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Old 12-03-2012, 11:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks, I'll ignore it.

I do have just one box and lid that's marked for food/scent only.

There may be some residual scent on the handles of the clean containers, but at the workshop she said the dog should be able to tell where there is a bit or residual vs the more potent smell of the box containing the scent, because in the real world, it's not all going to be totally sterile, if that makes sense?
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, the real world is not sterile but beginning training should be. In the real world there can be a fine line between what is residual and what is minute quantities of source.

In the early stanges of training, though I want to be absolutely clear with what I am communicating to the dog and not expect that level of discernment. Much later on I might include scenarios where there is odor but no source material. I still expect to see body language and continued effort to locate source.

What "real world" is there about birch, anise, cloves..........?
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What "real world" is there about birch, anise, cloves..........?
It's all the same to the dogs I'm sure. I bet if they knew they were looking for bombs, they'd run the other way. LOL They only know they are looking for a particular scent.

I just don't know how you can possibly keep the clean boxes completely uncontaminated? If my puppy just ate some treats out of one box and then sniffed another, she's going to contaminate it, no?

Argh, this is hard. LOL
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ok, we don't do the food thing. That is not how any working detection dogs that I know of get trained by finding food first (other than maybe wee puppies just learning to use their nose to hunt for their food as an unrelated game). The only reward is for finding target odor. Ever.

So a different world in that regard............This weekend I was doing training problems with Beau and there was a ball right in front of him on the ground (we were near a ball field) and he looked at it, looked at me and kept right on searching because, even though ball is his reward, he is not hunting for balls.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Maybe just a different way to train the same thing.

They get them looking for food, since that's what they know. Then they add the little container with the proper scent (we use essential oils of wintergreen, pine & thyme) and start to add those in at the same time, then slowly decrease the food so they just get rewarded for finding the scent only (there is also a clean box for scent only - no food, that they introduce later).

I dunno, that's how we were told to do it. I guess there are many roads to Rome.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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We started on food as well. With the food, our trainer does not put too much emphasis on worrying about residual scent and none of the dogs have had a problem with it. Now that I'm on odor, I am very careful that the scented oils, themselves, never touch/contaminate the box or container or wherever they are hidden. The odor is always contained in something else - tin or a straw or other container. I'm sure there is still some residual scent, but Tara does not seem to have a problem with whatever might be present.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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True......never seen that road taken (the food thing) so I really don't know.

We just do it like the police taught us which is based on how the military does it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have to admit, the food step seems a little unnecessary for a dog who has sufficient drive for the activity. I think Tara could have skipped the step of searching for food alone entirely.

There are other dogs in our class who are quite timid and have enough trouble being confident enough to even search the room that the food seems to really help build their confidence. I wonder if this is part of the reasoning behind starting with food - so as not to associate the target odor with the scary act of just searching? The food seems to do a good job of desensitizing them - dogs who are unwilling to put their heads into deep boxes or other objects quickly get over that fear with the food association.

I think also the handlers, in general, are not as proficient at the mechanics of the reward and being able to self-reward encourages the dog to think independently. Most of the dogs in our classes have been extremely handler dependent in the beginning and find it extremely difficult to leave their handlers to search for any extended period of time. And most of the handlers find it extremely difficult not to "help" their dogs in some way.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I do this for fun with Kyleigh (did it with my last dog too, and it was fun!) in the backyard. I use some stones (about 2 inches big) and I put them in a ziplock bag with water and a drop or two of essential oil. Shake the bag up and the I pick up and drop a stone here and there around the yard. (or some days, I simply throw three or four of the stones).

I put everything away, then bring out Ky ... get her to sniff my hand (the one that touched the stone) and say find it (she knew find it from finding her toys that I taught her before!)

I had to lead her a couple of times to where the stone was ... but once she caught a whiff of it, it was pretty fast!

I was trying to explain this to a friend, and she didn't "get" how the dog could "find" it ... my other friend explained that the scent is like a strobe light to the dog ... I thought that was a great explanation!
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraM1285 View Post
I have to admit, the food step seems a little unnecessary for a dog who has sufficient drive for the activity. I think Tara could have skipped the step of searching for food alone entirely.

There are other dogs in our class who are quite timid and have enough trouble being confident enough to even search the room that the food seems to really help build their confidence. I wonder if this is part of the reasoning behind starting with food - so as not to associate the target odor with the scary act of just searching? The food seems to do a good job of desensitizing them - dogs who are unwilling to put their heads into deep boxes or other objects quickly get over that fear with the food association.

I think also the handlers, in general, are not as proficient at the mechanics of the reward and being able to self-reward encourages the dog to think independently. Most of the dogs in our classes have been extremely handler dependent in the beginning and find it extremely difficult to leave their handlers to search for any extended period of time. And most of the handlers find it extremely difficult not to "help" their dogs in some way.
It could be....I really need to watch it [hope I am not seen as judgemental, just really never seen it done this way] and it could be that the screening process for working detector dogs gives you a different starting point with a bold highly confident toy driven dog or puppy. The kind that most folks don't want as a pet.

But I know someone who is a certified nosework instructor in PA and she most assuredly has a very high drive cadaver dog I am certain was not trained the way the classes go.
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