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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-30-2014 08:55 PM
David Winners Nancy, I think this points to something beyond trained behavior. When you have the right dog, and understanding of the task happens over time, the dog will think it's way through the job. He knows you are part of the job and will therefore think of ways to complete the task.

Ain't it cool
04-30-2014 08:45 PM
jocoyn Grim was so funny on one training. He got to source way ahead of me and his trained response was a sit indication. He was in a hole and he jumped up and down to make eye contact, then when I got to him, he sat. Another time he stood like a meerkat. He also has done a natural recall refind to take me to it. I think that must be an ingrained behavior that we just build on.... So far Beau is a bit more ingrained on stay with source but I wish I had trained a bark. Seriously thinking of putting an Astro on him.
04-30-2014 07:59 PM
gsdsar I remember on my first 160 acre wilderness cert. my girl Hanah ranged out amazingly, worked her heart out. I heard her give her trained indication, a bark, but just barely. I was booking it to get to her, she must have barked for 7 minutes, as I made my way through the brush. Finally the barking stopped as did my heart(thinking I just failed my cert) and then she appeared, barked at me turned around and went back to the victim and started barking again. She was not a recall/refind dog. But she got sick if me taking so long and took it upon herself to come and find me!!! My evaluator was uber impressed. Dang she was a good dog.

On the flip side a teammates dog did the same thing, but was so far away the handler never heard her. After 15 minutes of barking the victim(this was a multi unit training excersise) radioed base and asked what to do. Base radioed the handler and gave coordinates. But in a real search situation.....


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04-30-2014 07:51 PM
Neo93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
We had a training problem where the dog got odor and took off a good half mile away when the subject was on an opposite ridge. A front was coming in and it was a steady wind. I loved what an old timer, Denver Holder said. "if he loves you he'll come back and if he don't he warn't worth it"....of course he was a coon hunter turned searcher and coonhounds get gone frequently and the attitude towards hunting hounds seems a lot different than we have towards our dogs, so he had a level of comfort with it that most of us don't. The dogs face enough risks as it is!
Sounds like the rancher in AZ that I asked if he was worried that the dog would jump out of his pickup truck when he was riding around on the ranch. He said, "Guess if he does he's too dumb to keep around, I'm going to have to get a smarter dog."
04-30-2014 06:55 AM
jocoyn I assume you bell him? If not, you can get to where you can tell a lot by the tone and rhythm of the bell. I even put on on my cadaver dog at times because we have a lot of heavy brush. (and kudzu which I know you have as well!)

I would rather have the problem of pulling in a dog who wanted to range too much over one who did not want to range out.

We had a training problem where the dog got odor and took off a good half mile away when the subject was on an opposite ridge. A front was coming in and it was a steady wind. I loved what an old timer, Denver Holder said. "if he loves you he'll come back and if he don't he warn't worth it"....of course he was a coon hunter turned searcher and coonhounds get gone frequently and the attitude towards hunting hounds seems a lot different than we have towards our dogs, so he had a level of comfort with it that most of us don't. The dogs face enough risks as it is!
04-30-2014 12:58 AM
Neo93 Thank you, everyone, for your input.

We do have a solid trained indication/alert (bark and refind), and he is good about finding me, alerting and showing me where the subject is even if he has ranged far ahead of me. If the terrain is relatively flat, I can move fast enough to keep him in visual while he is searching- but if the terrain is particularly challenging or has dense vegetation/briars/underbrush, Diego is way faster than I am. When we were working small problems, it wasn't a huge issue because the search sector was small. Now that we are working in larger areas, it is becoming more evident as he ranges further and checks in less often.

I have talked extensively with my other team members (who are all probably tired of hearing me obsess about this ), but it's useful to see how this is handled on other teams as well as in other disciplines. The whistle sounds like a good idea, and I think I might still have the shepherd's whistle from Frieda's herding days. I like the idea of a "back and check in" command rather than an official recall.
04-29-2014 11:17 PM
David Winners You describe recalling your dog so it can alert you that it was in odor through her actions. This is far different than reading your dog. The whole conversation is about keeping the dog within range so the handler can work the dog and read it's behavior, not a trained response.

David Winners
04-29-2014 10:47 PM
David Taggart
Quote:
can't tell when your dog is on odor
I can - if I see her. But, very often she dissapears behind thick vegetation, I know that she is "on" (or "in") only when she comes back.
04-29-2014 09:28 PM
jocoyn David (Taggart), that is why you need to be able to read your dog. So that you won't call them off of odor unless they are in danger. But, during scanning, I will call my dog to me during a search for forced water breaks, body temp checks, and cooling rests.

The more typical approach most wilderness teams use is to train the recall-refind sequence before actually doing any real odor work so that it is built into the "muscle memory" of the dog and it is second nature. USAR handlers often use a bark indication on the pile, Cadaver dog handlers typically use a passive indication and some use an aggressive one like a dig.

The Fox 40 is cheap and so is the Acme 640! I paid $6.40 for mine on Amazon and added to an order to get free shipping.
04-29-2014 09:20 PM
David Winners
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taggart View Post
Whistle is a wonderful thing in training recall, but it is good only if you know that your dog searches in vain, so to follow to the next square with the map. But what if you don't know where the object is hidden, but your dog has caught the direction the scent was coming from? You'd distract him in his search by whistling and turning somewhere else away from the place he wants to go. If you recall - you want him to say something to you. Lucy jumps on me if she knows the direction and I'm too slow, and she stands and waggs her tail low in apologetic manner if she found nothing. Training your dog on long leash proved too difficult for me in the areas with dense forest and bushes. So I started in a small square area when the dog can find the object quickly, I can see her indicating, and only then recall and ask to take me there.
If you can't tell when your dog is on odor, you have far more to work on than ranging.

There is a huge difference between "back" and a recall.

David Winners
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