Question about police tracking - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 07:41 AM
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Thecowboysgirl,

Thanks!

Most days it is a really fun and a very rewarding job.

Other days, not so much. When the job stops being fun I will be out. Going to work now and I will be seeing where I stand in our State Retirement system.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 07:57 AM
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So do you have an outer limit on fringing? I know the further they fringe the harder it is to recover a lost track. I know some who have gotten off 100-200+ feet but then some old bloodhound handlers who only allow 2 leash lengths in training. Perhaps on older tracks (ours are normally 12-24+ hours) the trail gets broken up even more over time.

In all fairness, I work a cadaver dog and am training and air scent dog so am not expert on trailing and tracking .

Nancy



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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 10:09 AM
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Slamdunc,

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I appreciate all the work you and other LE's perform for us regular folks.

Lynn & Traveler
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 10:44 AM
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Jocyon said:How tight are you on trailing when it comes to allowable distance from the footfall track? We have had great arguments on that one with one group allowing fringe scenting the other wanting the dogs truer to the track.


I have a (personal) issue with this line of this thinking (not saying that you believe this or aimed at you Nancy ) .. I am of the opinion that those that try to be so astringent in their 'trailing' and their dogmatic insistence that the scent MUST be within a certain amount of distance from 'actual track' (and who knows for sure unless only working known tracks in training) have the wrong mindset... Whether it is LE or SAR, we are trying to save people's lives by finding them, or for apprehension... Why are we using the dog if we 'know' where the scent is???

ASCT has done alot of research through well known universities about scent and how far it can blow... For instance: For each mile per hour of wind odor can drift 10ft! For every degree of a slope odor can drift 14ft! Now add aging, contamination, bldgs that 'breathe in and out', rain, heat, humidity or lack of, cars, terrain which can 'allow or encourage' scent drift (like asphalt, concrete, open fields, large bodies of water, rivers, etc) or be caught and held, etc...

When we as humans interfere with our interpretation and assumption of where scent is and then restrict the dog to that limited scope, we substantially limit the chances of success... Personally, I think it is arrogant of us as humans, although natural to do... It takes faith and proven success in trainings and actual deployment to 'blindly' follow your dog.. But if you can read the dog well, you will know if he/she is working the scent or not...

Yes, sometimes air currents can reek havoc on the scent picture.. The dog gets a waft of fresh scent and follows it only to be led into a scent pool, or nothing, BUT, that is where reading your dog comes in, and knowing where the last true 'trail' marker was at so you can get back to it and on your way... I know that if I was lost and scared, hurting and cold I want the dog that trails and uses ALL of their abilities (including air scent when appropriate) to shortcut the trail and find me, rather than the overly astringent dog team that follows my crazy 5mile trail within 6ft of my actual footfall... Lol..

I am not saying I expect to say a trail dog air scenting and griding for a scent cone.. I will give an example : a few days ago I was working a 17hr aged double blind trail.. It was in the wilderness with mtn rises on either side and a river in between.. A fire road cut in between the mtns and river... My boy worked the trail mostly on the river side even though the subject had crossed the river (which we did too about 150ft down stream of her crossing) and worked the hillside across the fire road... We found our subject.. The hillside she worked was sloped, the scent drifted down the hill, skated across the gravel road, rolled down the hill across the river and settled in the flat and heavily treed area (which also gets a ton of fog in the night and morning hours).. When we compared gps trails, he was mirroring her movements parallel to the trail the whole time... This was a double blind trail. I had no clue where she was or how she got there and was done solo...

Anyhow, just my thoughts and perspective on being to scripted on trails... IPO, definitely, SAR or LE, absolutely not, trust the dog he knows his nose and the scent..
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 12:12 PM
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I think some of these questions arose from those we have had concerning air scent dogs. We train scent specific on the air scent dogs but setting up solid double blind problems and getting reliability statistics is more of a challenge due to the many problems with having consistent studies.

Our observations have been that as as distance increases discrimination seems less reliable. The scent picture would have to change as distance increases by the sheer fact that heavier parts of it would travel less far than the lighter components. The raft theory, I understand, is less accepted though still the volatiles remain. Of course it is all fascinating. At which point is the dog just finding any person out there and not the specific person? Of course even discriminating human vs non human is a form of discrimination and upon the find there would be some matching-or could the dog possibly say "not me person" and reject if it was the wrong person.

