Working on the Road
Have you ever taken your search dog on vacation with you?
Well, the last three weeks Grom came out with us on a family vacation. Our challenge: How to keep his search training keen while on the go?
Field Cones (as targets for directionals)
50 Foot Leash
Traveling with your dog can send you to unknown territories. Be aware that laws are different from place to place. People may be unfamiliar with search and rescue dogs and may treat you differently than you are used to in your own town. Remember to err on the side of caution and be professional and respectful of local laws. Be a good ambassador and strive to keep the good name of K9 Search and Rescue.
That said, traveling will bring you to many rest areas perfect for working on some search and rescue skills. “EEK!” you say. Rest areas are next to busy highways, are small, and are filled with people on dogs. What in the world am I suggesting? Put your pup on a 50 foot leash and use the green space to work on directionals, obedience, agitation, or indication work.
1. Start over
You are in a new place with lots of new smells and distractions. Set your dog up for success by going back to basics. Here I am showing my dog his first target I will send him to during a directionals exercise.
2. Make it easy and fun
Here grom is running to his first target. Go Grom, go!
Grom is having a great time at this rest stop. He gets a reward for hitting his first target. Catch that frisbee!
What the pup gets out of travel
We have found by exposing our dog to new areas and smells, he has become a much more confident dog out in the field. He learns much by simply going on nice long walks, experiencing new things, and checking the world out. I am already dreaming of a camping trip out west with the dog next year.