Environmental Stability

Independence/Self Discovery

Additional Resources

Early development of independent behavior

Old video, but good content

Comparing two puppies

Here are two puppies placed in an environmentally enhanced environment. Can you see a difference? (video is sped up)

Self exploration

Many people want to bait and reward dogs for moving through obstacles. There is some value in this for generalization, but what they will do on their own and gain in independence is better found in self exploration.

Obstacle courses

This video is inspiring in many ways. However, this setup doesn't foster the kind of independence we are looking for in detection dogs. 

Extreme possession

These dogs were recorded a few days before being assessed for procurement by the federal government.  All three were accepted as dual-purpose training candidates by the standards published in the contractual statement of work.

Does your dog exhibit this level of possession?

The Teaser Pole

A short video on how to build my favorite toy for building desire and possession of a play object. There are many ways to do this, but this is my preference.

Playing with the teaser pole

Basic rules:

The pup should always win.

The bunny never jumps in the dogs mouth.

Anticipation is as desirable as is the reward itself.

Challenge the dog to go longer and be resilient to distraction while engaged in toy play.

Keep in mind an adult dog searching hundreds or thousands of blank targets in order to find their reward!

Development with an end goal

Malinois pups development

Play Ideas

Possession from play comes from high arousal, anticipation, and then the "win" of the object.