Human Remains Detection - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Human Remains Detection

I held one of my seminars two weeks ago and wanted to pass along some points to consider. I also evaluate HRD dogs for the Army contract in Iraq/Afghanistan.

I see some common problems. Lack of proper training aids we know.
The dog's thresholds are too low for realistic ammounts when trained on small amounts. The dogs will fringe on above ground remains and in water situations. Folks need to be aware of this.

Next I am seeing pattern trained,handler dependent dogs. Meaning that the handlers set up short training scenarios, lead the dog to the aid and inadvertantly cue the dog. Set up realistic scenarios, long search time in large areas. Make the training realistic. Pay attention to your body language such as stopping in front or close to the aid,thus cueing the dog. Also pay attention to stop talking to the dog when he exhibits a change in behavior working odor. Let him work until he reaches final trained response WITHOUT talking. When you are in a real search and do not know where the training aid is,the dog will walk it when he does not receive verbal encouragement
When working negatives, let the dog work it out. Some folks correct the dog the minute he looks toward a negative aid. You will not know in the real world that it is a non target odor and if the dog does not receive a correction, may false. Let the dog work the odor and make the decision to leave it. If the dog is about to exhibit trained final response, THEN, give him the leave it command and take him to a positive aid.
Just some thoughts
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the update and info..




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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 07:41 PM
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Thanks for the info! The day I win the lottery I'll go to one of your seminars

I'm with you with talking handlers. something that get into my nerves are those handlers that speak to the dog all the time. Let that poor dog concentrate!!! I don't speak with the dog at all after the command, which is a formality, because it knows what it's supposed to do by all the previous ritual and at most I encourage a best barking once the alert as already been given.

But I do need an e-collar for training... I noticed lately that I tend to put my hand in the pocket to have the toy ready if I feel the dog is about to alert. I need someone to watch me and zap me every time I do it because most of times I'm not even aware.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 12:01 AM
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Great suggestions! I am constantly trying to remain quiet and not show any expression both to my dog AND my training partner when I have set up HR for her dog. Do you have any other seminars planned this year? I have one 20 month old female I am training in cadaver and a new eurosportu pup coming in another month I want to start correctly from the get go. I live in Washington State. Any other seminar's you like and recommend?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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I am going to have another one in the Fall. I may have a young/green dog workshop later on this summer.
I have Nuky male,Egon,and a female,Bona from Eurosport and 3 Paxton pups. I am waiting for my Nuky/Thalia son to be old enough to ship
Go to my Facebook page and you can see photos from the seminar. Taunya was there with Samir,who did a bang up job at cadaver training and a woman from Houston with a Nuky son
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ladylaw203 View Post

Next I am seeing pattern trained,handler dependent dogs. Meaning that the handlers set up short training scenarios, lead the dog to the aid and inadvertantly cue the dog.
I'd bet a dollar to a donut you'd find the same problems if they are also involved in drug and/or explosives detection.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, see it in seminars with police k9 handlers. That is why the narc handlers come here to run over my aids and we provide large aids at our EDD seminar
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 07:58 PM
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[quote=ladylaw203;1831594]I am going to have another one in the Fall. I may have a young/green dog workshop later on this summer.

I would love to get this info when you have it scheduled.

I have Nuky male,Egon,and a female,Bona from Eurosport and 3 Paxton pups. I am waiting for my Nuky/Thalia son to be old enough to ship

EEE gadzuk, I have the sable male reserved from that litter. Have you seen the pups in person? I am too far, WA State. I am so excited about training this pup.

Go to my Facebook page

I will try to find it.....
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 09:28 PM
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You know - I have not had a threshold issue with drownings and Grim has two legitimate water finds under his belt - with good location - one in a slow moving river and one in a lake - and that was his first season operational on the boat. Not sure what the summer will bring. We have only trained with a pump though and early divers. I am not convinced there is a lot of decomp odor out there 3 hours after someone is in the water........

Most of what we search for on land is old crime scene stuff though. That, I am finding, is a whole discipline in itself [pinpointing] since the strongest scent may not be where the body is........really getting into learning those techniques, old graves, etc. Learning how to help him work it out when he gets hung up in a tough low scent area by moving him out of /back in etc. He usually runs straight to the big sources but, unforntately has only worked one full body and one fresh decomp scene after body removed. Defintely a lot of scent. Small bone is defintely tougher for us.

Negative search areas - large ones - very important part of training I think.

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:11 AM
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Ok here we go. I understand these dogs alerting away from source NOW

Are they really fringe alerting due to a threshold issue or possibly alerting out of frustration because they do not have the proper experience working out a big scent pool? I have seen similar behavior with dogs who do not have experience with sources left out over several days where the pool becomes large and complex and broken up. Many folks just put out stuff for 30 minutes and expect the dog to be able to work our this large area and it is very different.

Also, UNKNOWNS. A lot of folks are only working knowns and what we do when we train together is each person sets up an area and the other handlers [who go out one at a time with the person who set it up so they are working blind] - there are no rules as to how many hides, what type of hides, even if there are ANY hides. But then we work the area and discuss what did or did not go wrong etc.

I agree with you on the ranging.

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