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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am noticing that whenever Grim is offlead and working out a problem himself, I almost never get a false alert (though some real strange ones if he is in a location where he cannot sit)

I have started on lead - around vehicles, buidlings, etc. and notice that after a few "check it" with my hand is moving to points I want him to check he is more likely to false alert.

Is that a common problem and suggestions for overcoming?
Is it likely to extinguish on its own?
 

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More often than not, it's the body language of the handler. As you've described the situation, I would submit this could be the problem here as well. During training, once the dog has demonstrated that it, without the question, knows the odor the handler should no longer know where the target is placed. This prevents the handler from, even subconsciously, changing their presentation. It forces the handler to be more attentive to the dog and responsive to the dog's changes of behavior. During training, in my opinion, the best response from the handler, during a false response is; ignore it, tell the dog to find it and proceed. There are many reasons a dog can "false" respond. Among them are generalization on location (ie a drawer, trash can etc) time, (if the dog has been conditioned to find something within 3 minutes for example), stimulus generalization (something that smells similar). All these need to be eliminated as the cause. The basics still prevail, a behavior reinforced is more likely to occur again. A behavior ignored is more likely to disappear. I've always stressed the importance of the handler NOT knowing where the targets, or for that matter, if a target is actually placed. We do blank searches. In real life, you'll do more searches where you don't find something than you do where you do find something.

DFrost
 

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I agree sounds like reading handler, (does fine off lead versus on). Another option (also effective with tracking dogs) is to have someone else handle dog on lead you just give search cue stand back and watch . Will serve two purposes first the dog will not have clue how to read handler, and the second bennefit is alows you to learn how to read behavior changes that are not obvious when handling the dog. It should not be issue for dog provided his foundation on odor is solid and has good drive to the find. It is a good way to keep your dog self-employed when it comes to scent work. Another point is those dogs that spend great amount of time with us learn to read us and are feelings so well, they can sence confidence and nervous feelings with ease.

Dan Reiter
 

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I agree sounds like reading handler, (does fine off lead versus on). Another option (also effective with tracking dogs) is to have someone else handle dog on lead you just give search cue stand back and watch . Will serve two purposes first the dog will not have clue how to read handler, and the second bennefit is alows you to learn how to read behavior changes that are not obvious when handling the dog. It should not be issue for dog provided his foundation on odor is solid and has good drive to the find. It is a good way to keep your dog self-employed when it comes to scent work. Another point is those dogs that spend great amount of time with us learn to read us and are feelings so well, they can sence confidence and nervous feelings with ease.

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did it blind today and dog did alert away form source on the other side of the car. I can explain that though with my puffer bottle, as there was an air current going under the car and out the other side.

Still trying to coordinate this walking backward around the car thing. Guess I will learn this weekend (we are training) the rationale for working backward instead of letting your dog go in front of you around the car. I think it relates to control and body language - not sure - but it is clunky to get used to.
 

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Nancy Jocoy said:
Did it blind today and dog did alert away form source on the other side of the car. I can explain that though with my puffer bottle, as there was an air current going under the car and out the other side.

Still trying to coordinate this walking backward around the car thing. Guess I will learn this weekend (we are training) the rationale for working backward instead of letting your dog go in front of you around the car. I think it relates to control and body language - not sure - but it is clunky to get used to.
i've never gotten used to it. i still hit rear view mirrors, other cars mirrors, trailer hitches, etc. it's just not natural. you can't concentrate to hard on those things (mirrors, hitches, etc) because you don't want to miss an alert or posture change. at least having a vest on pads my back when i do charge into a mirror. lol....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So why DO you need to walk backwards around the car?

If it is the accepted way of doing things I will have to master it if, for no other reason, that is what LE expect to see.
 

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Nancy Jocoy said:
So why DO you need to walk backwards around the car?

If it is the accepted way of doing things I will have to master it if, for no other reason, that is what LE expect to see.
i dont know how else you'd do it. the main advantage is that you can slow your dog down and prevent him from forging ahead and get him to check everything you want him to. if there's another way, i'd definately be open to trying it..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have no desire to reinvient the wheel - I will leave that to the more experienced folks.

I think I will break it down into peices

me learning to walk backwards around the car without the dog
Getting the dog used to being on lead with me walking backwards

then add it to the mix -

I can look back now and when he is in control of the speed, he does tend to go faster than, perhaps, we should for detail work.
 

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I've always described it as a dance. You have to be in tune to your partner. You have to lead and sometimes follow.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It all started to make sense after this weekend. I get it now.

I really do appreciate why it takes us civilians longer to get there -- when you don't have daily mentoring.....it is easy to get ahead of yourself.
 

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<<<t is easy to get ahead of yourself.>>>>

One of the speeches all my students get when starting class is; don't get impatient. We do one step at a time. We do that step until we are doing it correctly, then and only then do we move to the next step. I've found, skipping a step will only cost you in the end.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got that speech.

I was told that when you get a really nice dog and you see what he CAN do you want to do more and more, which is what I was doing. But I also saw some dogs this weekend that did not have a solid foundation and now, time is being spent on fixing the broken parts.

I was told to relax, do my drills, and be patient - we are building a solid foundation for the rest which will come much easier and more quickly than ever with out those same issues.

I will tell you - working one on one with folks who do this for a living has opened my eyes and engendered a new level of respect.
 
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