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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Distance Alerts

I posted this link on another thread but discussion on it belongs here if anyone is interested.

http://emainehosting.com/mesard/pdf_...t%20Alerts.pdf

Before you read, be on the same page terminology wise. The word ALERT here is NOT used to mean trained indicatoin but body language indicating the dog is in odor.

I have seen it happen too and sometimes it is a situation where the dog cannot work directly to source because odor has lifted and dropped down elswhere. (We have hilly terrain and this may not be as common in the flatlands)

I also think this helps explains some of the problems people see when subjects or training aids are not set out for long periods of time. It is way different working a cadaver source that has been out for 24 hours than one that has only been out for an hour. And hard to set up because you have to worry about leaving anything out for durations of time (have to use private lands) and have to be scrupulous about protecting it from wildlife. And it is hard to find subjects for training who are willing to get lost for you for an entire day. (Had a friend who was great at that. She let hunters use her land for deer on the conidtion they would set up just the kind of problems we needed-plus they were usually out all night anyway).

Nancy



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Last edited by NancyJ; 06-22-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 07:20 AM
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It is one of my pet peeves that so many out here believe that short motivational searches are the way to go and long training searches are a waste of time.

Indra is very easy to read and generally I can tell when she hit scent, however at the mock search there were situations where I couldn't exactly read what she's been doing, where I thought that she was dicking around all the while she was actually alerting and found the spot the helper previously has been in so I would really like to have training searches where the person has been out for half a day or day or even longer but I also realize that almost nobody would be up for that. Except for somebody that really enjoys hiking and camping out there. :/
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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One of the scenarios we set up is to go to someone's home because their scent is EVERYWHERE. Stick them in the crawlspace (got nobody to spend the night under their house yet) for several hours .......or in a utility shed. WE did that after we saw problems on searches with our dogs AND the police dogs on locating some of these dementia patients who walk all over the place day in and day out, drop articles of clothing, you name it and then wind up within a half mile of their house and they are hard to find. I will set up trailing problems with scent pools too. Set out, then sit and read and meander around for an hour or so then strike out in a different direction. But even that is not enough. I once drove for 4 hours to get to work a scene where there was a whole body and certainly the training at the WCU forest is good for that too as they let the dogs find the enclosure with the bodies.

Then you have to do problems based on scent theory. I had a demo gone wrong where the guy was up against the wall of a brick buidling and the dog got trapped in the woods for awhile. I knew what was going on = the heat on the building rose the scent and it dropped in the cool woods and I had to help the dog work out of it. They can figure this out but they need those kind of problems to get their own experience. I said demo gone wrong because you have to set up demos for success becuase I am sure the explanaiton fell on deaf ears.

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Last edited by NancyJ; 06-22-2012 at 08:29 AM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 10:03 AM
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Yes,the new buzz words are alert which now means change of behavior etc and final trained response now means what we have used for 30 years to mean alert.semantics :-) and the courtroom. Yes, handlers have trouble reading their dogs in a real deployment when they basically pattern train. Same old short scenarios,not setting up realistic maintenance training, not setting up training to challenge the dog nor teach the handler how to read the dog. Whether it is a live person,HR, dope,whatever,odor does different things depending on the ambient conditions,set time etc. I set up scenarios to try and mimic what we deal with in the field to teach the dog how to better follow odor to source as well as teach the handler to better read the dog. There are scent voids, what we call the stovepipe effect ,thermal uplift etc that will cause problems if maintenance training is not challenging. :-)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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Problem is resources. The police has much better resources than most of the teams have. We do what we can. Plus it's hard to get past the "We've been doing it for 20 years like that" mentality.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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You can pull but you can't push. It will come crashing down one day when a subject is found in an area you had searched. Pray that subject is found alive.

That shook us up a LOT and drove several meetings and approaches to fix and are thankful that the search that resulted in a dead person being found [not during the seach effort] was in an area that "had already been searched and you don't need to"

The other thing is to have an entire team debrief a few days after a search, hopefully with LE.

Nancy



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 04:19 PM
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We are fortunate enough to have areas where we can set up long problems, and have a couple dedicated people to work with us. Sometimes we drag fresh meat off the street to go hide, but those are usually visitors and we only get to abuse them once
And we have several areas we can secure HR, but I realize many teams can't, or don't think about doing this. Generally people from other areas that come train with us, their dogs fizzle out after a couple acres on an HR, or after 20 on an area. Maybe they just don't think about mixing it up? Running a 40 ac HR search isn't unusual for us, or practicing scatter with scent pools, etc. It always surprises me when people come in that don't typically get past 'just down the trail'.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladylaw203 View Post
Yes,the new buzz words are alert which now means change of behavior etc and final trained response now means what we have used for 30 years to mean alert.semantics :-) and the courtroom. Yes, handlers have trouble reading their dogs in a real deployment when they basically pattern train. Same old short scenarios,not setting up realistic maintenance training, not setting up training to challenge the dog nor teach the handler how to read the dog. Whether it is a live person,HR, dope,whatever,odor does different things depending on the ambient conditions,set time etc. I set up scenarios to try and mimic what we deal with in the field to teach the dog how to better follow odor to source as well as teach the handler to better read the dog. There are scent voids, what we call the stovepipe effect ,thermal uplift etc that will cause problems if maintenance training is not challenging. :-)
I don't disagree with a thing you say. I will add however, two of my observations over the years.

1. Far too many handlers work far too many problems where they know the location of the targets. They use all kinds of excuse as to why they have to know, but for the most part it's because it's easy and you sure won't miss many.

2. Along the same line, far too few teams work blind blank problems. Same size, same distance, same size. Not finding something is as important as finding something.

Finding 3 targets in an hour search does not demonstrate the dog can work an hour and find a target. Teams simply do not train to the level they may be required to respond. If they don't, they are more of a liability than help. If a team can not procure the proper training areas/training aids and assistance, they should stop training until they have it. I think far too many teams look upon this as an adventure rather than a serious avocation.

DFrost
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 07:33 PM
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Honestly, I have not known the location of any helper since Indra has done her first Blind Search. Even with her first short Blind Search I did not know the location. I have always trusted my dog from the very beginning. I don't like knowing where the target is.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Working large unknowns that have been out for a long time with enough odor to have a complex scent pool...good problem.

Nancy



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