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-   -   Developing Hunt Drive? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/search-rescue/421801-developing-hunt-drive.html)

Bequavious 03-09-2014 10:20 PM

Developing Hunt Drive?
 
So my girl passed the initial evaluation to begin HRD training, and we're signed up for a weekend handler's course in the beginning of April. I'm totally new to this, and I'm feeling a little intimidated. I got my girl as a companion, but I also want to give her a job and this is what we've stumbled into. She's the only shepherd on the team that isn't from working lines. I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if she washes out, but I want to give her the best chance possible to succeed.

Is there anything I can be working on to help develop her hunt drive in the next few weeks before we go to the class? I know hunt drive is not the only aspect of a good HRD dog, but I think it's probably where we need the most improvement.

gsdsar 03-09-2014 10:35 PM

Is she toy driven or food driven? What kind if eval? Are you working with a team?


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jocoyn 03-09-2014 11:04 PM

Curious about what team? The only one I know in that area is SCSD to the SE and STARR a bit further from you to the NW...as well as some SUSAR folks trying to make a go of it in Columbia. What kind of evaluation?

harmony 03-09-2014 11:22 PM

Do you know what you asking for? What are you going to hunt?

carmspack 03-09-2014 11:25 PM

tell us a bit more about your dog present state.
lines don't matter ---

jocoyn 03-10-2014 12:08 AM

Well, also how old is the dog. You really can't "build" the hunt drive I don't think. It is either there or not. Your dog should be willing to dive into any level of brush to hunt for a ball. We do the FEMA tests when we look at suitable candidates. A food driven dog is not necessarily ruled out though as it would be for FEMA. So these are things your dog should be capable of. It is a lot easier to teach a toy driven dog than food driven for HRD.

http://www.disasterdog.org/pdf/train.../Screening.pdf

We never start new handlers with HRD. Ask about certifications. Most of the teams push hard on having national certifications on the HRD teams(as well as all the requisite foundation courses, Bloodborne pathogens, hazmat, and crime scene preservation) because if a criminal search goes to court you want that agency standing behind you [if an HRD team finds a body who was a murder victim, the defense attorney for the person being tried for the murder will often do all it can to discredit the HR team in court and a national certification brings the courtroom support and expert witnesses you want behind you]

Also ask yourself if you are emotionally prepared to find dead people of all ages in all stages of death. [The ones hardest to me are the very recently deceased; I have not had to face seeing a child yet but have been on a search where a dead child was found and that was hard enough. Many on our team just don't want a thing to do with HRD.]

Bequavious 03-10-2014 01:18 PM

Goodness I wasn't expecting so much interest. This really is a great community :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsdsar (Post 5164865)
Is she toy driven or food driven? What kind if eval? Are you working with a team?

Quote:

Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 5165137)
Curious about what team? The only one I know in that area is SCSD to the SE and STARR a bit further from you to the NW...as well as some SUSAR folks trying to make a go of it in Columbia. What kind of evaluation?

She'll work for food, but she's definitely more toy driven. For the evaluation, the team trainer played with her a bit, threw her toy while she was restrained, and then had me spin her before releasing her to go get it a couple times. Yes, I'm working with STARR.

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmony (Post 5165257)
Do you know what you asking for? What are you going to hunt?

The team only does human remains detection, so looking for dead people and any traces of dead people in a given search area.

Quote:

Originally Posted by carmspack (Post 5165281)
tell us a bit more about your dog present state.
lines don't matter ---

Umm I'm not sure what you want to know? She definitely has good prey drive, but just isn't as crazy as some of the working lines and mals I've watched. Watching the mals work makes me nervous that maybe she won't be as good, so I want to do everything I can to help her be as awesome as possible even though we're both n00bs :o

Quote:

Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 5165593)
Well, also how old is the dog. You really can't "build" the hunt drive I don't think. It is either there or not. Your dog should be willing to dive into any level of brush to hunt for a ball. We do the FEMA tests when we look at suitable candidates. A food driven dog is not necessarily ruled out though as it would be for FEMA. So these are things your dog should be capable of. It is a lot easier to teach a toy driven dog than food driven for HRD.

http://www.disasterdog.org/pdf/train.../Screening.pdf

We never start new handlers with HRD. Ask about certifications. Most of the teams push hard on having national certifications on the HRD teams(as well as all the requisite foundation courses, Bloodborne pathogens, hazmat, and crime scene preservation) because if a criminal search goes to court you want that agency standing behind you [if an HRD team finds a body who was a murder victim, the defense attorney for the person being tried for the murder will often do all it can to discredit the HR team in court and a national certification brings the courtroom support and expert witnesses you want behind you]

Also ask yourself if you are emotionally prepared to find dead people of all ages in all stages of death. [The ones hardest to me are the very recently deceased; I have not had to face seeing a child yet but have been on a search where a dead child was found and that was hard enough. Many on our team just don't want a thing to do with HRD.]

She's a year old, and I know there's a strong genetic component to Hunt drive (as well as all of the other drives), but I thought it might be like prey drive where certain activities can bring it out more? So not so much trying to build it, as develop it/encourage it? Perhaps I'm wrong though.

The team only does HRD because that's what the greatest need is for in our area. I think most of the live searches are done by police dogs, so you don't really get the call outs for that. They do require a number of certifications and classes because, as you said, a lot of the searches have a criminal component.

As to being emotionally prepared, I don't know if a person can know how they will respond until they are actually faced with it, but I am not squeamish or particularly emotional (a fault in much of the rest of my life, but perhaps a strength in this area?).

jocoyn 03-10-2014 01:34 PM

The link I sent you shows the kind of ways they test for it. Doing those things would help bring out the innate drives and evaluate nerve strength; it is a good baseline. We get a mix of live and HR searches, but our HR dogs are specific to HR.

This was the kind of thing I was doing with little Beau as a puppy- faked throws - the first is just playing with a ball in high weeds at about 17 weeks (I faked a throw then dropped the ball while he was not looking) and the second was imprinting with HR material in a plastic tube at about 12 weeks (I think). You want to throw toys in such a way that they have to use their nose to find it (orange is invisible to them in green). That would be a good start and throw them everywhere. Different people have different ways of imprinting odor though :). I used tubes, some use buckets, others use scent boxes or devices with PVC tubes, but you would not be imprinting till you met with them anyway.



Bequavious 03-10-2014 02:39 PM

Aww he's a cutie!! Yeah I guess we're getting kind of a later start, but like I said she's my first dog, so we're learning together :) I'm pretty sure they use boxes for scent imprinting, but I don't think I'll get scent items until after I complete the course. (I think they want to try to teach ME what I'm doing before I start trying to teach my dog lol!) Having her practice looking for her toy sounds fun though :D

On a random note: Is that why a lot of retriever training bumpers are orange?

jocoyn 03-10-2014 03:51 PM

I believe it is. Could be because WE see the orange real well though. There is no harm in having the dog hunting for the toy for fun. I never do scentwork in my yard but we play a lot of ball there.


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