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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Random SAR question

So, I have a weird question for SAR people.

I was working Finn yesterday just doing short distance searches. Nothing crazy. I'm trying to work out the kinks of not doing anything SAR related in over a year and see where we're at. I was using my husband and a friend as 'victims'. Everything was going smoothly and I asked my friend to lay down instead of stand as I could see her in the spot where she hid quite clearly.

Finn went to her...and laid down next to her, licking her face, nuzzling her hand, and just acting funny. The second she sat up, he came right back to me for the 'show me', but he got super weird with her laying down. I had my husband be the victim, had him lay down, same reaction.

Back at home, I found myself just laying on the floor with my feet propped up on a footstool stretching my back out. Finn could've cared less. He came over with one of his toys and I ignored him. He walked away not even three seconds later to chew on a rawhide on the couch. I had the Hubby lay on the floor to gauge his reaction and once again, he could have cared less.

Is this something we can work on? Him being okay with people laying down? This was the very first time he ever 'found' someone laying down.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 11:08 AM
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Yes, you have just discovered you HAVE to mix it up.

Put the victim sitting, laying down, standing, walking, running, up a tree (or deer stand), in a building, under a tarp, in a tent, etc etc. They need enough different experiences to generalize...

Nancy



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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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I figured. I thought back to all the different trainings I went to and most people were just standing or sitting on a fallen tree or something like that. We've done a bit of building work and he really likes that and crouched down hidden under a camo net, but it dawned on me pretty quickly that laying down has never been a thing we've done.

This morning, he was tugging on my friends' jacket sleeve, but he came back for the 'show me' pretty quick. It was so weird how just a different position could wig him out like that.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
"Go mairidís beo"
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 02:59 PM
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Add briar patches and crawlspaces to your search areas. Not uncommon for dementia patients.

Nancy



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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:33 PM
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Also remember that some victims behave weird. Make sure your dog is ok with people petting or yelling or moving. If you are doing a recall/refind, have the victim move when the dog leaves. Get him used to lots of scenarios. I have known handlers who dogs were screamed at by victims.


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Add briar patches and crawlspaces to your search areas. Not uncommon for dementia patients.
Yeah. Our backyard has lots of fun little hidey holes and tons of briar patches. He goes through those with no issue and doesn't mind crawling under things.

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Originally Posted by gsdsar View Post
Also remember that some victims behave weird. Make sure your dog is ok with people petting or yelling or moving. If you are doing a recall/refind, have the victim move when the dog leaves. Get him used to lots of scenarios. I have known handlers who dogs were screamed at by victims.

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Never thought of that. We've been working on him just coming back for the refind; sometimes he will, other times he acts like he's leading the person out: he'll run away about ten feet, then look back at the person like, "Aren't you coming?"

I hope to get back to my old SAR group within the next few months so we can restart training again, but I want to show that he hasn't lost anything and perhaps gained something in the last 18 months.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
"Go mairidís beo"

Last edited by Shaolin; 04-05-2013 at 10:28 AM. Reason: I made a mistake
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 02:34 PM
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Yes then start adding to the list from real search experiences - many things we do are based to things we would not believe someone would do but they did or things we have encountered. If the recall is rusty I would go back to drills on just that. There is NOTHING wrong with returning to basic elements during training.

Today Beau (certified in October) had his third real human remains search and his first one in an urban setting. While we found nothing, I was proud that he ignored the cat he surprised in the gully, the free range chickens, dogs on chains and behind fences. He also ignored the plastic soda bottles (very important- because they can contain stuff for meth as well as drano bombs!) - and - he did not drink out of the creeks that he did lay down in to cool off. Lots of bits and peices of training coming together. Sure enough how on earth did that old washer get out in the middle of the woods (well with all our creeks and streams we have lots of urban woods) though all those nasty nasty briars-but he went up to it and stuck his head in the hole just to check...funny some dogs balk when they see things places they should not [one of those pesky nerve issues we have been talking about]

Nancy



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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-05-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't had too many issues with that; he seems to ignore weird, out of place things. What he doesn't like are ground holes; huge holes made by trees falling over. He will not go down into one to save his life. He'll alert if someone is hiding in one, but he won't go into it.

That's awesome for Beau! We've not done any urban work yet, but I'd like to start that portion.

Are you Find/Refind or Tracking/Trailing? I'm having trouble solidifying the come back for the refind portion. He recalls just fine off lead and in a short distance search, if he sees me, he comes right back, but if he can't see me, he "leads" the "victim" out. I could be ready to take the SARTECH exam to be search qualified within six months if I could just nail down this portion of the search. Good to know about pop bottles. He has a wubby that has a crushed water bottle in it, but he won't play with a pop bottle for anything. I now won't let him play with an uncovered one, even if he shows interest.

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
"Go mairidís beo"
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 05:33 AM
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Beau is a single purpose, passive alert cadaver dog but I have trained a relaible recall refind on another dog.

I think the best thing is to have that down solid as a rock before you are doing search problems. It sounds like you may need to do drills with the situation causing the breakdown (not returning when he can't see you) by prompting the correct response with a lot of repetitions. Not search but set up just the drill.

Did you backchain the indication? I am gone all morning but that may be here. I have the article but it is probably online.

Nancy



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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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The very first thing we trained was the indication, which was a fight in itself. He's not a barker at all, so we couldn't even pretend to work on a sit-n-stay response. Then we tried the hanging tennis ball/Kong with no success. We then noticed he was coming up to me and putting both front paws on my legs. Success! We trained that particular indication pretty quickly.

We went in steps. First step was just to get him to go to someone and we worked on that for a few weeks, then the pop up/call out/run away, which came very quickly. We had trouble on the coming back...not so much on the other person holding and him running back to me coupled with the indication, but trying to combine the first three steps. He was either rock solid or he would stop halfway between the victim and me, looking at me like, "Come on! This way!"

There was some article that I was given. I still have it and I jokingly refered to it as the SAR Dog Bible. He did a full search at one point with no hesitation (not a big distance, just 200ft) and I was so proud of him. The very next time, couldn't get him to come to me to indicate for anything. How did you train the indication from the victim to the handler?

RIP Sebastian, Baby, Cheyenne, Baxter. Gone but never forgotten.

Finnian The Irish Lad WGSD: SAR
Abeni the Little Warrior: Pomeranian rescue.

"Res nos operor ut alius algo"
"Go mairidís beo"
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