Our cadaver training at the FOREST in WCU - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Our cadaver training at the FOREST in WCU

I dont' think I ever gave an update on the training at the FOREST (forensic osteology reserach station) in Cullowhee, NC and WCU.

It was very good training - Much of the scent training was basic area, building and vehicle searches but the biggie was, of course, being able to work inside the fenced area with 6 bodies in various stages of decomposition as well as good exposure to adipocere which is sometimes hard to get.They had such an overwhelming response, the goal is to have one in the Fall as well. It is well worth the money and the hotel they found, though old, was cheap and adequate and they only charged the dogs $5 a night, handlers were $55 but you could double up and they did not charge more for extra people!

It is very very very important to NOT mess this up if you go! No pictures, complete respect for the remains, etc. This is an incredible opportunity for the volunteer handler to get access to real bodies decomposing in a natural environment unless they are the "first one in" on an actual search - as any found body is automatically assumed to be a crime scene. They also plan to bury some in shallow graves

Got to proof off of a novel new dead animal, (black bear) Actually on the way to the fenced in area we had to go through an area with pits containing carcasses of a variety of animals covered by pallets (hahaha Grim loves Pallets so he was totally oblivious to the scent of the animals but just *had* to walk over them, and a bus containng a chicken. They actually allow the dogs to work offlead right up to the fence and around the fence which was cool! It was onlead inside the fence.

I was very pleased to NOT get a trained response on the fringe and that he was not overwhelmed. I did, however, have to prompt him to give his trained response on the first body as he was so into the odor he forgot to sit. He definitley noticed it-pulled me straight to it and, all but one of the dogs pulled their handlers to the same body when they went in. He corrected himself on the other bodies though.

We also got to assemble a skeleton and had an inservice on distinguising (visually) human bones from animal bones - including various child bones etc.

I think you would get the most out of this seminar with a basic to intermediate dog with a solid passive indication (active will not be allowed in the fence) - even though the problems were basic though, it is always good opportunity to train blind problems with other people and there were fresh larger scent sources that are sometimes hard to find. The trainers also knew how to set up problems to create interesting challenges [it reinforced my understanding of why you close a door in a room for instance]

I was terribly pleased that my work on slowing down Grim on vehicle searches has paid off and I got compliments at how well he worked. I still need work at working clockwise around the cars but am good with counterclockwise.......But realized I definitely need work when the car is in difficult terrain.......little things like that. Also got some complements on his area searching (I have worked on getting him to keep his nose lower by a lot of training with small bones)

Definitely excited about getting my next cadaver prospect, hopefully soon - definitely within the year as things are, after a few years of doing this really starting to come together in my own head.

Nancy



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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 08:27 PM
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So fun! I have always been intersted in visiting there. Great that it's so close to you to train!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-09-2011, 11:14 PM
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Thanks for the review--I am hoping to go to a future seminar.

Christine

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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One thing that was neat (given discussions here on growth plates) was to realize how, with a childs bone, the femur and other long bones may be decieving because the head may not be connected due to the growth plates.

Nancy



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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 04:57 AM
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[QUOTE=jocoyn;2159453]I dont' think I ever gave an update on the training at the FOREST (forensic osteology reserach station) in Cullowhee, NC and WCU.





I was terribly pleased that my work on slowing down Grim on vehicle searches has paid off and I got compliments at how well he worked. I still need work at working clockwise around the cars but am good with counterclockwise.......But realized I definitely need work when the car is in difficult terrain.......little things like that. Also got some complements on his area searching (I have worked on getting him to keep his nose lower by a lot of training with small bones)


.[/QUOTE


it makes no difference what direction you work a vehicle. I am not understanding what you are saying
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Working the car first in one direction then in the other direction was suggested by our instructor who is retired LE, I will definitely follow up on that as no argument was raised and there were a few k9 officers at our seminar.

Nancy



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:23 AM
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Just asking. I have been working narc dogs on cars for a very long time. you would accomplish more by running it one time and directing the dog high,then low all around the vehicle. to continue to run the dog once you did not receive an alert can make the dog false or give the appearance of a false. just fyi
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 01:36 PM
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Nancy, that sounds fascinating! You probably learned so much about Grim and where he is at in his training. Congrats on doing so well and on getting all the compliments. Always gratifying to actually put our training and our dogs to the test and see how challenges are overcome.

Lucia


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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After doing this for a few years I am getting to the point of realizing I am not a newbie anymore but that there is sooooo much more to really learn.

I am actually going to be very careful in my logs and run the dog the one way [which is the way I would run him and was originally taught] then run the second way and see if I actually get anything that would have been missed and if I do, why.......we actually have been hitting on the first pass...and I am getting better at playing out the lead for him when he hits odor while I keep moving.....if it does make a difference I need to figure out why we were missing and fix it. If it does not, why do it?

I think I work a pretty steady pattern with wheel wells, door seams, rocker panel, door handles, gas cap, then the details on the front and rear - basicly high low all the way around. Ran one at training where he kept wanting to work the front of the vehicle but did not commit so when I hit the end of the lead slowly kept moving and he caught it on the trailer hitch of the connected trailer which is where it was.

Honestly he doesnt even need me anymore. You do it enough and he knows the routine..

You watch these course cases and you realize how much you want to do EVERYTHING right.

Nancy



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 04:27 PM
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what exactly are you searching a vehicle for? I am asking for a reason
The reason I am asking is this. I dont even train my personal dogs on blood. ERT can use Luminol. And blood alone is iffy because it can be explained away by normal circumstances such as we had in Liberty last week. If one is searching a vehicle with an HRD dog,one is either looking for a body in the trunk or possibly decomp odor. Either way, the alert is reasonable suspicion only and if you are searching around a car,they already have a search warrant or owner's permission so why use a dog. I am just trying to explain the way things work
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