Odor Control

Order of Trials
Odor Control.png

Here is the third condition. It is very similar to the first two except you will not give your dog a cue as to the location of the food. Here we are curious as to whether the dog can find the treat just using their sense of smell alone. If you think your dog needs additional warm up trials to get re-engaged, feel free to complete a few before starting condition 3. 

  • Before you begin this condition, please clean/wipe down the cups or use a new set of cups to eliminate any odor cues that may be there from the previous trials. 

  • As before, at the start of each trial the dog will be held by the handler. 

  • The experimenter will place both cups in front of themself side by side. They will then place the occluder in front of the cups, hiding them from the dog’s view. 

  • The experimenter then raises the treat over the top of the occluder, and says “[Dog’s name] look!”. Then the experimenter shows the dog the treat while making eye contact with them. 

  • Next, the experimenter places the treat on the floor between the two cups and behind the occluder. The experimenter then picks up both cups at the same time and places one cup (following the sequence given under the video) over the treat while placing the other “empty” cup next to it. The order of which cup (left or right) the experimenter should follow is directly under these instructions. Keep in mind that all of the lefts and rights are in reference to the experimenter, not to the dog or the handler. 

  • The experimenter then removes the occluder and moves the cups at the same time away from their body to the left and right so that the experimenter is now centered between the two cups. 

  • The experimenter returns to their resting position and waits for two seconds before releasing the dog with their cue word (for example, “Okay”) and the dog is allowed to search. If the dog doesn’t move within 3 seconds, the handler can nudge the dog (gentle, centered tap on the butt or shoulders). Once the dog moves, the handler should not touch the dog until the end of trial when they are retrieving the dog.

  • When the dog makes a choice, the experimenter will say “choice” if the dog is correct or “miss,” if the dog is incorrect. Importantly, this time no one should praise the dog for a correct choice. 

  • The experimenter will then tilt the chosen cup back slightly to allow the dog to search underneath the cup.

    • If the dog chooses the cup with the treat, they can eat the treat. If the dog chooses the empty cup, they do not receive anything and are not shown what is under the other cup.

    • If the dog hasn’t made a choice within approximately 30 seconds, repeat the trial.

    • If the dog has not made a choice twice in a row, repeat two trials of Phase 3 warm-ups.

    • After the choice is made, whether or not the dog receives the treat, the handler retrieves the dog, praising and holding the dog while awaiting the next trial. 

  • Repeat steps 1-8 for 3 additional trials. Once you have completed 4 total trials, you are all done! Congratulations!