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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs don't get depressed about finding dead people; people do and the dogs sense their handler's emotion. I imagine a disaster scene is stressful in and of itself.

My dog is very very energized after a weeklong cadaver seminar ( he is a cadaver dog - single purpose) and has never expressed other than extreme excitement upon encountering a large amount of human scent such as a whole body.

I would think the PTSD would be from the constant noise and human emotions....not from the dead bodies.

Some dogs are aversive to Human Remains - those dogs should not be cadaver dogs. And the people have to be able to handle it too. It has not been the few dead people I have seen that has depressed me; it has been being within earshot when a family member finds out and feeling their pain. THAT is when it hits me in the gut. A dead body is just a dead body.

---------------

I think the "depression" you may see on a dog not finding live scent is an area with no live humans in it would be a "negative" area for a live find dog. So they are doing all the work and not getting a reward. Any dog needs a break and a chance to "find" something and get a reward after a long day. I know I take a waterproof match container with one q-tip dipped in blood and after a long day on a cadaver search I take the dog away from the scene, hide the q-tip, and give him a chance to find it and get his reward.

What I don't know on a FEMA live search, does the dog get a reward for an indication? I know on a HRD search the dog is not rewarded at the find unless it is 100% obvious. just a "good work" - mainly because you never reward the dog unless you are 100% sure of what you are rewarding.
I definetly agree that PTSD would be more from the loud noises and stressful environment. I also agree with you that the dogs are much more likely to pick up the stress and sadness from people surrounding them and not necessarily the deceased body. Disaster sites are unbelievably stressful and sad for the people involved and for a dog not to pick up on that would be amazing! We do reward for indication on a live find with FEMA. We very heavily use tugs as a reward, this is definetly what we train with when you doing search scenerios in the rubble and barrels as well. It makes sense that this would be hard to do with HRD though!!!

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, cool on the barrels, I know Konnie Hein took home a lot of stuff from watching Randy Hare on detection work and putting people on barrels is, I know, one idea she took back and has a whole web page on it. She is a FEMA handler.

Teaching Focused Scenting: March 2009

Is that the approach you are using?
I will take a look at it and let you know. My guess would be yes. I know of Konnie, dont know her personally. I actually was considering getting a Mali from her...nice dogs!! The head of our team pointed me in her direction and I think they all work pretty closely together...

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yes that is very much how we do the barrels. With Cyrus we have altered it a little because we have had some difficulties with his bark alert. This was his first time doing the multiple barrels, once he stuck his nose in we rewarded him with the toy. I have video..I will get it posted so you can see how we did it. Basically the handler and dog hide out of sight of the barrels so the dog doesn't see what barrel the person is in, you walk up on a long lead...the dog has to work it out for himself...no interference from handler. Its AMAZING how fast they work it out really. Once they alert at the barrel they get the reward (most use a tug toy and the "victim" will tug with the dog for awhile. This way its not the toy but the game that keeps the dog searching for the person and not the toy itself). We later added in distraction. My trainer sitting on top of a barrel next to the one with the victim in it. As he advances we will put toys in other barrels and he needs to work out that he goes for the victim and not the tugs.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:48 PM
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We very heavily use tugs as a reward, this is definetly what we train with when you doing search scenerios in the rubble and barrels as well. It makes sense that this would be hard to do with HRD though!!!
How so, most people want a dog with either insane tug or ball drive for HRD work. Randy Hare who refined that method (the barrel method but using boxes) teaches detector dogs which is all and HRD dog is..........

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=jocoyn;2020646]Dogs don't get depressed about finding dead people; people do and the dogs sense their handler's emotion. I imagine a disaster scene is stressful in and of itself.

My dog is very very energized after a weeklong cadaver seminar ( he is a cadaver dog - single purpose) and has never expressed other than extreme excitement upon encountering a large amount of human scent such as a whole body.

I would think the PTSD would be from the constant noise and human emotions....not from the dead bodies.

Some dogs are aversive to Human Remains - those dogs should not be cadaver dogs. And the people have to be able to handle it too. It has not been the few dead people I have seen that has depressed me; it has been being within earshot when a family member finds out and feeling their pain. THAT is when it hits me in the gut. A dead body is just a dead body.

---------------

I think the "depression" you may see on a dog not finding live scent is an area with no live humans in it would be a "negative" area for a live find dog. So they are doing all the work and not getting a reward. Any dog needs a break and a chance to "find" something and get a reward after a long day. I know I take a waterproof match container with one q-tip dipped in blood and after a long day on a cadaver search I take the dog away from the scene, hide the q-tip, and give him a chance to find it and get his reward.

What I don't know on a FEMA live search, does the dog get a reward for an indication? I know on a HRD search the dog is not rewarded at the find unless it is 100% obvious. just a "good work" - mainly because you never reward the dog unless you are 100% sure of what you are rewarding.[/QUOTE]

This is what I was commenting on. Not saying that you can reward ever with a toy or a tug, I was just responding to how you can reward unless its 100% and it seems like its probably harder to know if they have hit a scent or not.. I could be wrong in this assumption

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Agree 100% that insane toy drive is essential in SAR... thats what I want in every dog I consider for the job..

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 05:01 PM
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I would say it is a combination of reading body language and the trained indication with HRD. If both are not there, then you don't call it.

But there is still a false alert rate, I know mine is documented on training on unknowns at 2-3% which is decent at least according to SWGDOG. You don't want to reward if the alert is false (for example a dog never trained in a swamp may alert on decomposing wood, a dog never proofed on dead hogs may alert on it.....etc etc.....

We still reward after working a negative area....just for working.....but not quite as intensely.

Nancy



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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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I would think 2-3% was pretty good! Im sure there is quite a bit of training behind alerting for just human scent as opposed to any decomposing animal. A dogs nose will ALWAYS fascinate me with how they can distinguish between the two. I have to say Im lucky that we aren't as capable

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