Building Searches. How do you do it? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 10:20 PM
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Good! It was a bit over due for an update on him. If you can find somebody to take him, is Francesca going to be the next Boomer?
I can't find anyone to take him, I've tried.


I was kidding about getting some one else to take him. He is staying with me and we are working out his issues and quirks. Francesca is no Boomer, Boomer is an all around outstanding dog that has spoiled me for the past 8 years on the street. He is over 10 now and still going strong.

Francesca is a fantastic dog, great sport dog, does very well in IPO, tracking and super at narcotics detection. But, she is not going to be a patrol dog. She is a super sweet dog that will not bite a person the way Boomer will, and certainly not the way Boru will. A patrol dog needs to have some serious aggression and be willing to confront and engage a person if needed, IMO. I like a dog like Boru or Boomer for my patrol partner, a strong dog with a serious civil edge. Francesca will be a super single purpose detection dog, and my sport dog. Plus, my plan with her is a courier dog and I want her to be friendly and sweet, just the way she is.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Jim - do you see a conflict in doing nosework along with IPO? Will it mess up the IPO tracking?

Actually....I'll take this to a new thread. We've already hi-jacked mycobraracr's thread enough!!

No need to take it to a new thread. I recently ran into a situation with Kimber, where I started her articles for IPO style tracking. She wants to pick them up and bring them back to me because of our "article search" stuff we do. I have put a hold on articles on her IPO tracks until I can decide how I want her to continue. For now we need to focus on her Police Dog 3. We are entered for regionals in November and for nationals in May.

Article Search
Building search to decoy wearing hidden suit to passive bite. Horrible quality but...

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 07:14 PM
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Nice work!

Regarding your article searching it seems you have trained the retrieve similar to what is done in KNPV. Boru's foundation work in article searching was to retrieve the article as well. This is not how we train our Patrol dogs to indicate to evidence. We train similar to IPO, a down with the article between the dog's legs and NO mouthing. We find a good amount of guns that have been tossed while tracking suspects. I really don't want Boru to pick up a handgun and bring it to me. Boomer did it once and shook a revolver in the air. Not fun. Plus, it contaminates the article and can destroy fingerprint or DNA evidence.

To correct or change Boru's retrieve, I am having him search for tent stakes that I place into the ground. I also use framing nails and will push them into the ground or asphalt. The nails and tent stakes are impossible to pick up and I reward the down and stare at the article. I have changed the command for the search and the ritual. Getting the dog to search for a nail pressed into the ground instills a very intense and accurate search and work ethic. The hardest part is finding the nail, be sure to know exactly where it is. Having him indicate to "fixed" objects like the nail or tent stake is correcting the retrieve behavior. I'm sticking with that for a while. Searching for small objects really develops accuracy, intensity and drive.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Nice work!

Regarding your article searching it seems you have trained the retrieve similar to what is done in KNPV. Boru's foundation work in article searching was to retrieve the article as well. This is not how we train our Patrol dogs to indicate to evidence. We train similar to IPO, a down with the article between the dog's legs and NO mouthing. We find a good amount of guns that have been tossed while tracking suspects. I really don't want Boru to pick up a handgun and bring it to me. Boomer did it once and shook a revolver in the air. Not fun. Plus, it contaminates the article and can destroy fingerprint or DNA evidence.

To correct or change Boru's retrieve, I am having him search for tent stakes that I place into the ground. I also use framing nails and will push them into the ground or asphalt. The nails and tent stakes are impossible to pick up and I reward the down and stare at the article. I have changed the command for the search and the ritual. Getting the dog to search for a nail pressed into the ground instills a very intense and accurate search and work ethic. The hardest part is finding the nail, be sure to know exactly where it is. Having him indicate to "fixed" objects like the nail or tent stake is correcting the retrieve behavior. I'm sticking with that for a while. Searching for small objects really develops accuracy, intensity and drive.

Thanks! She was online during her building search because of the other people in the building. We've already learned she'll bite, so no need to take chances with them.

The way I did it, was exactly like KNPV. When I started it, I was going to play in a KNPV style sport. At this point I'm doing things more IPO style. I'm breeding Kimber and have ran into a couple people who said they wouldn't stud to her because she's "untitled" even though she has seven titles on her, just not a precious IPO1. Apparently it's too hard to evaluate a dog without a IPO. Anyways that's a thread for another time. After SDA nationals, I will put an IPO1 on her and move on. She retrieves everything. I've actually had her search and retrieve pistols and AR's, just not in the same context as you haha. I recently have stopped working with the IPO articles until I can decide how I want to proceed with her.

Jim, how do you start your building searches? How do you get the dog to start thinking high, low and alert to decoys it can't see, say behind a wall or in an attic?

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 12:04 AM
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Mycobraracr,
My original post had the details of starting the building search that was timed out.

With a green, new dog, I start the building search with the dog searching for the handler. The handler teases the dog and then runs into a building with a toy. The dog is then sent to search for the handler. This accomplishes several things, the dog learns to search in a stress free way. The dog immediately switches to it's "nose over it's eyes" faster. The dog also learns to search for human odor before learning to search for equipment, because sleeves and suits stink to a dog and have associations.

I do this for about two weeks. The searches get longer and more complicated and the dog works in drive with out conflict to find the handler. With a green dog and new handler, this helps to develop the bond. IME, if you start with a decoy and a green dog you will introduce a lot of conflict and hectic behavior. I prefer to break training down into small components and modules. This does that quite well.

