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Be rock solid on tracking without distractions first. Then introduce your distraction, ie cross tracks etc slowly.

DFrost
 

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A solid foundation in communication and control is important to me.That way I am more able to keep the dog in the work and to pay no attention to distractions no matter what they are.

Greg
 

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I'm sure there are many ways of introducing distractions. My experience has been, when the dog can concentrate on one thing, the task at hand, it's easier work through the distractions. In my experience it causes less frustration on the dog's part, he knows what he is supposed to do through many previous repititions.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Be rock solid on tracking without distractions first

when the dog can concentrate on one thing, the task at hand

A solid foundation in communication and control

Have a little patience with me fellows and help me work through this please. I feel that I have a good handle or idea of were my dog and I are in relationship to the above quotes. In my oppinion I think we are pretty darn well own our way in those three areas. My problem is I would really love to test our skills in away that I could say yep we are were I think we are or boy was I wrong. Where can I get this type of evaluation / Test since I'm not LEO? How have some of you proofed you and your partner? And how was your progression rated up to the point were you yourself knew the both of you were ready for a certificaton test of some kind.
 

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Well you can set up some scenarios that you might encounter in real life.Make it as realistic as possible.If you and your dog dont have any problems with that, you can do a track through heavy distractions such as a busy park or through busy urban areas.You might want to get permission first.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok here was the scenario for my training last night. Victim walks off on colleage campus for approx. 350 yards. Crossing 2 streets, a sidewalk and making 3 turns along the way to waiting point. Dog started at last known point and worked trail with people stopping to talk to her, crossed both streets succesfully, missed one turn then corrected and found victim with in maybe 10 min. Nose didn't stay down the whole time, she did air scent the last 50 yards or so. how would you rate that for a first time and how can I build on it?
 

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For a first time I would say that was pretty good.

If you found the target then it was a successful track.Remember that the handler is half the team.If she missed a turn make sure you werent the reason she missed it.
I could care less if the dogs nose is up or down.That is the up to the dog.Also, if my dog wants to cut the track in half then thats fine as long as we find the target.
If someone tries to touch or talk to the dog I would tell them to please leave the dog alone as she is working,if that doesnt work tell them to back off and get lost!

Greg
 

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I certainly agree with Greg. Not a bad start. I don't think the schutzhund folks are all that happy with the nose off the ground etc, but as an LEO, I could care less where the dog's nose is as long as he finds the target. My question would be: did you know the route the track layer used. Did you know the location of the track layer. Obviously the best test for proficiency is when you are completely out of the loop. What's left is longer tracks, older tracks. Seems like this track would have had many naturally occurring distractions, that's an extremely good start.

DFrost
 
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Patrick Cheatham said:
Ok here was the scenario for my training last night. Victim walks off on colleage campus for approx. 350 yards. Crossing 2 streets, a sidewalk and making 3 turns along the way to waiting point. Dog started at last known point and worked trail with people stopping to talk to her, crossed both streets succesfully, missed one turn then corrected and found victim with in maybe 10 min. Nose didn't stay down the whole time, she did air scent the last 50 yards or so. how would you rate that for a first time and how can I build on it?

I agree with Greg, the dog did good probably because you were better. Realistically, I'd try the woods first. Rare will someone be lost in a college campus. The woods is a very valid area where someone can really get lost, including yourself. There a lost person will first walk in trails, then at some point will get lost and will try to find his way back. You'll observe your dog well as he gets near, nearer and nearest to your TL in that kind of scenario. Likewise, it's just you, your dog and the track. You will likewise learn when to talk and when not to talk, as it may distract the dog.

Just my opinion...
 

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Ditto with all the above. If you not doing sport, the only criteria is the results.
Lifting it's head on the track you described tells me the dog is "thinking". Not just performing for points.
 

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Have a friend over my way who has an incredible GSD she trains along with her bloodhound.

The bloodhound works with the head down and is relatively slow - the GSD works at a steady trot - head about even with the shoulders. The pace is brutal. They are now doing Urban on lead trailing with the GSD and a lot of it.

My own limited observation is that the age of the trail impacts the head posture of the dog, I will have to follow up about that one..at least Cyra worked older problems with a lot more checking of the actual ground than on fresher problems.

Jose - I think the urban element is valid because the college campus may be rare but nursing homes are not and many rural searches still involve an element on the roadway.

You don't have to be LEO to take the NAPWDA test, you need LEO to sponsor you. There is a Master Trainer on the SCSD team in Charleston who is my sponsor and there is a national event in Charleston area in October with the urban trailing. She may be at water training with SCSARDA this Saturday, not sure.

For that certification, the problems are only, I think 1-3 hours but the certification is not as much for SAR where the trails are older than for patrol work. For the NAPWDA cert you need to get that 350 yards up to 1.5 miles but, as you know, the distance is not the real challenge. The place where most people fail the certification test that NASAR offers is fidning the START of the trail in a heavily contaminated area.

My biggest challenge in having a really good dog like Grim is being reminded to build the foundation solid as a rock before going onto the advanced stuff.

Now for your question -- obvsiously I don't have the vast experience to answer based on experience. I have been told repeatedly - minimum 10 consecutive correct responses with one variable before moving to the next. I am hearing this in hrd as well, but I got a lot of that with trailing too.
 

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<<I have been told repeatedly - minimum 10 consecutive correct responses with one variable before moving to the next.>>

In my experience, it's hard to beat objective based, criterion guided training such as you just described. I use the same criterion of 10 consecutive, unassisted responses in all my training, detector and patrol alike.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
(David Frost : My question would be: did you know the route the track layer used. ) The start was marked and I knew that it would end somewhere in the general area of where it did. But not the actual route taken to get there or were in that area they would be.

