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The D's of Detection Work

Today, Crystal, Stacy, and Robin discuss the 4 Ds of detection work: distractions, distance, difficulty, and duration. Then they add a few more Ds of their own, like diversions and discrimination. Robin breaks down how she uses the Ds to shift her criteria by making a hierarchy of Ds. She breaks down what bridges are and how she uses them in training. Stacy explains how she uses the 5 Ds, and adds in her sixth D, discrimination.

They outline the definitions of each of the 5 Ds and dive into the differences between them. Distraction is the unintentional component of the environment that takes your dog’s focus away. “Dogs are Goldilocks of the animal kingdom,” and they have a sweet spot of how close they want their handler to be, that is distance. Duration is the amount of time the hunt takes as well as the length of the trained final response until it is released. Diversions are the intentionally placed items that take your dog’s focus away from the desired task. Difficulty is the level of complication that the hunt entails. Discrimination is recognizing the differences between scent/odor in the hunt.

However many Ds you choose to use, they are an important aid in detection work. “If you think about those Ds, it will help you to make your training decisions in a way that splits that out into small enough increments, that then makes learning very easy for the dog,” Stacy explains.

Key Topics:

  • 5 Ds of Detection work (00:50)

  • The hierarchy of Ds (4:43)

  • Bridges (5:53)

  • Defining distraction (9:58)

  • Defining distance (23:31)

  • Defining duration (24:04)

  • Defining diversions (27:01)

  • Difficulty (31:42)

  • Diving back into duration (38:05)

  • Defining discrimination (39:39)

  • How many Ds should you actually use (44:49)

  • Splitting versus lumping (50:38)


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