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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for those that do area searches for suspects in areas that have other homes, apartment buildings, and other non-involved people.

I currently do area searches on a long line for the most part unless we are searching backyards and I have confirmed with the homeowner that no one is supposed to be in the backyard.

There is a local agency that is in a primarily urban environment that is working towards doing their area searches off line. I was wondering if anyone else does this type of searching.

How many of you do off line searching and why? How many of you do on line searching and why? Also, I would be curious to see how others do their searches in other countries as well.

Thanks, Gregg
 

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In the urban areas of the county I worked in, we always conducted area searches on-line . The number one reason, because it was required by our S.O.P. but I believe that there are advantages and disadvantages to using either method. I don't know about anyone else, but there had been more then a few times when we thought we had a suspect contained in a specific area and our dogs and the suspect proved us wrong :eek: I felt the advantages of on-line searches allowed me total control of the dog, less chances of him over-shooting turns, much easier to read the dog at night especially when they start pulling into harness/collar. It also ensured that I was in fairly close proximity to back my dog up . One of the disadvantages is that usually when the dog starts pulling into the harness - the suspect is close and I just may be in the suspects shooting range.

I have conducted area searches off lead primarily business areas, jump and runs in country type areas. Jump and runs of course are usually by some type of roadway, which can present another hazard for the dog off-line and out of view of handler - getting hit by a car. I did notice that my dog overshot turns for a longer distance off lead - could be just a training issue but off lead his speed was much faster and he air-scented more. Him overshooting turns made me realize that I needed to stay further back until I saw him rededicate, as I of course did not want to take a chance of walking past the suspect who has taken to the ground. Because of his speed and my lack of being able to match his, it made it hard to be at an advantage to back him up.

There are definitely pro's and con's to each method....here is hoping that one way or the other will never be dictated by a Supreme Court Ruling
 

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Not for us. Only on a leash, and this is used only to allow the dog to alert from a safe distance and give a general sense of direction and/or location. We don't even do off leash for single structures that are reasonably well contained...unless, etc. etc.

We don't let the dogs jump fences or cross "yards" unless etc. etc., and we only do that if there's a clear indication we need to go through that "yard". Having said that, we don't have that many yards. It's more like open areas. Here most people that have yards, have high walls around them.

Whenever our dog's are off leash and hunting, they're expected to go bite a person we are "reasonably" sure is not armed, or is very high value and the opportunity is there. We don't do hold and bark either, for that matter.

For a larger area search that involves more than one structure, more manpower is involved, and the thought process is more complex.

Why do you ask?

BTW, welcome back, Happy New Year, Merry Christmas...and if you had a birthday in there someplace...I hope you had a happy one of those too.
 

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Quote: I felt the advantages of on-line searches allowed me total control of the dog, less chances of him over-shooting turns,

So who was doing the tracking???? You or the dog????

There is a beutiful episode of Dog the bounty hunter where the Lakewood PD searched an area and then the bounty hunters went and got the guy.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:



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I guess I need to clarify, but I did win a bet so thanks Jeff :wink:

If you look at what I posted when I have him off-line I stated that he is usually moving alot faster and would overshoot turns (by air-scenting more) by a longer distance. On-line he moves a bit slower and does not overshoot the turns as much. Damn, police dogs aren't perfect - go figure.
 

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My mistake, I actually responded to this question like I would if I was talking to another K-9 Officer who has worked the streets.
The control has to do with potential liabilities while working in an urban area, not with his actual tracking. Line communication, especially in low light situations, is soooo important. I never thought of line communication as cueing the dog more as communicating questions to the dog and having him respond/answer through the line. He actually had a very good record, not perfect though :wink:
 

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Quote: My mistake, I actually responded to this question like I would if I was talking to another K-9 Officer who has worked the streets.

No, just someone who has trained k9's and seen them come back to me after they fouled up the training over and over and over.

Like it is so hard to find people, some rare skill. I am definately more qualified than a cop in the finding someone dept.

All of the people I found were armed as well and had permission to kill me.

[MOD EDIT: Being Aggressive Doesn't Enable Nobody...lighten up, Francis]

You don't ask questions of a dog with a line, or any other way. Overshooting turns is definately a training issue, possibly caused by bad line handling.



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It really was not my intent to play macho at all. I have a bad habit though of trying to answer someone's questions or giving my view by abbreviating my answers to where sometimes my meaning gets lost without a few paragraphs worth of posts.

No doubt you trained alot of police dogs - different trainers have different methods. I prefer line communication, it is what I was taught and it worked out well for us.
 

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Jeff...regrettably, you missed the forest for the tree. Do you have an informed opinion on the subject as a whole, as opposed to dedicating a few posts to knocking someone else's?

At least for me, it would be interesting to get back on topic.
 

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Jeff...and Lacey...you guys need to take a break from each other. Lacey is well-qualified to speak to this based on personal experience. So she should not be attacked. Jeff has a load of training experience in many different situations that's comparable to about anyone on this board, so he may very well have contributions to make here, too. Might suggest both of you stop posting responses to each other for awhile?

This personal back and forth stuff can be fixed easily: quit going after each other. Quit instigating it, quit responding to it. Stop knocking breeds to knock them, even if you are right. Stop using the royal "you" to cover for personal shots, even if you are right. Stop trying to out-Marine each other, even if you have more chest hair. Stop responding just to respond to either an obvious or perceived attack. A forum member is not your dog, s/he will probably not go into submission based on your verbal agility (unless I am the one doing the verbalizing, natch. But I have many, many years of forum training under my belt and I understand that newbs need training :twisted:).

