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wyoung2153 01-15-2014 01:51 PM

Trouble in parallel searching
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So we don't do very many parallel training scenarios. Normally we have one go in and clear the area/find the victim, and report back. Meanwhile, we have a dog in cue waiting for their turn to do the same. If there are 2 scenarios going on at the same time, they are typically in very different locations as to not intercept with the handlers/dogs. While this works very well for training, in a real search I have witnessed very many parallel searches where you may "meet up" at the dividing point but the dog knows where he's working based on you and knows not to go greet the other handler and dog.

My issue is this. Titan is very good at ranging away from me. He doesn't need to stick by my side and with a small "check it out" command he will venture further. I try very hard to not allow him out of my sight but I would be lying if I said it never happens. Most of the time it's when I know he's in scent and I let him work it out. However, he LOVES to greet other dogs and people that seem to be in his vacinity. This includes on the rare occassions when we do train with a parallel search. If he hears the other handler or dog he wants to go greet them and while he is not dog aggressive some of the other dogs are and I do not want him in a situation where he encounters the few that are. Not only that but I want him focused on the search and if intrigued I want him to listen when I tell him to not go greet them.

He has a pretty decent recall. Still working on his recall in some cases when he gets so focused on something he hears nothing I say.. not very often but often enough that I don't like it and I pretty much know the situations he is vulnerable in and do my best not to put him in them.. one being parallel searching. I have started a "too far" command but not sure how to actually reinforce that. I say it and he usually does stop but sometimes he doesn't, I don't think I have properly trained that command, personally.

Any advice on the subject? While I know he will do great when we certify, I don't want him to certify and then get pulled into a real search and end up not listening to me when he goes to greet someone. I hope all that makes sense.. sorry it was kind of long.

NancyJ 01-15-2014 07:43 PM

It makes perfect sense.

I am actually charging up an ecollar to work on just that problem with Beau (he is now 2.5, already certified, been on several searches, and planning to recert next month) I am going to work on introducing the collar and the recall, then work with a police trainer this weekend. This is something I have been putting off for too long.

This past weekend on a search, Beau decided to visit a chained up female cocker spaniel with a 'come hither' look and I had to physically drag him away..thankfully she was quite friendly; not all chained dogs are. That and a couple of other blowing me off things......such as deciding to take a swim mid search or training. You live in FL so you understand there are times and places you don't want a dog in the water.

wyoung2153 01-16-2014 09:33 AM

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I have never worked with an e-collar, would you mind explaining to me how to start? Also, I am scurious if this will end up distracting him form the search if I end up needing to use in while we are training.. or is that not usually a problem?

Also comforting to know an experienced certified dog has the same issue, while not fun, just makes me feel better knowing Titan isn't the only dog, lol.

NancyJ 01-16-2014 09:46 AM

If you decide to work with one, I would either find someone on the team or someone local to work with. I have worked/spoke directly with Lou Castle as well as I like the low stim approach vs the higher stim shock/correction and felt the dog was thinking through the whole experience. But I have no real experience with the other. A teammate has the Leerburg videos which I am going to watch but I am not inclined. Both Leerburg and Lou Castle are diametrically opposed to one another. From all I do know is that a Dogtra or Einstein collar would be the best choice for low stim as the tritronics stops are discontinuous and may be too far apart to fine tune the stim. Cheap ecollars are trash.

It is very important to do it properly as the dog can either get scared or redirect thinking the other dog hurt it.

The man is the real thing and will take time with you but he has a ton of good articles on his page. I have a testimonial there in the SAR section. Home

There are several different approaches to their use. I am meeting with a police trainer this weekend who we respect and know is fair with the dogs. I do know Beau is a very hard dog and does not shut down with correction [if he did, Lou's methods are the only ones I would even consider as they will work with a soft dog]. I am not sure which approach he takes for distance control but I will go there and my goal is to work on this issue.

The other option is more work on obedience/prong/long line etc and building that reliability. It gets tricky in the woods though with a long line as it can get hung up and the dog can self-correct unintentionally.

May be nice for some of our East Coast SAR teams to talk about bringing him in for a seminar. Most of his are on the West Coast.

DutchKarin 01-19-2014 11:01 PM

I want to first say that I never will claim to be an expert. I want to start posting in this section more as I am sinking more into the SAR training. BUT for this thread, I have an 8 month old Dutch Shep and am starting on air scenting and really at the begining of SAR training. Ay 6 months I really started having some issue (recall and totally into other dogs) with my head strong pup. I worked with a trainer who specializes in ecollar work and in the shortest amount of time I thought possible and with really minimal stimulation on the collar we have these issues under control. I will be working with this trainer to start fading the collar to head back to a flat collar as soon as I can. With a good trainer, a lot can be done.

Can't say enough about finding a good trainer.

NancyJ 01-19-2014 11:31 PM

Absolutely, it is easy to mess up a search dog with the ecollar, which is why you want "the right trainer". Looking forward to your posts! A dutch you have a live-wire. I am not that brave yet.

wyoung2153 01-20-2014 12:42 PM

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Sorry. been MIA for a minute, but I have been reading the posts just no time to respond until now. Thank you guys for taking the time to read and give opinions, helps a lot.

I told my team this weekend I wanted SARTECH II and III by summer, my lead seemed pleasantly surprised and set up a certifying type training search for Titan and me and we did very well.. still a little work needed, honestly more on my part than Titan's.. but work none the less.

Back to the parallel searching.. I have not brought up the e-collar to My team lead, and i am not sure how he feels about them so that might be interesting. I think too, the e-collar may work with other things I want to work with him, dropping the ball (will drop any dang thing but the stupid Tennis ball... *sigh* ), leaving things alone after a 3 count while training, not playing in the creek everytime he comes near it while on a search, etc. I just have to get my team on board. My team lead seems much more on the verbal discipline vs anything else. Any suggestions if the e-collar isn't an option for me?

NancyJ 01-20-2014 01:11 PM

Don't give a command you cannot enforce until it is consistent under distraction. ...I kept Beau out of the water this weekend with a pfooi. I had a pretty long post in the finding a trainer section about some of the issues. We are a way to go without using an ecollar yet, but it is the perfect tool FOR the recall.

How about your team lead? Do they have anything to offer.

wyoung2153 01-20-2014 01:18 PM

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Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 4869105)
Don't give a command you cannot enforce until it is consistent under distraction. ...I kept Beau out of the water this weekend with a pfooi. I had a pretty long post in the finding a trainer section about some of the issues. We are a way to go without using an ecollar yet, but it is the perfect tool FOR the recall.

How about your team lead? Do they have anything to offer.

Oh yes, he is quite incredible with his dogs. He has 3 currently, the senior dog, 11 yrs, is certified but retired, his 5 y/o is certified in Area and HRD and is amazing, his puppy is one year and extremely impressive, already very advanced, IMO. He has had 2 other dogs I know of that have been certified as well but are no longer with us.. one I met and worked with and she was awesome. He has trained for some years now with a multiple of SAR teams and has a good connection with Klaas Kids' lead, Brad Dennis who I believe he trained with as well.

He is a very very credible trainer and I trust his judgment with things. I may disagree on somethings but all in all I would trust him when it comes to SAR training. I tend to like outside opinions though, just want to talk to as many people as possible about an issue I am having.

NancyJ 01-20-2014 01:22 PM

The problems you are having a very common, so it will be interesting to see what he has to do to help you with them and maybe we can all learn something good to share with the folks who work with us. That is how I bring up different ideas........

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