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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here with HRD experience?

Just want to bounce this off someone....

My 5 month old GSD has been "imprinted" with HRD scents since he came to me in April. There is a bit of source in both his indoor/outdoor kennel and in the large yard where he spends some time. Never really showed any aversion to it and actually carried the "soaked" tennis balls around.
(soaked= tennis balls placed in with cadaver source for a period of time and then used to play with the dogs so that they imprint on the odor)

This weekend I introduced him to a PVC pipe (with drilled holes) with bone from an amputation and he ran into the side of my vehicle trying to get away from it. He was actually trying to get back in his crate.

While this pretty much tells me he will NOT be an HRD dog, and he loves the live find work, I am wondering if anyone has ever seen this severe of an aversion in a young dog?

The female is much better with source and although she is a bit apprehensive, she will approach it and is getting more confident with it.

I have seen aversion, in fact, my BH shies away from HRD also but not near what this dog did. And although it is unfortunate that he probably will not be an HRD dog ( I was really hoping to dual purpose him live and cadaver), at least I know when I see this behavior when we are out working, I will know to send someone to check the area he is shying away from, just like the BH.
 

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Carol,

I have no experience with HRD but plenty with training military detection dogs for the past 11 years. The only time I have seen a dog act that way when encountering odor, is if there was punishment involved, normally with a sensitive, medium/low drive dog. A lot of military trainers can sometimes be a little heavy handed when they become frustrated in teaching a dog the final response. The result is a dog that wants nothing to do with the odor due to the negative results in locating the source.

I am not saying that this is the case with the dogs you are describing, but that is one example of the reaction that you are describing.
 

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Carol, that's really an odd response from a dog that is already introduce to HRD. Have you tried going back to the scented tennis ball. If so, place the tennis ball with the pvc pipe and see what the dog does with that. It rare to see that type of behavior with a dog that has already been exposed to the odor. Is the bone, meaty? (sorry folks there just ain't no pretty way of saying it.) How long has it aged?

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Carol,

I have no experience with HRD but plenty with training military detection dogs for the past 11 years. The only time I have seen a dog act that way when encountering odor, is if there was punishment involved, normally with a sensitive, medium/low drive dog. A lot of military trainers can sometimes be a little heavy handed when they become frustrated in teaching a dog the final response. The result is a dog that wants nothing to do with the odor due to the negative results in locating the source.

I am not saying that this is the case with the dogs you are describing, but that is one example of the reaction that you are describing.
Carol, that's really an odd response from a dog that is already introduce to HRD. Have you tried going back to the scented tennis ball. If so, place the tennis ball with the pvc pipe and see what the dog does with that. It rare to see that type of behavior with a dog that has already been exposed to the odor. Is the bone, meaty? (sorry folks there just ain't no pretty way of saying it.) How long has it aged?

DFrost
Tim
Yep, I have seen that also.... there was absolutely no correction involved. I never correct my dogs at source unless they are trying to eat it or carry it off and even then, the dog is called to me and the source is traded off for a toy and the source is then placed in a cinder block so that the dog cannot gain access to it.
In all actuality in this situation another trainer was walking with the PVC and Cayden wanted to approach, so I let him. He was happy and bouncing all the way up to Kim, she had set the source on the ground and when he found it, that was when he "lost it".

He had been smelling that particular source in scent boxes the previous day and earlier that morning.

David,
I placed the tennis balls scented from the same source in a PVC this morning and hung it on his kennel wall. Same with the female.
Caydens was still hanging there and Coda (female) had been trying to pull hers down.
Bone is from an amputee and still has some flesh, it is two years old.

It is really weird and I am just wondering if, since some believe that GSD's (among other breeds) go through a fear period ( I am not sure I necessarily agree with that), if that is what it could be??
At this age, my Mal was performing a sit alert and she absolutely LOVES HRD work. So I am wondering if breed may be an issue also???? (waiting to get slammed for the GSD "breed" thing....hee hee)
I am fully aware the temperament and nerves are issues as well, but these are my first "real" (Czech) GSD's (growing up we had nerve bag American bred GSD's).
 

