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Troubleshooting Your Detection Chain

What to listen for:

"You need to give the dog a bit more space, release the pressure, so that then the dog has the option of leaving the area, because if I've built odor obedience, and I've built that desire to get to source, I need to trust that and if I release that pressure and the dog leaves, you know what, either the odor is not available, or there's no hide."

Today, Robin Greubel, Stacy Barnett, and Crystal Wing address a common concern among handlers: what to do if your dog is having trouble finding the source of an odor during a training search. First thing’s first: “Your dog is just giving you information. It’s not personal. They don’t have it out for you!” Fixing this problem starts, our hosts say, by approaching trial searches from a place where you’re judging neither yourself nor your dog.

Listen in and learn the steps you need to take when your dog is struggling during search training, from troubleshooting problem points to creating a search environment catered to your particular dog’s strengths and skills. Is an odor not presenting itself the way you intended? “If the odor is not available,” say the Dames of Detection, “the hide might as well not be there.” In which case, you might not have a training problem, but a handling problem. Our hosts break down the art of hide placement and optimizing your training space.

They also discuss how to identify behaviors that indicate frustration in your dog during the search and, from there, how to eliminate variables to get to the root cause of that frustration. They stress the influence of your body language on your dog’s ability to operate, and how to troubleshoot the so-called “eight indicators'' that can help keep your dog within a productive pattern of work during a search.

Key Topics:

  • Odor Availability and Hide Placement Best Practices (01:44)

  • It’s Not Personal: Addressing Your Dog’s Frustrations Objectively (10:00)

  • Troubleshooting Your Training Space (20:26)

  • Identifying Patterns, and Frustration Behaviors in Your Dog (22:38)

  • How Your Body Language Influences Your Dog’s Performance (27:19)

  • Odor Availability and Breaking Patterns (33:27)

  • The Eight Indicators (45:09)


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