Jose: Realistically, I'd try the woods first. - For team training we usally are, but because of my location and the lack of an consistant track layer. I'm forced to do more open and contaminated stuff (schools).

Nancy: (You don't have to be LEO to take the NAPWDA test, you need LEO to sponsor you. There is a Master Trainer on the SCSD team in Charleston who is my sponsor and there is a national event in Charleston area in October.) - Yes I know and would love to go but have no sponsor, and in my mind I would like to train for a test before I take it. If that makes any sense. Which is were most of my frustration is.

(For that certification, the problems are only, I think 1-3 hours but the certification is not as much for SAR where the trails are older than for patrol work. For the NAPWDA cert you need to get that 350 yards up to 1.5 miles but, as you know, the distance is not the real challenge.)

Yea this was a really fresh trail 20 min. but she has done much older and longer ones. My problem here is it's just not enough for me to consider it profieceint. (No Track Layer)
That being said I think thats why I'm so frustrated. I want to see after a year know. How good or bad are we really or give up trailing because of the must have human asset to sort of speak. To have for consistant trailing training. And maybe move into detection because I can do it more on a consistant basis. Since training aids, the dog, myself and places are all I need outside of the normal team training and outside seminars and such. I don't Know
 

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Nancy: (You don't have to be LEO to take the NAPWDA test, you need LEO to sponsor you. There is a Master Trainer on the SCSD team in Charleston who is my sponsor and there is a national event in Charleston area in October.) - Yes I know and would love to go but have no sponsor, and in my mind I would like to train for a test before I take it. If that makes any sense. Which is were most of my frustration is.

(For that certification, the problems are only, I think 1-3 hours but the certification is not as much for SAR where the trails are older than for patrol work. For the NAPWDA cert you need to get that 350 yards up to 1.5 miles but, as you know, the distance is not the real challenge.)

Yea this was a really fresh trail 20 min. but she has done much older and longer ones. My problem here is it's just not enough for me to consider it profieceint. (No Track Layer)
That being said I think thats why I'm so frustrated. I want to see after a year know. How good or bad are we really or give up trailing because of the must have human asset to sort of speak. To have for consistant trailing training. And maybe move into detection because I can do it more on a consistant basis. Since training aids, the dog, myself and places are all I need outside of the normal team training and outside seminars and such. I don't Know[/quote]

She would probably be willing to sponsor you, but you can take the NASAR test without. You have a very nice dog - 1-2 years is not abnormal because we are volunteers and don't have access to do this more full time, in a structured context, as do LE. Maybe some creativity in getting victims. My friend wound up finding locals who routinely jog in the morning and are willing to call her when they finish their run and she trails them to their home (probably easier for a woman to set up than a man) before going to work in the morning. or paying teenagers to hide, etc...heck it is cheaper than gasoline. I abused some of my daughters' boyfriends this way.......("hey go hide for me a few times this week and I will treat you to a movie")

After a solid traling foundation, the airscent should proceed relatively quickly as I think most of the time spent training a first dog in trailing as opposed to jumping right into airscent is learning how to read the dog and resolve issues on lead. IOW building that foundation. With the tools in place a subsequent dog should go much more quickly. The stuff I learned trailing is really helping me with cadaver as I know better how to read a negative, the head snap, the tail, etc. how to know when the dog is distracted by a critter scent, etc.

The cadaver detection STILL requires a 2nd person to work with -- someone who can place your hides where you don't know where they are but who knows where they are. It is amazing how hard it is to hide your own body language and how proficient the dogs can be at picking it up. Same issues with being forced to read the dog on blind problems.

But that is where, at the present time, most of the calls come from....hopefully the cadaver work with open doors for doing live searches and being dispatched for those in an apporpriate timeframe so that trailing and airscent dogs will truly be a useful asset.
 

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<<The start was marked and I knew that it would end somewhere in the general area of where it did. But not the actual route taken to get there or were in that area they would be. >>>

While there are many training scenarios conducted in such a manner, a better test is where the only thing you know is a general starting point. For example, we may place a vehicle, the driver leaves the door open. That is the only cue the handler gets. Or we may have the observer tell the handler, I saw the man/woman pass between those two trees. The less you know about direction etc the better.

DFrost
 

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I think broken tracks are the toughest.They require alot of problem solving by the handler.
As David said there are many scenarios and it is best if you dont know the direction of the track.You can also use articles, as you know Im sure, for discrimination to start the track.
There are also certain search patterns you can and should use to locate the direction of the track.

One more thing that I find important,I have always had a problem with trying to go too fast on the track.I have missed turns and failed to read my dog properly by going too fast.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
David: While there are many training scenarios conducted in such a manner, a better test is where the only thing you know is a general starting point.

Greg: it is best if you dont know the direction of the track.

If I do it this way and I have is it better to have someone along who knows the actual trail. To me I felt like I was teaching her to follow a negative trail further than I would have liked. But is that because I need to get better at reading her. So that I know when we are off quicker or is this were I should be applying this train of thought.

David: In my experience, it's hard to beat objective based, criterion guided training such as you just described. I use the same criterion of 10 consecutive, unassisted responses in all my training, detector and patrol alike.
 

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You need to build more confidence in both your self and your dog.

Start out with short simple tracks in which you dont know the direction of the track and then build on that once your level of confidence goes up or when you follow the 10 consecutive success formula.

You should be able to tell when your dog is on the right track.Its hard for to explain but I just know.This comes from working alot with your dog and knowing the subtle indications of your dog and when they are distracted from the work.

Greg
 
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