Tracking Question - Well sort of for sport but who knows - Page 14 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #131 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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Good explanation. Thanks. I think to me the term "pull a negative" is the body language when a dog moves from being in odor to being out of odor..maybe it is regional....and, of course, when they move out of odor they attempt to recover.

I think reading negatives is one of the most important things one must learn when trailing She has been pretty good at slowing down and making the turn or if past it, casting herself to recover but sometimes a dog will just keep moving in the direction of travel even though there is no odor. Must be able to read that change in body language
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post #132 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NancyJ View Post
Good explanation. Thanks. I think to me the term "pull a negative" is the body language when a dog moves from being in odor to being out of odor..maybe it is regional....and, of course, when they move out of odor they attempt to recover.

I think reading negatives is one of the most important things one must learn when trailing She has been pretty good at slowing down and making the turn or if past it, casting herself to recover but sometimes a dog will just keep moving in the direction of travel even though there is no odor. Must be able to read that change in body language
Is there such a thing as taking in all of the dogs signals subconsciously (not consciously knowing you are doing that) but then intuitively reacting to the dog appropriately with out giving it much thought or being able to say exactly what cause you to know. With exterior searches I'm pretty good at knowing when he is out of odor but is still hunting, (not crittering all business) following his wrong path but I couldn't tell you precisely what changes of behavior I saw.

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post #133 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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I think it is pretty much that way but if there is a possibility you would ever wind up in court you would have to be able to articulate what your dog does. I also have to do that before a certification test and if a department calls us with a dog handler flanking us they usually ask as well.

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post #134 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 09:08 PM
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I find myself narrating out loud what I see sometimes. Helps to call it as you see it, and really let it sink in. But I think as we work odor specific dogs, we learn to read the subtleties they offer us and intuitively know if they are focused, working an odor concurrently with the odor they are supposed to work (partial K'9ing), when they are searching for odor, and when they are just goofing off. Takes thousands of hours in and out of odor to learn these things, but once you can see them well, they tend to transfer well over to other dogs, for the most part
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post #135 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 12:28 AM
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Our instructor about a month ago talked about narrating either out loud or in our head and had us practice it with a blind hide. It helps a lot. This past Sun I entered mock NW1 trial that a training center was offering. They used the white boxes for the container search and it was the perfect whished for do-over to the ORT miss. He lingered on a box sniffing exactly as he did that had caused me to call an alert at the ORT only this time I started narrating in my head "hold off, looks like he's on it but still figuring it out, give him some more time etc" about 7 seconds of sniffing then he abruptly moves back down, in odor sniffs a box, mouths the corner lightly and I call the alert.

Had I not started that narration, I may have blown it again. Interestingly, I had not used the narrating technique for a while so I don't know what prompted me to use it then but glad I did. Lol

Just figured I'd tell of my own experience to double up what you said on how useful it is.

Oh, we nailed all four searches. He made me look real good. Lol.

The need to explain the how and why in case of a court trial is a really good motivator to learn that body language. Last night I also wanted to know what a double blind was but didn't want to bug you with another question so I googled it. Double blind is when both the judge and the handler does not know where the source is. Just in case anyone else was wondering.

Nancy, the more I read and learn about all that is necessary to being a real life working team in any of the venues, the more in awe I am of it.
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post #136 of 136 (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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We set up double blinds a good bit and flag the hide locations as we search so the person who set them can verify. Dogs typically not rewarded by the handler unless they know for sure the dog has pinpointed the hide, but we do reward the session by doing a quick obedience drill afterwards and playing with the ball. Intermittent reinforcement. The bulk of training is single blind. In training we also do intermittent reinforcement. "Good work" "find more".

The dogs are expert at reading human body language and we can even sometimes "read" the evaluator on a single blind problem. To me known problems are for the learning phase of both dog and handler and when fixing specific challenges discovered in training or to give the dog a "reward" problem so they can find something. For example, after a real search, as soon as I get home the dog gets a quick find because we cannot take training aids with us to a search.

You learn body language a whole lot faster when you have to rely on it. Single blind with someone who can point out/narrate body language is good.

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