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A dutchie I owned showed a strong negative reaction to anything dead while he was a puppy. It didn't matter what species (noticed it with roadkill and HR), he wasn't going near it. I pretty much gave up on the idea of training him for HRD and focused on live find instead. When he was around 2 years of age, I tried him with HR again, just to see what would happen. He showed no aversion to it at that age.

Not sure if the same will happen for your pup, but I wouldn't push it on him. I would go back to the scented tennis balls and stick with that. Is there any real rush to expose him to the scent? After all, there are many great HRD dogs out there (and detection dogs in general) who weren't started as puppies. Just something to think about.

And, I know it sounds silly, but did you test his reaction to an empty PVC pipe? Does he display any other behaviors that make you think he might be going through some type of "fear period?"
 

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I would still put the tennis ball down, next to the pvc and have the dog go get the tennis ball. I don't deal with puppies, but I do deal in conditioned responses. I believe if you go back to the tennis ball, work on the response, or move to a more substantial target, minus the pvc and work from there. Once the response solid, I'd introduce the pvc again. Just as an aside, I don't use scented articles in any of my detector training. I pair the odor with the reward, then seperate the two as the response becomes solid. Then proof off whatever is being used as a reward.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Out in the "puppy" yard there are all kinds of things for them, empty PVC (which he carries around), stairs, chainlink, culverts, balls (scented and unscented) buried hides in hide boxes, chunks of concrete, cinder blocks, rope, rags tied to the fence, a small slide (toddler age).....basically anything that I can think of gets put in there so they can climb, pull, carry and smell and explore. I also work with them every day either walking, recall/refind or just taking them with me and exposing them to new surroundings.

The only other thing I notice with the male is that when I take him with me, he is more hesitant that the female. He also will spook at "new" things around the property until he gets to check it out on his own.
I know that some males may mature slower than females so I am not real concerned with his behavior. We take it pretty slow with him, and No there is no hurry for him to be exposed to the HR. However, I do believe he needs more socialization, therefore, he goes with me more than the female. She is "wide open" with people and new things do not bother her. The louder or newer it is, the more she wants to investigate it.

When we do short recall/refind work the male loves it.


I was just wondering if anyone had dealt with a serious aversion and maybe some suggestions.
I may just pull the HRD out of his kennel for now and try him again in a few months or so since he likes the other "games". No sense rushing him as I do not believe in that either. I want him to do it because he wants to and not because he is made to. Won't be a very good dog if I force anything on him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would still put the tennis ball down, next to the pvc and have the dog go get the tennis ball. I don't deal with puppies, but I do deal in conditioned responses. I believe if you go back to the tennis ball, work on the response, or move to a more substantial target, minus the pvc and work from there. Once the response solid, I'd introduce the pvc again. Just as an aside, I don't use scented articles in any of my detector training. I pair the odor with the reward, then seperate the two as the response becomes solid. Then proof off whatever is being used as a reward.

DFrost
The only problem with that is he is not real toy driven yet. We are building and getting better, but he loves food before toy. I do not like food driven dogs as far as detection but I can deal with it. It is a pain, especially if you drop food when rewarding since they will look for the food rather than getting back to work to find what gets them the reward.
Obedience training, yes of course that is a fine tool, but I like my detection dogs to be toy motivated.
The only dog I accept as a food driven reward is my Bloodhound.

I have figured out that he loves paper towel tubes, not toilet paper, just paper towel tubes, and garden hose, so we are building from that.

We use the scented articles to imprint and then phase them out and start putting the toy at source like you mentioned.
 

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I may just pull the HRD out of his kennel for now and try him again in a few months or so since he likes the other "games". No sense rushing him as I do not believe in that either. I want him to do it because he wants to and not because he is made to. Won't be a very good dog if I force anything on him.
Sounds like a rational plan. Keep us posted on his progress. I always like to hear how these types of things turn out.
 