I have certainly had distance alerts on cadaver at greater than 1 mile distance ....... Deb Palman had an interesting paper on that. But cadaver is less differentiation than specific human scent (though maybe not-just a different kind of differentiation. Rambling on........sorry don't mean to sidetrack......

I was just wonder Slamdunc's perception as most LE I have met tend to be more on the gradient of track-sure vs trailing on even their scent discriminatory trailing dogs-though even they argue back and forth on that.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 12:14 PM
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Here is a pretty interesting article that tracks (hahahah pun intended) the theme of this thread:
Man's Best Friend: The Importance and Impact of Truth in K9 Handling - ITS Tactical
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 02:45 PM
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Jocoyn said: ".... Our observations have been that as as distance increases discrimination seems less reliable. The scent picture would have to change as distance increases by the sheer fact that heavier parts of it would travel less far than the lighter components. The raft theory, I understand, is less accepted though still the volatiles remain. Of course it is all fascinating. At which point is the dog just finding any person out there and not the specific person? Of course even discriminating human vs non human is a form of discrimination and upon the find there would be some matching-or could the dog possibly say "not me person" and reject if it was the wrong person. "

I would agree, in general... But environment, terrain etc while track is being laid and up until track is run and completed play a huge part in the actual trail outcome... I've watched my dogs run almost dead on footstep for footstep (Comparing gps tracks post find), and if watched them work trails parallel to the laid track but well off the actual foot fall... These trails are almost always laid in well contaminated areas (the trail I posted about earlier started in a campground area went deep into woods and back into busy campground area and along well traveled gravel fire road) so it is scent discrimination or my dogs would 'find' anyone who had crossed over their trail... This would include urban trails as well..

I run blind (single blind for me is when I know some component of the track, be it general area of ending, a landmark that is passed, or I have to 'break the blind' on a double blind... Double blind for me is just that, I have zero knowledge other than PLS of where subject is, often who it is, nor any other component of the trail) trails 40% of the time, double blind 40% and known/technical 20% on average with negatives thrown in the mix several times a month ... I have 2 dogs and both are run on separate trails.. So I personally believe, I get a good idea of how my dogs (not saying all dogs) run, and the distance they can operate in given conditions from the actual track...

I think alot of confusion comes from the difference between tracking and trailing.. Tracking is very close to actual track if not on top of it.. Trailing is recognized the dog can use whatever resources he needs to find the person, be it air or ground scent... My job as a SAR handler is to find that person and helpy dog however they find the strongest source of scent.. If that means while on the trail of the person the wind suddenly blasts them a whiff of the person and my dog pulls off the track and beelines to them because of that air scent, then that is what I do... Many strict tracking handler's would call that a fail, as would some organizations that certify dogs.. I call that an epic win and success.. I'm not tracking in sport (I do know this isn't what is being suggested, I'm just clarifying my perspective and reasoning)...

I certify through ASCT and IPWDA, as well as in house... I am both exhilarated and terrified when I get a call... I am not successful in all my trails, I have to break blind at times and I record most of my trails for reevaluation afterwards... I personally believe it is easier to train a trail dog before it becomes air scent as opposed to air scent before trail for the very purpose of the dog learning to lock down the specific scent on the ground, as opposed to riding air currents solely.. But again, these are just my personal observations and opinions...

I also often have 2 people hiding in their end spot, about 20 to 30ft away, the subject is the only one to socialize with the dog IF, they are chosen... Time and again my dogs will run to the correct person, even over a cherished person... Have they made mistakes? Absolutely.. Are they pretty consistent about whom they find? Yes..

I too am fascinated by scent and it's way of flowing and the dogs way of detecting it and following it... Also very curious as to Slamdunc thoughts on this matter

Great article reference Karin!
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 09:35 PM
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Nanaimo police dog tracks down woman missing for 4 days in wilderness | Globalnews.ca

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 09:58 PM
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The RCMP are freaking awesome at trailing /tracking (although that article wasn't about trailing specifically, it was an air scent find) and I use a similar style of training for my dogs... So glad that lady was found, great news
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-09-2016, 11:38 PM
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Think I should have clarified a similar style of training that the RCMP use for teaching trailing.... Reread what I typed and it could have looked like I used helicopters, lol!
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