Once the dog has the idea and is biting well on the suit, I add the decoy in. This is done in a very systematic fashion. I start with a decoy in the first room in the right side of the door. The dog finds the decoy, then we repeat with the decoy deeper in the right corner. Then the left corner, then next to the door on the left side. I go in a counter clockwise fashion. This teaches the dog to enter a room, go right and then check every corner and the left side before the dog exits the room. Trust me, if a dog is searching with it's eyes it can enter a room and miss a person concealed in the room. I understand that the olfactory system of a dog is 1/8 of it's brain and it's most reliable sense. But, many dogs rely on their eyes and are slow to switch to their nose or use their nose over their eyes. This is a skill that must be taught and proofed.

We start with area searches outside and high finds in trees, on top of containers and buildings, etc. We do tracks that end in high finds and make the dog work it out. Tracks at night that end in a tree with no equipment teach a dog to follow it's nose and check high if that is where the source of the odor is.

During building searches, we leave all th equipment outside and will pass a sleeve or a suit through window or exterior door after the dog alerts on the person with no equipment.

Then we go to muzzle work and searches for a passive person with no equipment with a muzzle.

One thing we do in the beginning is to use along line to force the dog to search every room in a systematic fashion. The long line also prevents the dog from leaving a door or a find to check for an alternate way to the decoy. Initially, the dog hits the odor behind a door and barks, then the door opens and the dog gets a bite. The dog learns to open the door to get in by strong barking.

I hope this makes sense?

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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That makes perfect sense. Thanks! Do you find the muzzle adds any issues? Being harder to smell through and all. I need to work a lot more high finds. We are trialing in November and I need to have it all down by then. I started them in a building still. Doing it outside is a great idea.

If you're interested, keep an eye out on SDA. They are developing Police dog tracking titles. The tracks are long, over a minimum of three surfaces including negatives, the decoy lays the track leaving anything he wants as an article, and there is no official start flag. Just a "he ran that way". So you get a general direction and the dog must pick up the sent. We ran a test track a couple months ago in Alaska. It was a lot of fun!

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 10:23 AM
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Your welcome.

We acclimate the dogs to the muzzle doing obedience, tracking, hanging out, etc before we add any agitation or aggression work. The muzzle is not a factor in searching once the dog is acclimated to it. Start your high finds outside, have your decoy agitate, run away and hide in a tree. Do a quick track and watch for the "proximity alerts" and change in behavior. The dog will lift it's head and begin to scan up high. Don't help the dog, but when it gets to the decoy and alerts encourage barking. Have the decoy reward with a toy or bite from up in the tree. Then progress to harder finds, I will climb onto dumpsters, sheds, in boats, or even onto a building if I can. We hide in some crazy places, sometimes it gets a little sketchy getting up or down. I want the handler to think "Jim, would never go up there, would he?" I want the new handlers to start to doubt their dog and then realize the dog is correct, learning to trust the "compass." The "compass" is never wrong.

You can do area searches this way as well. Have a decoy in a suit agitate the dog and run into the woods and climb an tree. Then send your dog off lead to find him. Reward the alert and barking.

I will look into that SDA tracking, sounds interesting.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday morning, I was playing at the park with Kimber. Usually we do some tracking and she just hangs out while I get a workout in. Well I decided to try something I hadn't done yet. I put a tug on a long line, drug it across the park (200 yards or so) and flung the tug up in a tree. I got Kimber out and gave her, her search command. I was amazed at how fast she ran it. We still haven't worked a ton of high searches. On her first one, she circled the tree the tug was in once, then tried to climb it. She finally sat under the tug and started barking. I flung the tug out of the tree and let her have it. We did a few of these and every one was better and better. It was fun to watch her progression. I lost my decoys (again) so I'm trying to do what I can without one.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Since the weather has been nasty, we did some more searches this weekend. We went to a barn she'd never been to before. It had various animals living in it at times abs had all sorts of smells, stalls, tac rooms, hay storage and so on. Kimber had never been around before. I wasn't sure how she was going to handle the distraction especially since it was her first training day back from the puppies. Because of the layout, I changed my handling style to try and be more tactically conscious. I think it kinda screwed her up, and I miss read an alert from her. The decoy was hiding one stall over, she could smell them and alerted on the wall and I pulled her off :/. Well she was right. He right on the other side of the stall split. I didn't know where he was until we found him. The next search I went back to our old style and she found him in about 30 seconds. He went through the barn to an outside hay storage. He had climbed up and over the hay, hiding between the hay stacks and the wall. Kimber ran straight up the stack and jumped off the top to her bite hahaha. She'd never seen a hay stack before and didn't seem to care. Overall I'm really happy with how she did. I'm even a little surprised at how well she handled all the new distractions. She was so focused.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-26-2018, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Ran a search this morning. It was ugly. I can see Kimber relying on me for assurance a lot, she was very distracted this morning. The shop cat running around didn’t help. I feel like she didn’t start out in the correct drive. Normally her breathing pattern drastically changes when she’s hunting. I didn’t hear it this time. This was her first high find in a looong time and the “decoy” didn’t have protective equipment (suit/sleeve) to help with the scent. He did have a small wedge to give her a reward, but that was it. So much work to do. Advise is welcome.

https://youtu.be/GeYYTyJmwlY

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