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Plan to be coming to Douglasville in Sep 30-Oct 5th for the NAPWDA Fall Workship with Beau. He will be 14 months by then and is right now still much a puppy but I think a week of this will be good training and I am going to try for certificaiton.

LOL, youngest daughter born at Douglas General - Old family roots in Cobb, Bartow, and Cherokee counties. (and Walhalla SC in the 1700s)
 

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Cool! This will be my first NAPWDA seminar. I have ceritified Grim several times but we always brought in evaluators (several teams together) for that. A teammate went last year and said it was a very good seminar.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
We had a great time. Yes, we actually passed which I think is really neat for a pup his age.

No issues with the obedience at all
-on lead group obedience and sociability testing
-off lead heel with called out right turns, about turns, left turns and sit in motion, down in motion as well as distance sit and down commands and drop on recall.

Day 1 test hides were two building hides in 6 different rooms (so 4 blank rooms) one was under a chair in a dark room, the other in a cabinet where the dog had to climb on furniture to reach....after the testing we did some training with a large (about 8lbs) hide in the ceiling of a warehouse. Fascinating. We then set off smoke bombs that confirmed where all the dogs were hitting.

Day 2 was cars in the morning. One outside one inside - two different cars but had to search 5 cars to find the two hot cars. I learned some good things on technique in working inside a car though, honestly that is not a likely scenario for a cadaver dog as it is for a narcotics dog. If we get a hit on the outside of a car, they would have to get a warrant and would probably just hand it over to forensics. [unlike a drug dog]

Day 2 also included area search with one high hide and one covered with brush- he set it up so the dog would have a hard time sitting

Day 3 was all day water and Beau absolutely rocked on the boat! We got to within 10 feet of the hides and it was amazing. We did some boat training in am, testing in pm and when I did not pay out on the first pass or the second pass when I was deciding to call it he offered his "sit" indication out of frustration.

Because water IS our most likely real life search scenario I was floating around with joy after that. 2 boat trainings before we went, and two on the day of the test and they said we called it closer to source than anyone (at least up until the time we worked it) because I knew how to read the dog. He said the only advice he had for me was "don't break that dog!" and the boat driver from the dive team said "he can come find bodies for us any time".

Day 4 was buried problems. 18, 2 foot deep holes on 4 foot centers, with hides in two of them. one hide was very large. The very large hide did, in fact give several of us the problem and I did get a false alert with this puppy so that was our one allowed miss. He did go on to find the hole with the big source and properly indicate. They said that his false did not appear to be a fringe alert though.

Even though you try not to they pointed out some areas where I was inadvertently pulling the dog off with my body language (even though I had no clue where the hide was)..

Day 4- The last set of problems was the rubble pile. He has been on smaller rubble piles but this was a larger pile of fairly big rocks at a quarry. The section we worked was about 150-200 feet long and I would guess about 20 feet high. Unstable footing. Rocks sliding out from under him as he climbed. The hides were up on the top of the pile at both ends. He got the first one then we struggled for the second and had to break anyway because they were about to set off dynamite. I was about in tears when I restarted..it was hot and sunny .... I knew he was getting odor at the base of the pile but my ankle with the plate in it was aching (I would not work that type of rubble in real life) and I did not feel comfortable on it. (two people later DID fall on the pile). I got up a few feet with him and he took it to the top. You could tell he was at the limit of his own comfort zone as rocks slid out from under him but he did it. And he got it right!

Then Friday we trained and got some good work on speeding up the indication and we also worked the dogs in a dark building without lights and just listend to the dogs as we could not see them. Facinating. Then went off to visit family. Just got back home a few hours ago.
 

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Seems like a fair test. You should be proud. You and your dog did very well. Congratulations.

DFrost
 

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David, all those blind problems we worked (thank you for the suggestion!) Someone told me I really knew how to read my dog and I know it was from working another dog before him and from not knowing where source was and depending on him to tell me!

Though I found out that I was still impacting him with my body language (in a bad way) even though I did not know where source was (on quite a few problems).........so even though I KNEW to keep moving the same, and I did not see it, the trainers saw the subtle change in my body language that moved the dog OFF source. We worked it out without their help during the problem (though with their patience) but it probably would have been a slam dunk because both times it was the first place he went.

I also learned about a "time out" when he is working working working, to get him away, down him to clear his head then let him go and sure enough where is the first place he returns but to where he had odor.
 

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It all sounds so interesting !! AND EXHAUSTING!! Congrats to both of you job well done, you should be VERY proud!

Did his stud fee just go up? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
LOL - he got lots of compliments on how he was built, too. We got a LONG time to go to even think about breeding and I would just trust his breeder on that note. Somebody who understands those lines. There was a photographer there who everyone loves (She is awesome, I can't advertise but PM me if you ever need an event photographer) and she is getting me a run sequence -- she said he has a beautiful stretched out run. There will also be a "rin tin tin" pose on top of the rubble pile. He was so proud he held his head up high perched on the boulder. I will post when I get them. She took over 10,000 pictures at the seminar so it may be awhile.

I did ask the master trainer who also saw him at 6 months why they were so intent on my getting really good obedience on him and she stopped short of using the "D" word (changing that whole dominance/alpha paradigm) and said he was like the Frat Boy / Quarterback the way he carries himself. Very personable but very confident and a dog who would "take over" if I let him (particularly since I am the kind who prefers to melt into the crowd)..which is why we went for months ONLY doing obedience.
 

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cool:) Can one video these type of tests? I would love to watch a video of it..and hope you can post the pics when you get them would love to see those to!
 

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Many folks destroy any videos of their dogs working because defense attorneys or expert witnesses can twist things around to damage a handler's credibility. At least that is what I have been told by several, so most training videos are watch, learn, and destroy in my own experience.
 

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Congrats on a job well done!! It takes a great handler, a great dog and lots of hard work to do what you guys are doing!!!
 
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