K9 SARK Introduction To Finding Articles

Derrick gives a short course on article training. Ranger and Recon started out on articles FIRST, before they ever started looking for people. The answer why will be obvious to you after reading this.

I start with a leather glove. I place it 4-5 feet away from the dog. I give the dog the command to search (the dog has no idea what the word means yet, of course). I place my hand on the glove with a treat in it. The dog wants the treat. As the dog comes up to the glove it will begin to sniff and bump it with it's nose trying to get the treat.

The INSTANT the dog lays down (to better get to the treat) I open my hand, reward the dog and repeat the search word. We do this over and over and over. Then we throw the glove in the yard and the dog has to find the glove. When he finds it AND lays down, BOOM, he gets his treat (and LOTS of praise).

We do this over and over and over. Then I switch and instead of the glove I use a plastic bottle ( less scent than leather) I start over and do the same exercise. Then we do metal,again, less scent than plastic. We do this over and over and over. Hiding it, doing it farther and farther away.

My Hand On The Glove With A TreatThe INSTANT The Dog Lays Down, Reward It !

Then I change the game again. I don't use MY scent any more now I use my family's scent, then my friends, then strangers. At first the dog smells the glove, my scent, the treat and anything else that might be on the glove.The dog doesn't care what he smells just that he gets the treat. As we change it up we are gradually taking away all other smells but human odor. At first he thinks it's my odor, but slowly he figures out he gets rewarded for finding ANY human odor! What I have taught the dog is to find human scent!

K-9 Miah Got The Idea Right AwayMike Pays K-9 Baron On The Article

The dog is trained to find small amounts of human odor on articles now. Next I'm ready to teach the dog to find people. I am also using three different commands to the dog. One is to look for people, another command to look for articles, and another command for trailing / tracking. When the dog hears the command for articles, he knows that he is looking for articles and has his nose tuned down to smell small amounts of odor. When he looks for people they put off a million times more odor than the articles he's used to looking for. Transitioning to people is breeze !

If you are just starting training I recommend this method BEFORE you start training on people. The reason is that attempting to go backwards and introduce articles into dogs that are trained to find people is VERY difficult. The dogs are used to smelling a large amount of scent coming off a person and they will frequently go right by the article because the amount of scent is so small compared to a person.

Ranger Prepares To Find The ArticleKaren Waits Until Miah "Downs" To Pay Her

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