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Tracking Progression
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tracking Progression

In training Wednesday night I decided to push his abilities and tried something new. The scenario was situated in a large parking lot and the winds were 5-10 mph. I had the decoy walk the track across the parking lot, then make a left turn. On the left leg he walked about 40 yards then back tracked on the left leg and continued to the right of the root track...in essence the track ended up being a "T" pattern. Given the conditions I aged the track only 5 minutes or so.

I bring my boy up to the start of the track and once he has acquired it we move forward. We cross the parking lot and when we get to the top of the T, he goes left. Now, I'm expecting him to go to the end of the left leg and go WTF? before he figures it out. Well, he only goes maybe 20 feet before he realizes he's going in the wrong direction. He turns 180 deg and follows the track to ultimately find the decoy. Christmas! My friend (decoy) was flabbergasted, but not more than me even though I already have confidence in him.

Here's the amazing thing. Just when I begin to believe how good a dogs' nose is I witness something like this. The dog was able to differentiate Ascending odor from Decending odor on hard surface wherein the back track (track on top of track) was less than a minute old! Incredible! And, he figured it out FAST. So now I have to do a few more, then come up with some other ways to try and trick him.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

WTF, no video. Where was your cop cam Howard? Just kidding.

I live for stuff like that. I've seen it before and it's cool. There's something about learning to "see" scent through a dog. I call it remnants of action coming to life.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

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Originally Posted by Nicole Stark View Post
WTF, no video. Where was your cop cam Howard? Just kidding.

I live for stuff like that. I've seen it before and it's cool. There's something about learning to "see" scent through a dog. I call it remnants of action coming to life.
As a rule we don't usually video training but when we do we delete it right after review. In this case I may run it again and post it. There wont be anything in it that could hurt us, only help us.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

Its called the Scent Intensity Gradient Theory. You laid, in essence, a backtrack. The forward track (heading to the left) is older than the backwards track (heading back to the right) but the overall scent picture is that the track is fresher going left to right. The dog was very quick to pick up the change of odor breakdown and correctly flipped himself to take the fresher track. Well Done! Very Well Done!
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

For what it's worth, we ran a missing person's case where the total time the subject was on the scene between arrival and departure was 15 minutes. We ran the trail weeks later and the dogs didn't have a problem discerning between the entrance and exit trails and none of the dogs defaulted to known paths of travel this subject routinely walked. The trail the dogs worked ultimately resulted in body recovery from a local river.

(When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth- Arthur Conan Doyle)
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

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Originally Posted by Sarah Platts View Post
For what it's worth, we ran a missing person's case where the total time the subject was on the scene between arrival and departure was 15 minutes. We ran the trail weeks later and the dogs didn't have a problem discerning between the entrance and exit trails and none of the dogs defaulted to known paths of travel this subject routinely walked. The trail the dogs worked ultimately resulted in body recovery from a local river.

(When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth- Arthur Conan Doyle)

I knew there hd to be a name for it. Thanks

Please expand on your last post. I got a little lost. More detail please. Sounds like a great job by the dogs but unfortunately a sad outcome.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

To follow up on Sarah's post, it has been discovered that a dog's nose is so sensitive and can determine from which direction the freshest scent come from.

Supposedly each nostril reacts independently.

If the strongest scent comes from the left then the left nostril will pick it up first, etc.

With that in mind I would expect the dog to turn right because that was the freshest track laid.

Interesting and confusing!
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

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To follow up on Sarah's post, it has been discovered that a dog's nose is so sensitive and can determine from which direction the freshest scent come from.

Supposedly each nostril reacts independently.

If the strongest scent comes from the left then the left nostril will pick it up first, etc.

With that in mind I would expect the dog to turn right because that was the freshest track laid.

Interesting and confusing!

Interesting Bob. I will say that the wind was left to right. It may, or may not have been a factor. I will try it with different wind directions to see.

Just to throw a monkey wrench into the works...We tracked an armed suspect who laid down in some pepper trees to hide from us. When he had the chance he moved about 15 feet to hide behind a fence. My dog went apeshizz in the area where the guy laid down. He likely had been there for 15 minutes dumping sweat and adrenalin.. Dog refused to leave the area and follow the track out. The wind was wrong for the dog to smell him where he layed down. I've heard of rabbit dogs doing the same thing. The pool of odor is so great where the rabbit rests and the dog is overwhelmed by the hot scent that the escape route is ignored. How can they do so damn good then get hoodwinked by something so small? Amazing. Just when ya think ya got em figured out.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

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Originally Posted by Howard Knauf View Post
I knew there hd to be a name for it. Thanks

Please expand on your last post. I got a little lost. More detail please. Sounds like a great job by the dogs but unfortunately a sad outcome.
The subject, late one night, had walked from his dorm to the dorm of some female friends. He was there 15 minutes before leaving never to be seen again. When we came in many weeks later there was a bunch of "Where's Waldo" theories flying around. The dogs involved tracked him across campus where due to his alcohol level and the darkness, missed a crucial turn to the footbridge taking a header off the bank landing into the river. Due to the above and because it was the middle of winter, died there. We think he stayed in this little deep cul-de-sac spot until the spring break-up and flood [due to the locations of HR indications] ping-ponged his way down the river until he got caught up by the strainers below the local dam. Once the water went down, they were able to recover the body.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Tracking Progression

Howard, I think your dog got caught up in the scent pool. Some dogs do good working through scent pools and breaking out on the exit trail. Others get to wrapped up in it. If I had to take a edgemicated guess, I think your dog was amped up on the track and when he got to the fear/adrenalin flood spot wasn't clear headed enough to work out of it. A form of nasal tunnel vision if that makes sense. In those cases, [not that I would presume you aren't aware of this] it helps to pull the dog a bit away from that spot and run a casting circle.

I just ran into a similar situation today during training. There was a pretty fair wind with occasional gusts and a dog that normally has zero issues working out of a scent pool got all hung up. I had to move him out 30 feet or so and run a casting circle to pick up the subject's track.
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