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Scent discrimination vs scent imprinting

3656 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Nancy Jocoy
I thought this would be an interesting topic

Did not put in the detection dog section because I don't think of detection dogs as taking a scent article and finding target scent rather they are imprinted on targets and proofed off of scents that may be associated with but are not an integral part of the target (e.g., PVC tubes, gloves, etc.).

Anybody know of research showing the physiological difference between a dog working with a scent article vs. looking for a target scent on command?

Last I heard, the consideration was the frontal sinuses *stored* target scent from the article for a reference comparison. Any insights? There is a lot of superstition about "when to rescent" a trailing dog - e.g., after a drink, after a rest, etc. etc.
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Interesting! Something I've never realy given much thought to......till now :oops: .
I guess it would matter how one views the subject of imprint v. discrimination. In my world, you do one before the other. Imprinting is giving the odor you want the dog to find. Discrimination is picking that odor out of the many. Regardless whether you are working a "scent discriminator" or a drug dog for example, both work on the same principle. Identifying one odor (or multiple odors) and picking it out from all the others. Proofing is another word that is, in my opinion often misused or misunderstood. Perhaps that is another discussion.

I guess where I am going is that a dog trained in generic air scent, cadaver, or whatever, the dog knows when given a command or orienting cues that they are to find a certain odor be it a drug, explosive, generic human scent etc.

The scent disriminatory dog must, however, take the scent article and find the human with the scent on THAT article to the exclusion of other odors.

To me that is very different than working from some long stored scent memory. You can give them one article, work a problem and the same day work a new problem with a different person's scent article.

I had not worked my older (non working but previously trained to a basic level) dog on cadaver in over a year but when I put on his collar and said "find it" he worked the problem and alerted in short order so that odor must be "burned into his brain". Heck it is burned into mine - I can differentiate STRONG human cadaver scent from animal cadaver scent.

Proofing? How is that misunderstood? If you train on cadaver the dog needs to understand that the gloves alone are not part of the scent picture they are looking for. If you train on water with a scent pump you need to train negative with clean hoses and no scent source so dog understandst he visual bubbles are not part of the picture they are looking for.

I would love another thread on this but maybe I don't understand what you are talking about since I don't understand the issue.
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<<<The scent disriminatory dog must, however, take the scent article and find the human with the scent on THAT article to the exclusion of other odors.>>>

I don't think we are really disagreeing here. While it's true that drug and explosives detectors, for example, have odors "stored" if you will, while a scent discriminator is given a specific odor, they are both still discriminating. Look at the detector dog having the odors stored on the hard drive, while the discriminator is stored on a floppy and subject quick change. However, when both are working, as you stated, they are looking for a specific odor or odors to the exclusion of other odors.

My comments on proofing were worded poorly, I realized that after I read it. I just have a different method of approaching that particular problem.

Hi Nancy & "Grimmer"
I am assuming by your first post main guestion was "when to rescent".
Assuming dog has been trained to search for a given odor, presented by handler say from plastic bag or hand direction to a track scent pad for example you can assume he just imprinted that given scent picture in his
brains olfactory lobes. I have not scene rescenting needed or effective
unless their has been some interuption (quit for night and restart in am).
The odor detection dog is constantly reinforced only specific odors and the
scent discrimination dog/ tracking dog is not. Theyre is alot more to the story of the way dogs use theyre nose than could be explained here. I
would recomend reading Police K-9 magazine spring issue. Theyre is a couple of great articles in theyre on Reliability in Tracking, and Explosives Scent training which explains the scent picture quite well. It is sure nice to also have someone like Dave Frost giving input.
Hey Dan - glad to see you here :D

Now, now, now he is "GrimmyBear" nowadays (but I know he will always be "Grimmer" in your heart) . Actually I think my husband wants to call him "the emasculator" as he is so darned energetic and seems to regularly hit the target with his powerful, happy, albiet short, tail!

He is under my feet as I type right now - came home early to go to night training with the team. Still as enthusiastic as when I got him - such a wonderful dog for me! -

You know he caught onto something in the water and did not even think twice about sqeezing between two rails and jumping off a dock about 2 feet above the water to get into the water- Cyra had the same behavior, but ran off the dock to the shore and figured out an easier way to get to it......We were not working a problem just getting him used to floating docks - I think it was residual from running a scent pump there all day that had collected under the dock itself, but they both headed to the same spot.

I have visions of this dog at the emergency vet as when he wants to get to a scent the idea of going around things instead of a direct path through them does not compute.

The hard drive floppy drive analogy makes sense now. Short term vs long term memory it gave me a different way to look at the answer.

The main question really was is there a difference in stored scent memory and that used in scent discrimination where I had read (looking for it) something about the frontal sinues "storing" a scent for the dog for comparison purposes.

Maybe that role, if valid, is for aging trails and tracks and not for storing a target scent. As far a rescenting a dog there does seem to be a wide variety of approaches to it. I will have to find that article - sounds interesting.

Same thing on insights on proofing a dog - would love to hear more.
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