Somewhere on a frozen ice shelf in Manitoba, Liz Monty is giggling to herself.

Just ease up, not just you too, but everybody. PM a moderator if you have an issue.

And yes, it's an interesting thread, let's get back on topic.
 

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Woody Taylor said:
Somewhere on a frozen ice shelf in Manitoba, Liz Monty is giggling to herself.

Heheheheheheh :lol: :lol: :lol: Sorry couldnt help but laugh about that one.
 

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Jeff Oehlsen said:
..... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

This is frikkin' BORING. The stupid personal bashing is absolutely BORING, to anyone in the middle of what was an interesting thread. The PMs from the people reading what started out to be an interesting thread are BORING, too. So knock it off.

This thread, all threads.

P.S. There you go -- a kindly note from Woody ( :eek: ) and a no-patience-left one from me. This cannot bode well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay.....the reason that I brought this up was because I do the vast majority of my searches on line. I am way too paranoid with my new dog (Rombo) to let him search freely and run the potential of an accidental bite by somebody that is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe after some time and my dog gets more experience, I will feel comfortable with him searching off lead. Till then, he is on lead. I wanted to see if anyone had any success in doing off lead searches in a populated area.

I have heard of two local agencies that do off line searching in an urban environment. They let the dog search and they follow and direct. Their belief is that the opposition reflex works against them during the search and it hampers the dogs searching. I know, it comes back to training but that is what they do. This seems risky to me so I wanted to know if others elect to do this type of searching. I do it on a limited basis, usually searching a residence or some yards. We do a lot of yard to yard searches. As a side note, I have also heard from a handler that they are going to search with the dog while the dog does not wear a collar. The handler claims that a suspect may grab the collar while the dog is biting him and gain an advantage.

Jeff, you asked who is doing the searching the handler or the dog. Well, we both are searching as we are a team. Can a dog by pass a suspect that is downwind? Yes, it happens. They are not perfect nor is the handler so yes we make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Thats what makes this job fun. There is always something to learn.

Lacey, We have similar searching habits. I agree if I am in fresh pursuit of a suspect and it is a wooded area I may be more inclined to let my dog search off lead. Unfortunately most of our searches are not in a wooded area and I am starting the search ten to fifteen minutes after the fact. I am usually searching backyard to backyard.

Andres...thanks. Been busy. Changed departments. Moved. Haven fun workin my new dog. :)
 

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Here we don't have much "liability" issues, otherwise it would be my primary concern...

But in addition to liability, a loose dog can move too far ahead, and come up on a suspect suddenly...and too soon. The suspect may be armed and you don't know it. The dog may come up onto another dog-aggressive dog. If you're looking at the dog, and concentrating on keeping the dog under control, you may be a bit slower responding to a dangerous situation directed against you and yours. Controlling the dog off lead implies a series of "down" commands, and other assorted noises, which perhaps are undesirable, in that these sounds are projecting YOUR presence and position, and turning YOU into a target. And there are a bunch more related (IMO) less than wise situations you could find yourself exposed to. If you're going to err, let it be on the side of caution.

What would be the "upside" for off-leash searches in a multi-structure urban environment (besides the speculation that a dog's desire/concentration is a bit diminished and hence speed is reduced)?
 

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If you are not sure that the dog will bite the right person, then maybe this should be a training scenario.

It would be pretty easy, two decoys at the end of an easy track, bite the wrong guy, (who should be closer) and the world sucks. Bite the right guy,(tracklayer) and it is steak dinner.

MOD EDIT: That's enough. If you have constructive training advice to offer, fine. But this bullying will stop immediately. It will not be tolerated anymore. None of us are in on your joke at this point--particularly those of us who actually like you, Jeff, and man do I hope your rants are a joke--and all of us are officially wasting time with your posturing. It will stop. /Woody


There are many training scenarios that should be used to make sure that the dog is actually going to target the person you are looking for, and not some poor guy that is coming home from a Mt Dew run from the circle K. I have personal experience with that one.

This could really help in cases where the description is sort of vague. I can imagine that this is the case most of the time. I also know quite a few people that are truely terrified of a dog, especially one with a cop behind it, and will run for dear life. Will your dog decide that this is a quicker way to the bite???



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Again, this is a good thread, let's keep on going with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jeff - I like where you are going with the training scenerio.....its kinda like adding distractions throughout a track or search.....my problem is this..... lets say that he is getting close to source and an uninvolved person comes around a corner, or out from their house then at this point they are going to get bit unless I can redirect my dog quickly. As you know, things happen very fast (sometimes faster then it takes to yell "no" or "down") and I am not sure that I can expect my dog to verify by odor that he is about to bite the right guy. It happens fast and when he gets closer to source he gets pretty intense. It is a lot different then an article search where he is calmer.

For example....if I have a dog trailing for a while and he gets within 5 or 10 meters of the suspect can I expect him to come across another person, have him sniff him and continue to source.....I have scene my dog ignore peremiter untis and other officers (he has grwon accustomed to seeing them standing around)but a surprised and startled person that jumps back as we get close......Im not so sure.

Andres- the thought behind the search off line, I think, is they are claiming that the dog searches better and without the handler interfering with the dog and pulling him off odor. As you know, some handlers for police departments are not natural dog handlers and can have difficulty reading and trusting thier dogs.
 
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