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Thread: beginning training for a young SAR prospect? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-24-2013 12:16 PM
jocoyn True, but from what I have seen in my area, they *typically* run hotter trails with less contamination that most SAR dogs wind up working.......where getting a start means using a scent article to tediously pick out the victim's trail from that of the hordes of people who have already trampled over it and left fresher trails.

I do agree with gsdsar. It is not going to hurt the dog to wait on the scentwork. All that time can be spent focusing on other things.
12-24-2013 12:09 PM
ladylaw203 FYI. police patrol dogs start out trailing a crook that has bailed and run for example. As they close in they revert to area search what you call air scent.
12-23-2013 08:54 PM
gsdsar I agree with talking to the TD of the SAR team. Many SAR teams do NOT use trailing, they use air scent dogs. Very different. Doing trailing work is not necessarily going to hurt, but it may be wasted effort if they are looking for an air scent dog. Yes, air scent dogs will trail, if they hit a hot track, but that's instinctual and not training.

Personally, I would be tweeking drive, working with the ball and doing not much else until personally evaluated by the TD of the SAR team. It is possible to do more harm than good if you don't know what you are doing or what the end goal is.

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12-23-2013 06:43 PM
yellowroses Following the suggestion to get Nick "ball mad" is easy. That is his reward for training. He will take treats, but the joy of life lies in a fast moving ball. A training challenge is to get him to wait for the ball to leave my hands and next to sit and wait for a release command when it hits the ground.

He also has an electrical line spool of about 18" in diameter. After workouts and while I am working in the area near him, he throws and chases it. He must have some soccer skills because his goal posts seem to be my legs and he scores often.

I will ask the SAR leader about first steps for scent work in a few weeks when I go observe a training session. In the meantime, I think I will start him on some footstep tracking since you say it won't hurt his later training.

Thank you for your suggestions.
12-23-2013 05:42 PM
ladylaw203 Agree 100%
12-23-2013 04:57 PM
jocoyn I would not get the dog all riled up with different and strange odors but nailing down ball play and tug is good. If a dog gets hooked on finding an essential oil odor it could cause problems down the road.
12-23-2013 04:24 PM
David Taggart
he is one year. What should we be doing to prepare him?
Your question has a simple answer: make him ball mad. I guess it shouldn't be difficult for you playing every day: his ball must be his best treat. Pretty quickly he would recognise it as his object of preying which doesn't have equivalent for its quality. Ask him to sit, wait whe the ball touches the ground, the ball to go out of vision in the grass, left somewhere in uncertain, and srend him to "Search!" I choose Chuckit Ball ( including glow ball for your night play), because it still has a life circle like production ages ago: 1) it doesn't have any smell of its own; 2) there is a hole openes after a month of play where you can insert a scent you wish him to find. Use cotton buds before then to mark the smell. Make a track by using a cotton bud with a touch of essential oil and hide his ball together with this smelly cotton bud. Come next day together with your dog and let him smell a second bud from somewhere of a plastic bag ( this scent shoudn't be on you). Help him to find the ball. Trained regularly, your dog would learn to associate the given smell with the ball. trained more regularly than just, he will try finding his ball in association with any smell you ask him to start tracking.
12-23-2013 04:01 PM
jocoyn Yes, that is why I suggested not going down the road of trailing without a mentor.
12-23-2013 03:56 PM
ladylaw203 FYI we have many techniques we use with trailing dogs so they learn what to do when they lose a trail.
12-23-2013 02:41 PM
jocoyn My suggestion to go ahead and start doing FST or AKC tracking, if the team agrees on it was because the OP already has experience in that realm and there is some finesse in working a trailing dog that is better done with a mentor. Agreed, not needed but it gets the dog working the ground for odor which is a good thing when they loose the trail.

Personally, I would focus on making the dog as well rounded as possible and not worrying about it for the wait time. Bring out the dog's inherent prey and hut drives with ball games. [throwing balls into the brush and making him hunt etc.]. Build up tugging with the dog and getting a good out. Being able to be around other dogs offlead without interacting with them etc.

I am sure there are plenty of people here who have more experience than I with trailing dogs; they just don't post much.
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