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Well today was Beau's 2nd time on the boat doing water cadaver
and his 1st time doing shoreline.

I get there and I am told--"you are doing everything blind" (iow I don't have a clue where it is) - yikes. Well I don't even have an indication worked out yet for the boat. (it is hard because his normal indication is a sit or a down but those are good working positions in the boat - so we are considering a more active trained indication such as a bark...still not sure...but all I had to go on was reading him.) Nailed it! The good Lord blessed Beau with a very expressive tail and an intent gaze and he naturally followed the odor and was easier for me to read than Grim who had certified on water several years running and has made some water finds in real life.

For the shoreline problems - the first one he stood in the water straddling the aid starting at me with this confused look, and I said "he's on it" and the other person said ' "yes" so I had to prompt his indication to sit in the water. The second one he found and offered an automatic sit in the water.

Now the bad part - ahem. Once we got back to shore from the boat problem he was just all full of himself and jumped out of the boat having a grand old time in the water completely blowing me off when I called him to come out. Of course it did not help that everyone was laughing at his antics because he was being about as puppy as they come. So I was given some direction from the police trainer who came to watch to crank down on his obedience even more.

The other advice was to detail cars on my own faster and make my presentation more consistent (just build up the pattern without the dog for awhile) because, while he was quite patient with me, he could work a lot faster. Those police folks just don't care about your feelings. Hahahaha...I was told that watching me work as car was as exciting as watching paint dry. Of course, not being particularly graceful, running backwards around a car while sweeping my hand to areas to search while not touching the car and not getting hit by the rearview mirrors requires some level of coordination
 

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nancy, sounds like Beau is doing REALLY GOOD!,,,I was laughing at his water antics, he was probably celebrating and offering some comic relief:))) GOOD JOB!!
 

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He did his job and that's what counts, finesse comes later but it sounds like he's already got it ;):D
 

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I have been very much pleased with him to be sure even it he can be a bit of a brat. Fortunately his temperament is stellar.
 

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You can train a scratch in the boat. All of mine do. Unless the dog is going to hang over the side and bark,it will not be definitive enough. :) Also, I would not allow blind searches on a green dog. you need to know where the training aid is in order to help him if he needs. I never do blinds on a green dog :)
 

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My boat driver knew where it was but he let me direct the search (they gave me an area but he had it marked with a GPS) and I am sure if we had come to trouble with it he would have stepped in...I did not reward without cofirmation from him.... You could have shot a line from his head to the source ...I got it from one side circled around went upwind (we had a steady breeze which was lucky for us) got a negative circle back around and bam. He stayed calm and focused until we got right up on and he lurched up and leaned over the edge. Had he not done so well the first time we would not have done it that way. Actually with the GPS it was better for me because I *had* to watch the dog.

I know some who use the scratch as a solid indication.
 

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Good for you Nancy, tha'ts the way I'd handle it too. the less the handler knows the better ha ha ha.

Dfrost
 

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Well, we all do things differently. I just do not want a blind on an untrained dog. If the dog needs guidance,I want to provide it. Plenty time later for blinds. And I put a final trained response on a dog before working scenarios. To each his own:)
 

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Mine don't work blinds until they know the odor. Once they know the odor, it's nothing but blind. That means there is a lot of training to do, but the handler has to learn as well as the dog. The trainer has to be able, and ready to step in and assist as needed. I believe the faster you get to blind problems, the better the training as a team becomes.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Beau has been working blinds on buried, hanging, covered and in buildings for about 2 months - we have started vehicles and water. He knows the odor and how to work out land problems, though we know his own skill will continue to grow with more complex problems over time.

His first time on the boat with a known hide a few weeks ago it was clear that he just knew how to work on the boat -- my other two took some real training over multiple sessions to get the idea, but he was just natural at it; it is hard to describe...we were all kind of dazed by it.

He does have passive FTR on land cadaver but not the boat -- Having done this with Grim, I do realize the utility of FTR even though you can pretty much read the dog and figure it out as it gets much harder under variable wind conditions, chop, etc. when the dog is having to work harder to figure out where source is located. I do know some schools of thought simply do read the dog on water. My views on that are evolving. I want a final response.

I actually felt working it blind helped me because all of my perception was focused 100% on the dog as I was not looking for that marker or that alignment of cues to visually locate source for myself. At this stage of the game all of our blinds have been single-blinds. Had there been a trouble, our source is deployed with a pully and a bobber that we can pop when the dog isn't looking (and the driver could have used the proximiity alarm on the GPS). There is never a reward without confirmation.

The wind conditions were also ideal that morning. Light steady breeze going into shore. ripples but not chop. Not necessarily what you get on a search but a real good place to start.
 

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I dont want to just "read the dog" and figure it out. Those groups that I have found not training a FTR on water dont know how.That is why they dont. Not having an FTR makes no sense. As far as blinds. David, HRD is different than other scent work. With a green dog I need to know where source is so I can help the dog through common issues in training such as a dead gator,cow,deer etc in water. I do not want a green dog spending a lot of time working that. I want to be able to help him through it. I have plenty time to read that dog later on when he is trained and I am not dealing with methane, dead animals, etc that the dog is having to learn how to discriminate through. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Agree on the FTR, and base that agreement on experience. You can read the dog very well under ideal conditions and on a good boat. Both of which don'e always come together.

I like the scratch but am concerned that, since I have had to work hard on him with buried problems and really wanting to dig that may set us back there. [I do allow scratch and sniff but we are doing passive. End of story there. Active not an option on land]

I can work out a bark indication then require it ONLY at source as frustration barking in the fringe is my biggest concern with that on the water. The bark has not been a natural behavior for him, though and has been some effort to teach but it is coming along as an independant excercise.
 

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If someone is demanding a passive for some reason,do not train an aggrressive alert on the boat because it will transition. Work on a sit/stare. And I mean a STARE over the side of the boat AT source. I would not take the dog back on the water without an FTR. That can be easily trained with the boat tied to shore or the dock and an training aid in shallow water. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was actually planning to work on the FTR on a dock. He does have an intent stare - that is what he offered. He actually froze and followed it with his head.
 

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As far as blinds. David, HRD is different than other scent work. :)
As you said, different trainers work differently. Personally, I don't think there is that much difference in training detection dogs. Granted there are some task specific differences in each of the different types, basically they are the same. I do understand your concern, perhaps I just handle it differently in training.

DFrost
 
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