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Questions From the K9 Community: Round Table Wrap Up Pt 2

Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal continue to answer questions from their roundtable. They begin responding to the question, Does everybody have to say ‘alert’ in nosework? While there are some variations, Stacy explains, most do use the word. It becomes a conditioned reinforcer. With markers like this, trainers need to be careful not to train additional behaviors. This prompts a discussion around the next question about how to catch oneself cueing a dog when solo training. Crystal recommends recording trainings and watching videos to try to catch any potential cues. Robin advises trainers to stand suspiciously still.

They then explore what the best approach is for addressing consistent duration of the TFR. Robin explains that trainers need to “be more than Uber,” or “more than just the thumbs that drive them around.” It’s important to participate. They discuss how to fix alerting on saliva or pheromones. Robin suggests setting up an opportunity for someone to run ahead of you or to have the dog come in to play with a toy. Stacy warns to be careful of residuals when working with essential oils. She also recommends varying who goes first with searches.

The next question is about what situations would one need to ask their dogs to reindicate on a found hide at a scent trial. As a judge, Stacy explains, it needs to be when a handler doesn’t trust what the dog has given them. She suggests rather than asking the dog to reindicate, to ask the dog to rework the area. They then outline the differences between asking a dog to re-find and asking a dog to reindicate.

They talk about what they look for when watching training videos. Robin watches the chain of behavior closely to understand how and what the dog is learning. Stacy tries to read the dog’s energy and intensity, watching for emotional shifts. She emphasizes the importance of not just watching your dog, but also yourself. Crystal recommends getting a GoPro and watching videos in slow motion.

In closing, Robin advises listeners to “remember that you're training a detection dog, not a trick pony.” Stacy emphasizes the importance of watching your markers, both intentional and unintentional. And Crystal reminds the audience to watch for the canine shuffle.

Key Topics:

  • The roundtable (00:55)

  • ‘Alert’ in nosework (01:59)

  • Catching cueing (06:06)

  • Consistent duration of the TFR (08:26)

  • Training styles (14:06)

  • Fixing alerting on saliva and pheromones (19:01)

  • Asking a dog to reindicate (23:15)

  • Re-finding versus reindicating (31:39)

  • Inaccessible hides (34:46)

  • What to watch for in training videos (41:41)

  • Takeaways (49:48)


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