interested in. So Judith is gonna be offering a variety of different webinars of courses for us. But in particular she is gonna be having her USCSS. It's Game Time Trial Prep course , this is gonna be a really great thing to lay out all the various game classes that are offered through United States Canine Scent Sports, which is also an international titling organization. So even if you're not located in the United States, USCSS is growing internationally as well. So if you wanna have a better understanding about those game classes and I may be able to prepare for them for trial with your dogs, I definitely encourage you to check that course out.

      Judith is also gonna be coming back for a variety of different webinars with us, including her More than Odor Environmental Factors Webinar, which she talked about in this podcast episode. I strongly encourage you check that out. I am also gonna be offering a webinar that you may be interested in is building upon what we've talked about in this podcast episode. It's called Hunting for Primary Tips and Tricks Webinar. What we go into a little bit more depth about what Judith was talking about within this podcasts episode itself. And just things you may want to think about regardless of where you are in your training journey and ways that you may want to leverage primary when you're talking about your Scent Work training. We look forward to having more conversations with the very talented instructors that we're fortunate enough to work with your summer university, as well as some other outside speakers as well. But as always, I want to hear from you. Did you have any questions or comments about this podcast episode? We'll be posting this episode up on our website as well. Also social media accounts. So you're always more than welcome to post a question or comment there. But thanks so much, happy training. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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