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Michael D’AbruzzoAdministratorJuly 11, 2018 at 12:30 am11255
My scent experience is mainly with man trailing and drug/explosive detection. Even though the training for trailing vs scent detection is very different my best advice for all sent work is never rush to “challenge” the dog too quickly with NEW training exercises.
The more confidence you build in the dog as to exactly what they are supposed to be doing in easy controlled settings, make the dog more successful and have more endurance when you take it to each new level.
Making to big of jumps without repetitions at what may seem “too easy” can set the dog backward by killing confidence.
Generally, the goal is to set training scenarios that you are sure the dog can succeed at. Then, the next level is easy and so on. It should always seem “easy” to the dog, even when it starts to get impressive.
The other benefit of going slow is that we learn more from the dog than anything else in scent work. We are just telling them “what and when” to search and if they know that they will teach “how and if” they can do it depending on conditions.
For instance, if you pay close attention to the conditions you will see dogs will usually air scent even if there is ground scent if the source is close enough to create a scent cone. This is common early on. That is why the nose up is such an important cue for proximity during tactical tracking.
The most obvious thing is air direction as well. Sometimes it can be impossible for a dog if not on the ground scent and a cone not in their direction.
Rain and heat can also make certain things extremely difficult and sometimes impossible if too extreme for the task.
I think the best youtube channel to follow to watch lots of great scent discrimination and the behavior changes associated with dogs in different types of odor is Jeff at Georgia K9. The guy is amazing and will call out what the dog will do just before the dog does on sometimes very crazy urban trails. Anyone should check him out who interested in any type of trailing: