Attempts at Official SAR Dog Training Round 2
I really didn’t know what to expect at this training session. After last weeks absolutely horrible play training I can’t say I really expected much from my dog. Call me a pessimist, but I couldn’t expect a complete turn-around in a week. We were lucky to have David leading the puppy training today. Grom has already played with him twice and they seem to get along quite well.
It was freezing cold and raining hard all day. Grom went down with Aaron first while I was hiding in a cabin for another dog. Grom was much more interested in the woods around him. “The woods just smell so darn good. Why would I want to play right now?” he must have been thinking. He played for a little bit, but just wasn’t into it.
The second time, Grom went down with me. We ran all the way to the shelter off leash. He played for a while with David, then started sniffing around again. David decided to try playing with the puppy inside the shelter. What a huge difference that made! That boring dirt floor was no match for the people and the toys. The little black dog bounced around from person to person playing like a little champ!
Searching a cabin is quite a challenge for a dog
used to wilderness searches. The scent moves around differently indoors than it does outside. One of the dogs in training ran right into the cabin, ran up to me, gave me a good sniff, and ran outside. Sounds great, right? The pup failed to tell the handler she found a person. Ooops! The dog is no dummy. She thinks WE are the dummies. Can’t you smell? The person is right here in this cabin, DUH! The dog ran in again, then back out and indicated to the handler she had found someone.
I learned a tip from one of the operational handlers. When searching cabins with a wilderness dog, walk back away from the door after letting the dog in the building. Many times a dog will not indicate if she has found someone when you are standing directly next to the entrance. The dogs are used to running quite a distance from the handler, finding a person, and running back to indicate. The close quarters of a building changes things for the dog. It’s not easy thinking like a dog.