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What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:39 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karin Sable View Post
When you are trying to instill commitment to the scent that would mean a detection dog might disobey the handler to remain on scent or in alert would it be helpful to use a different reward system than just handler focused play?

I do get the importance of the bond and will to work for the handler but it seems that there is this element of independence that could be negatively impacted and that element is important for detection/sar work. I think it would be important for bite work as well but liability being what it is it may be that this element of independence is best toned down to be on the safe side.
You are correct to think that the dog 'could' be to focused on the reward and the handler itself. I did mention that earlier in the thread. I've seen dogs that are overly OCD over the ball or a frisbee that yes it impacts the progression of the training. These dogs were made that way by their handlers for the most part. Same thing as putting way to much OB on a dog. I see that all the time with usually 'pro' trainers that get a genetically amazing Mali or Dutch and then stifle it until it is a robot that can't do nothing but heel perfectly and won't leave the handler to play with a decoy let alone work a scent problem.

To me it's all about balance and being clear with what you want from the animal from the beginning for what constitutes a reward in the training. I use many different ways to deliver reward i.e ball poppers, someone else delivering it or hidden rewards and may not even use the same toy all the time or use food instead. I don't train SAR but have a pretty good grasp of how it is trained. So yes you can build the want to work with your reward but it is about completing the work not the reward that makes it a reward. If you set it up in your foundational training that way.

Could be a whole other thread though.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:10 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karin Sable View Post

I do know of someone that is training a SAR dog with the Yarnall prey drive concepts and putting no obedience on a malinois that I hear is 14 months old.
Don't we also need to consider the safety of the vulnerable whom the SAR dog is finding? Those found people may act erratically, like prey if they are scared or out of their gourds. So is not having any OB/control on the dog going to be good/safe for those "victims"? (assuming the SAR dog is worked offleash). Or even for the volunteer quarry in the training stages?
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:41 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

What some determine is OB or control can be different than another. I tend to not focus on OB until the dog is well started in trailing or their detection training. But that does not mean I have an out of control wild child.

Some feel that OB means 100% total control but that level of control tends to diminish the independence and decision making that, in my opinion, make a good sar dog.

I'm with Geoff on the below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Empey View Post
You are correct to think that the dog 'could' be to focused on the reward and the handler itself. I did mention that earlier in the thread. I've seen dogs that are overly OCD over the ball or a frisbee that yes it impacts the progression of the training. These dogs were made that way by their handlers for the most part. Same thing as putting way to much OB on a dog. I see that all the time with usually 'pro' trainers that get a genetically amazing Mali or Dutch and then stifle it until it is a robot that can't do nothing but heel perfectly and won't leave the handler to play with a decoy let alone work a scent problem.

To me it's all about balance and being clear with what you want from the animal from the beginning for what constitutes a reward in the training. I use many different ways to deliver reward i.e ball poppers, someone else delivering it or hidden rewards and may not even use the same toy all the time or use food instead. I don't train SAR but have a pretty good grasp of how it is trained. So yes you can build the want to work with your reward but it is about completing the work not the reward that makes it a reward. If you set it up in your foundational training that way.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:12 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Yeah and the balance is in part determined by the handler's skill. With my dutchie, being my first working dog, I probably put more obedience on him that a more skilled SAR handler might have. The person I was speaking of above,choosing no obedience, is really a horrible handler and likely won't make it to certification. But, that person is an outlier... I hope.

I guess where I was going with the prey drive/ rag thing is to query whether I could get a bit of refinement on Tygo's performance. But after talking about it and mulling it over, I think my reward system works and he clearly loves it. I think the low hanging fruit on improving performance is me and cleaning up my work and handling my dog better. (Big sigh!)

I'll keep working.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:25 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karin Sable View Post
Yeah and the balance is in part determined by the handler's skill. With my dutchie, being my first working dog, I probably put more obedience on him that a more skilled SAR handler might have. The person I was speaking of above,choosing no obedience, is really a horrible handler and likely won't make it to certification. But, that person is an outlier... I hope.

I guess where I was going with the prey drive/ rag thing is to query whether I could get a bit of refinement on Tygo's performance. But after talking about it and mulling it over, I think my reward system works and he clearly loves it. I think the low hanging fruit on improving performance is me and cleaning up my work and handling my dog better. (Big sigh!)

I'll keep working.

I do believe that HOW the early obedience is done has a huge effect on the dog as to being in to much control for SAR.

My first SAR dog (Australian Shepherd) was also my first attempt at motivational training. At 7 months when I got her she hardly new her own name and her first owner was pretty hard on her yet she turned out to be very obedient within a month or so with no real needy issues.

My first GSD SAR dog has never had a physical correction to this day ( almost 12 yrs old) other then a couple of scruff shakes from me when working on very early house manners.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:12 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: What is your working dogs reward of choice ?? ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karin Sable View Post
Yeah and the balance is in part determined by the handler's skill. With my dutchie, being my first working dog, I probably put more obedience on him that a more skilled SAR handler might have. The person I was speaking of above,choosing no obedience, is really a horrible handler and likely won't make it to certification. But, that person is an outlier... I hope.

I guess where I was going with the prey drive/ rag thing is to query whether I could get a bit of refinement on Tygo's performance. But after talking about it and mulling it over, I think my reward system works and he clearly loves it. I think the low hanging fruit on improving performance is me and cleaning up my work and handling my dog better. (Big sigh!)

I'll keep working.
Karin,

We all keep working. I made ALOT of mistakes with my first dog. I still make mistakes today (and I'm on dog #7) but I try to make new mistakes and not repeat old ones.

I think you will do just fine. The best handlers I know are the ones who question what they do. Not to be confused with insecurity but more a question of "how can I do this better?" As for the other handler, I would let her continue on to see if her method works. Who knows even a bad handler can teach you something. Mostly how not to do something.
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