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<<<<The only problem with that is he is not real toy driven yet. >>>>

Ahhh, that's very different then. I agree the dog should probably be pulled for training and maybe reintroduced at a later date. I know it sounds hard, but in my position I have to be the bad guy. I'd tell my handler; I don't waste time on a maybe.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree about wasting time on a maybe. I always like to get opinions though before making the decision to pull the dog from the program.

Food driven for the live find is okay with me and he will take a toy from the live person also. So we will continue with that and wait on the HR stuff.
He is too nice of a dog to "ruin".
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What do you mean by this? Just curious.
I have watched a handler wreck two dogs because she forced the dogs to do what she wanted on her time. We tried to tell her that her training methods were too forceful but she would have none of it. In all shape and form, she ruined two dogs and then quit due to frustration.
By "ruin" I mean, force to perform. Nothing more nothing less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
you said something about the living near the source, or around it????

How about you clean that up??? We used to tie dead chickens around dogs necks to keep them from killing the chickens, well, that and a really good whuppin. Maybe some form of this is occuring. Plus the dog is really young.
Yes Jeff, I agree. The source will be taken away from the male pup. He does not like it so I will not make him be around it.
My dad tried the whole "tie the dead thing around the neck" when I was younger and all we ended up with was a stinky dog that still killed animals. :p :-&
 

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It sounds to me like dog was not old enough when initially introduced to HRD
The part of the olfactory system in dog that is used to detect animals (which includes humans) is known as the Vormeronasal organ. Usually does not seem to fully devolep until the dog is more mature. It is organ located above canine's when you see dog,s using this they look like lips are fluffing out and you may also see licking going on they touch target with tongue and the transfer to that area. If you ever watch a hard surface tracking dog you will see this behavior if you watch closely. My dog on metal and plastics will commonly lick (looks like tasting) before giving indication (downs). This is behavior seen on cadaver dogs when working water to begin licking surface.
This would not be behavior normally seen with EDD dogs (well not unless he is checking see if handler may have did plant).

Dan Reiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It sounds to me like dog was not old enough when initially introduced to HRD
The part of the olfactory system in dog that is used to detect animals (which includes humans) is known as the Vormeronasal organ. Usually does not seem to fully devolep until the dog is more mature. It is organ located above canine's when you see dog,s using this they look like lips are fluffing out and you may also see licking going on they touch target with tongue and the transfer to that area. If you ever watch a hard surface tracking dog you will see this behavior if you watch closely. My dog on metal and plastics will commonly lick (looks like tasting) before giving indication (downs). This is behavior seen on cadaver dogs when working water to begin licking surface.
This would not be behavior normally seen with EDD dogs (well not unless he is checking see if handler may have did plant).

Dan Reiter
I was working with two other handlers that had exposed their puppies (from the same litter) to scent when they were one day old, and kept scent sources in their pen as the pups were growing.
These pups did well and we had a hard time keeping them from trying to pull the source out of the box.
The pups I have were not introduced until they came to me at twelve weeks.

Therefore, it was interesting to see the differences in reaction. I am not sure I agree with pups needing to be a certain age as far as introduction to scent.

My Bloodhound (mantrailer) will "taste" water for scent. However my Mal HRD dog does not.
 

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What I was trying to say is when you attempt to introduce HRD at 5 months you are introducing before dog is fully developed . So it could have a complete different reaction (positve, negative or neutral) when 12 months old .


Dan
 

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Slightly off topic because it doesn't involve man scents, but the guy I was talking to about doing detection training said pretty much the same thing Dan did about the olfactory system not being mature enough in puppies. He said he didn't start training until at least 15 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
While I agree with this to an extent....why is it that there are young dogs performing well on source and certifying at advanced levels by 18 to 24 months?

.
 
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