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Discussion Starter #22
Was at training last night and some of the folks who have been at this since the 80s told me that back then they NEVER trained on cadaver tissue and the dogs had no problems finding deceased people. I'm entering this into a well established program with CARDA, California Rescue Dog Association. CARDA requires area dogs to work on cadaver tissue and one of our tests requires (area dogs) the same alert for live find and "large source" cadaver tissue. So I thought it was necessary to train the dog to find that scent (as distinct from live scent). I was thinking that our cadaver training aids must be pretty good, these folks were saying that the training aids might not be as necessary as I thought.

"OHHHH" says the new person.

Sorry about the foot Nancy. I know since starting this later in life, I sometimes struggle with aches and pains. Plantar Faciatis has given me a run for my money. I think I have learned to manage that. Now on to other joints. ;-)
 

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That is interesting, when I was with CARDA in the early 90's we used source and started the dogs off early on it.. Now we didn't train SPECIFICALLY for it, like a cadaver dog does (i.e specialty), but we did work with source... But it was SoCal, lol, so they did what they wanted ;)
 

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Interesting......that is a hard scenario to develop proficiency...how can you say you are proficient at it without enough repetitions? There is some amount of duration for the live scent to persist but what I have seen on searches is the live find dogs getting close and then a clear change of behavior but not necessarily moving all the way in (though sometimes they have) - we always take cadaver dogs on live find searches because a not live find is always a possibility. How do they train for that?
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I think that the last comment is directed at me? We actually train on cadaver source all the time so there is a lot of repetition that way. We have large old sources (conglomerations) that we work on and the HRD folks (being much more particular) have small sources. Not every area team works the HRD sources as they tend to hide them close together. I have trained on them just.... because I figure if Tygo can find small, he can find big. We have to do repetitions (at least on the large sources) to pass that test I was talking about. I plan to work the HRD sources now to reinforce a jump alert at close range. Just to build that skill rather than become an HRD team. So our area dogs are not called "live find" dogs. I have not heard that term anyway. HRD teams are not always called out on recent missing. They are called if there is an suspicion of a crime, any potential for buried and if some time has passed and it is assumed to be a deceased subject. Area teams here can be called as well when the subject is presumed deceased.
 

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Yes, I understand. I would like to understand the real world reliability of finds made using those protocols-just curious. If you expect your dog to find big I would train on big as often as possible because it IS different and it is different than a box full of assorted stuff.

At a recent search I was actually talking with a drug dog handler about the issues they face with training on small sources and how a dog can walk right past an 18 wheeler full of dope because they don't have enough info to process that large a source. We have the added complexity of constantly changing sources as well.

For the dog trained only in live find there is certainly some transition odor from live to dead odor and dogs who have never been trained on cadaver still have readable behaviors near it. Just different paradigms. We just always bring the HRD dogs so if a dog shows some off behaviour changes we run the HRD dogs.
 
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