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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tips on Training a Search Dog for Air Scenting

Just wanted everyone to know that I just finished the "long haul". Phoenix is now a certified wilderness air scent dog, type IV. Just the beginning of course, and will continue to train, and train, and train. Am on a constant hunt for new people to hide for me , living in a small town (I should say TINY town) doesnt help any! I speak from long experience, this is the fourth Newfoundland I have certified. I am also involved in writing about all my experiences too, you can check out my new dog book plus my doggy products for dog lovers at this site.

It is not successful to take a "class" for search dog handling. Because "classes" usually need to be set up with a group of people in the ordinary classroom setting scenario. It is much better to go to a seminar or training session. Many search groups across the country do offer seminars. If nothing else, train with small groups of people in your own area, or find a "victim" and hide them out yourself.

Keeping a log is vital. It allows you to look back over what occurred and analyze the "why" of what went on during your search. Furthermore, it does protect you down the road should your training ever be called into question.

Trusting your dog is important. Even more important is trusting the person you are hiding out. Kids can be real bad for this activity as far as your training goes. They think it is fun to "fool" you and hide somewhere else. This is NOT GOOD unless you do indeed trust your dog, for you might have the tendency to disbelieve what your dog is telling you and try to call him off scent because you believe your victim is hidden in a different location. So it is important that you tell your "victim" to go exactly where you say, since you are training yourself and you need to watch what the dog does when he hits and you need to learn what is happening with the wind conditions etc. Dogs know what they are doing. Dogs DO find, so in the end, trust your dog!

These are just a few tips...You can find a good deal more about training a dog and socializing a dog for search and rescue work in the new book I just published: DOGSHOWS101.