HRD question.. Need help please - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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HRD question.. Need help please

OK so both my SAR dogs do HR as well as trail.. Recently though, my boy has begun to urinate on or around the source :O Not good... My girl shows her typical dignified German Shepherd heritage with decorum and restraint... My boy is gsd/malamute and I think the malamute in him has gone rogue. His trained indication is a natural refined alert. A bit annoying as I would prefer a passive down or sit, but hey, if he finds it and lets me know all is golden... Unless he pees on it!

OK, so how do I break him of the habit without screwing up his indication? I thought about calling him in (doing known searches) just before the ol'leg lifts and starting him on his refined alert early, but wasn't sure I'd that was a good idea.. Open to wisdom and suggestions please..
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 08:28 PM
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Break him before he works. Work blank areas and correct him for marking at all while he is working...unless.............

Does he ONLY mark on source?

With a recall indication, how do you manage HRD work when he has to be on lead?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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So far he hasn't had to be worked on lead, but he has a 'show me' with a bark and nose point to the source. As to is marking, it is 90% source and just started.. He wasn't doing this before..
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 09:32 PM
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We pretty much train with on lead as well as off so the dog can be worked both ways but have more urban areas at times needing to be on a long line but it sounds like putting him on lead would throw in a new variable which would not be a good idea right now.

I would set up a lot of short close in problems and prompt the proper response to build muscle memory. repeat repeat repeat Don't give him time to think and reward like mad.

Then when you go back to normal and don't prompt correct when with a verbal (just not leave it) when the leg starts to go up and put him up for about 30 minutes then rework the problem and hopefully he starts to get the idea. If you have to keep correcting then back to prompting for the right choice. That whole muscle memory thing is what stuck with me. The alert sequence needs to be automatic and thoughtless.

Beau likes to mark over other dogs and he has had some pretty stern corrections for marking while working and it has not hurt anything but with the trained response he has never tried to mark source. But then different dogs react differently to corrections.

IOW only work problems where you can see him 100% for awhile.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Nancy, those are some good ideas.. Keeping him close might help... So are you saying not to make a verbal correction (definitely not 'leave it' but maybe 'quit!'?) just the physical being put up?

It is almost like he is making a mark to remember his locale on the refind.. Not that he has had a problem.. Locking down his indication has been difficult. He started with a passive sit then he started barking and nosing it (over the course of 6mos) this was when he was just doing trailing. Then when one of my teams pushed to have him air scent and he learned a refined alert, he started that and it stuck.. Maybe if I keep the problems in a smaller area he will go back to his natural sit/bark/nose and that will self correct the marking? I don't want to add any more confusion, just clean up his marking behavior... He is neutered and just turned 3..wondering if hormones and bog dog mentality is playing a role..
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 06:11 AM
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No I would correct verbally (that gutteral noise (can't come up with spelling) works for me) and take him away.

The best way to nail that alert is lots and lots of repetition and I would slowly increase distance and duration*. I would definitely take his training back to foundation. I like the bark if you can get it because, while not as specific as a sit, it sure is good when your actual finds are often with the dog out of sight.

I also made Beau stay and not be so fast to throw the ball until I got there (Building duration of the alert)

Do you have any good drug dog handlers in the area? They could help you with this. Where they are not much help is in large area strategy--drug dogs are not used to working several hours ranging out from their handlers like HRD dogs may have to do but the final trained response, and peeing, they can help you nail it. You already have the foundation for the dog hunting for odor away from you it sounds like.

FWIW also while you are at it do you dig blank holes every time you train and getting dog to ignore them? Great way to get dog going on ignoring loose dirt because when you get going with buried they will cue in on it.

* you can get into arguments with people about whether to prompt the alert or take what the dog offers naturally. I don't have a problem with prompting on lots of repetitions. A K9 BSD or a wall is a great way to get the dog to offer a sit. Particularly with hide at a level where they can sit with nose on it.

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Last edited by NancyJ; 05-13-2017 at 06:18 AM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Nancy.. Some confirmations on what I thought I should do and some good suggestions I am going to try... Yes, I do blank/negatives, be it holes, jars, buckets, whatever I use as positives constantly I try to emulate with blanks...

I think I can get him back to the bark and nose point as this was his 'natural' alert - the refind was an extension he added on due to the air scent aspect. I just didn't want to start mucking around with stuff and totally confuse the dog.. I agree that taking it back to basics is a great idea... Maybe even back to a scent box reaffirming his loyalty to odor - without lifting his leg... Then progress to small spaces (note: he doesn't lift his leg indoors while running source...odd - but glad ) gradually getting larger again, maybe his first alert (bark and nose point) will soldify and become his 'trained' indication again...

I will use the verbal guttural (along with a sring of other noises which seem to stream forth when he does it) and do the 'time out's' which he hates, so I know should have an impact.. as soon as he connects the behavior with the correction... Thanks again.

Oh, and no, i live in a small town - we just got our first LE K9 and he has to cover the whole county which is the largest in the state.. So , unfortunately, no, I don't have a drug dog handler as a reinforcement..currently...But I will certainly keep looking..
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 11:38 AM
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Just start building time with that alert too so that he will bark for however long it takes you to get to him on a distance problem.

Seriously, we take a shovel to every training now and dig blank holes. .... regardless of what we are looking for including negative areas. Makes a big difference on buried sources.

Nancy



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Last edited by NancyJ; 05-13-2017 at 11:49 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah he is a talker, so no worries about the barking.. I will start over and see if I can nix the pee bug out of him.. I must have missed something for it to have started in the first place, but I don't want it getting 'set'.. Going to the basics can help shore up any other research I may have been negligent in... Might do it with my girl a bit steep well.. Just to make sure all my i' s are dotted and t's crossed... Easy to miss something small when they are doing so well and suddenly have a problem down the road..

I definitely understand the concept of negatives and use them in trailing alot.. So adding blanks in HR work seemed normal to me. But I can see how it could become a problem if not addressed.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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So much better, yesterday running on a single blind (source hider walking with me to let me know if he was on top of the odor IF he didn't show his usual body language prior) but worked him much closer to me. He didn't offer to lift a leg once, and I think I can quite easily get his bark/show with nose/lay/sit/etc indication to usurp the refind alert. It is his more 'natural' way of alerting/indicating, so by staying closer to him i am able to 'abort' the refind alert.
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