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This video pops up frequently in social media. What I like about it:

-Time saving exercise with low requirement on the training knowledge of the care giver

-Great use of social learning within the litter

What I don’t like, based on my experience:

– Difficult to capture performance data on the individuals in the litter

– The set up is always the same

– The set up is most efficient for a specific sized puppy

– The pups are following each other and the caregiver, with little or no self exploration.

When we prepare a dog for any service position, we must reward generalizing concepts. Dogs prepared for a closed (specialized) set of environmental simulations may perform poorly in a less controlled environment. I hear competitors in dog sport say that their dogs never have a problem performing in the back yard but they do in a competition setting. That is great as long as you can compete in your own backyard! The same thing holds for a detection dog: a dog that can only work in select settings is of limited value.

In a government sponsored breeding program, myself and a coworker challenged each other daily to set up new playgrounds for early litter environmental stimulation. We really challenged each other to come up with new things we could create. After a few weeks of new-new-new, one day we were too busy to set anything up and put the pups in the play pen without anything in it. They were crying and stressed!