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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
David Winners
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Oklahoma
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Fama Nosework thread

I decided to move the Nosework stuff to a new thread.

From:Fama, the Retired Military Bomb Dog!

Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
I decided to video some Nosework this evening. This is a vehicle search with 1 hide (1 birch q-tip) placed under the truck on the frame by the rear driver's side tire. It was really windy. She hits odor on the front of the truck but can't pinpoint it. She ends up going all the way to the rear of the truck and then underneath before figuring out where it is.

Thought you may like to see her working. She's a little groggy at first. She was napping after dinner when I leashed her up LOL.

Fama Nosework2 27 JUN 14 - YouTube

I can't figure out why the video won't imbed... oh well
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
I'm just catching up on this thread, what a beautiful story. Love all the pics.

Nice work from Fama! From your blurb I was expecting her to be searching longer, but she found the source quick!
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
LOL... that's not quick It's pretty windy tonight and the odor is doing some fun stuff. It's interesting (to me at least) to watch her bracket (zone in) to source.

Here's another vid of a small open area, my front yard, and a couple different hides. Still single birch q-tips.

Fama Nosework 27 JUN 14 - YouTube
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
Love watching them use their brain! The wind can really play tricks them. You could tell how the wind was causing the odor to pool at the base of the tree - how she kept checking there, and was trying to figure out where the odor was coming from.

Why do you stand behind her and throw the ball forward when you reward? I'm sure there is a specific reason you do it that way.
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
Having a focused stare at the source of odor helps the handler determine where the source is. This is handy when telling EOD (Explosives Ordinance Disposal... the bomb squad) where the dog responded. She knows that the only way to get the reward is to stare at the source. You can see that she checks on where I am a couple of times to try and see when the reward is coming. I move out of her field of vision to remove any visual cues to the reward so she doesn't learn to anticipate the ball and break from the indication. Imagine if you were going to take notes on the location of a suspected IED and you reached into your pocket for a pen and the dog broke from the stay.

It's not important now, because she's finding q-tips with birch oil on them, but I'm keeping up good practices because it's habit, and the focused stare looks cool
Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
It does look cool! I like that you jiggle the line a bit, it's funny when they are on it, they won't leave.

I have trouble directing my dog. At the trial last weekend, the judge (retired police k9 guy) said it's better to use a collar over a harness for that reason. I see you use a harness? Which do you find is better? I started using one so my dog knew it was ok to pull a bit with it on, vs being walked on a collar.

Sorry to hijack
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
The jiggle the line (actually I pull pretty hard) is to get the dog to stay at source no matter what. It's not so important when you can really pay attention to the dog, but if you are distracted, you don't want the dog leaving source because you tugged on the leash. It's referred to as obedience to odor.

I use a harness so the dog knows it's okay to pull. I use a flat collar for vehicles sometimes, as in the truck video. For 6' leash work, especially with new handlers, I use a collar. Preferably a wide collar that is snug enough to stay in place with the D ring on top of the dog's neck. It makes leash handling easier for newbies.

I use a harness more because I teach some positions with leash pressure, and I don't want the dog to become insensitive to pressure on its neck. It is also much easier to work a dog on a long line in harness. The leash doesn't tangle in the dog's legs as often.

No worry about the hijack. I should probably make a new Nosework thread. I have been getting a lot of questions about it.

When you say "trouble directing your dog," can you give an example or show some video?

David Winners
Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
Let me know if you want to move the conversation over to a new thread.

Basically, my dog is young and pretty high drive. She waits for the command to start her search almost coiled to spring into action, so when I tell her to search, she plows ahead and I always have to circle her back to the starting point because she leaps past the first few feet.

She searches really fast and she is hard to do detail work with, because she kind of runs all over the place and at trials you can't pull on your dog or you lose points, but she's hard to keep up with! Container searches, for example, she will jump from one line to another without finishing the line so I have to bring her back if I'm not getting an indication. Basically, it's a nightmare for trials because I have to try to remember what we missed.

It sounds worse than it is, she got 196/200 at her last trial, it's just something I want to try to fix.

Anyway the first thing the k9 guy said to me at the trial, was a collar would be better than a harness.

I wish you lived closer, I'd love to take classes from you or something, you are really knowledgable with this stuff! Thanks for taking the time to help people here, it's really appreciated.

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