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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was working with some officers recently who learned a new trick that I didn't quite agree with and wanted some input. They are scenting up uncooked rice in their pockets, then leaving a trial of it behind them as they make a track through a parking lot.


My main point of contention: Is aren't you teaching the dog to detect Rice, that's easy to follow rice on an open parking lot. When I mentioned I would run across bare foot for them and use a water spray bottle to dampen down my scent, I got the old, "that's not how we are doing it stuff"

I get the idea, Rice holds scent of the human laying the track, but Rice alone has it's own scent which easier to find as it's not's blowing away.

Any thoughts?

Bryan
 

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> I have heard of that method also, yet have never observed the method in person or spoke to anybody who utilizes the method. You have some valid points however when looking for evidence we are using scented articles but training the K-9 to locate primarily human scent associated with the article not the article itself although there are some trainers who train to find unscented (human) articles also.

> I hope that made sense?? I scared myself.

> Phil Dodson
 

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Hmm, I always did it more the way you describe, either barefoot or in socks, or scent in a bottle. I would think the rice would also be a visual cue. But I'd be really curious how it works out. Like Phil said, the dogs learn to indicate articles based on the human scent.

I think the dogs are looking at a much larger picture when tracking than we realize anyway. Not just the human scent, but the scent off the clothes (cotten, synthetic, etc) shoes (rubber, leather, etc) and perfumes or scented shampoos/lotions, the disturbed vegetation, etc etc
So I'm not sure adding the scent of rice into the mix is going to be much of a problem, for most dogs. It can always be proofed against by laying rice cross tracks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It works out great! The dog learns to follow rice to the man or his toy. Imagine an empty parking lot with a line of rice going across each time. I would have to think the dog starts to scout for rice to find his toy or man. I'm going to need some help creating patterns of turn offs and such to find out if the dogs are tracking rice or human scent. It will be interesting to find out soon enough.

Bryan
 

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I understand the principal of it. My mom used to keep a bit of uncooked rice in the salt shakers to absorb moisture, thus keeping the salt free flowing.
In that respect, the rice probably absorbs mooisture and scent from the carrier.
It still seems the rice would have to be something to proof against.
 

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i don't see what advantage this rice trick would have over SIB. you can get the same advantages with SIB without having to worry about how the rice odor effects the dog. i would even say that SIB gives the dog a more accurate scent picture because if done the way i have been taught, you get scent from all over your body. i don't think those handlers rub the rice in their hair.
 

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This is a bit off but I am feeling a bit fiesty today so here it goes..... My personal opinion is that True urban hard surface tracking like major cities with little vegitation in the southwest. Simply isnt worth the time invested we have a better result with a general area/yard to yard search with a perimeter set up. I mean lets get real how many K9 cops working in a major city do you know that have time to set practice tracks everynight let alone practice bulding seraches, tactical obediance and bite commands. I know of none. Go to your local K9 trials and just look at the dogs and you tell me if they seem to have the time knowlege and energy to spend training this VERY DIFFICULT task. I think you would be hard pressed. I personally can attest to at least a dozen K9 handlers I see on a regular basis who have all been to the typical 8 hour urban tracking class and they practice MAYBE 2 times a month and I am being very liberal with that number. And just to touch on another aspect of this... The same 8 hours to learn urban tracking will make you an instructor in 16.. This a whole new post so thats all I have to say about that..
 

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> I ran my teams a minimum of 2 to 3 training tracks a week. We worked the majority of our tracks on hard surface The majority of our track arrests were 10 minutes old and 2 to 3 blocks in length. Also once a year I was allowed to pull them off the street for 2 to 3 days to run all vegetated non distracting tracks to get their noses back down and clean up problems the teams may have been experiencing, we had pretty good sucess.

> I must admit I was lucky then where I was assigned but my administraters today would never hear of it! I agree with Joels assesment!

> Phil Dodson
 

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Since most of our tracks are country, isolated areas and hot (generally less than 1 hour) it makes it a bit easier on us. We, on rare occasion, do some hard pan tracking, but since our calls are mostly rural that's where we spend the majority of our training time.

DFrost
 

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Not sure if I agree with the rice idea. Using a visual marker like this can cause issues later. I started my rottie using the scent in a bottle and dragging a scented article behinde me on the track to leave extra odor. I was very consistant in my training. Now I have a dog that will track hard surface and vegetaion. I would stick with the bottle method.
 

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I think tracking is a routine that if you dont keep up with it, you mind as well stop using it. I train very often because i work mids and i have the time. But even still, i work in a predominantly cement area, city area, and its very difficult to do hard surface tacking.
 

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There is a limited amount of time to get everything done and I admit that it is hard. For us it does not change the expectation that we be able to do it.

I had not heard about the rice track before but I did recently hear of two other ideas/techniques besides SIB. One idea involves placing scented pennies on the track on the hard surface. The other idea involves using pieces of cotton rope. Honestly, I have not tried either one of these techniques but certainly may at some point. Like the rice I wouldn’t get hung up on them being visual. You are going to phase them out anyway. You are just training something new. If the dog continued to put his nose down when the rice, penny, rope is remove mission accomplished.

By doing some brainstorming I did become aware of some mistakes or pitfalls that I had not really considered. For the dog that tends to dart from hard surfaces to any kind of vegetation is the dog getting rewarded enough on hard surfaces? If the reward is always in the grass why would he waste his time on anything but vegetation? I kind of had to kick myself on that.

The truth is we have had some real success on hard surfaces in the city. Now were these honest to goodness tracks or were they area searches. It’s difficult for me to say. Most of them were truly tracks. The teams that have been the most successful have been the teams with very driven handlers who have taken a keen interest in tracking.

The fact that there is a limited amount time to train is one of the reasons why I’m not a fan of the elaborate points based trials/certifications. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t set the bar high but why should we sweat points if the dog doesn’t sit straight.
 

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We used to lay the tracks on asphalt, concrete etc, barefoot. Then run the tracks hot. It at least slowed them down a little, gave a little "deeper nose". It worked on some, not all. It's a technique I still use though, on occasion, with new dogs.

DFrost
 
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