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Kickin' Back with Christi Raak




What to listen for:


“We can adjust. So, to be able to build that confidence in that handler, or dog, it’s both actually, and to be able to adjust if something maybe doesn’t work out. But I think all in all, there’s no magic answer. It’s based on each person individually.”


Meet Christi Raak, a canine detection specialist with a fascinating journey. From training pet dogs to working dogs, Christi has a wealth of experience and unique insights into the world of canine training. Our hosts Robin Greubel and Stacy Barnett unpack Christi’s story, filled with memories of her golden retriever Stella and her invaluable training experience with search and rescue expert, Dave Milan. Together, the three explore their shared philosophies in training dogs, stressing the utmost importance of training dogs for the right reasons.


In the world of canine obedience, Christi shares her intriguing encounters with her bloodhound, underlining the significance of using positive reinforcement for training puppies. They delve into the distinctions between tracking and trailing, as well as how law enforcement and search and rescue teams deploy dogs for their operations. Looking to challenge yourself as a nose work handler? Christi provides some thought-provoking perspectives on breaking free from the formulaic hide box and embracing new techniques.


Finally, Christi turns the spotlight on time pressure and personal assessment in dog training, illustrating how she evaluates the handler and dog's confidence and skills while deciding the level of pressure to apply to each team. All this and more in this episode of K9 Detection Collaborative!


Key Topics:

  • How Did Christi Get Started in Dogs? (01:09)

  • How Christi Met the Dames of Detection and Her Travels (04:35)

  • Christi’s Current Dogs (12:05)

  • Christi’s and Her Husband’s Teachings of Cadaver and Trailing Work (19:47)

  • Paying Attention to Body Language as Trainers (23:59)

  • Getting to Know Your Dog in the Presence of Target Odor (25:18)

  • How to Get Out of the Box of Predictability (30:35)

  • Time Pressure and Christi’s Take (41:20)

  • There is No Magic Answer (45:44)

  • Takeaways (48:10)


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