Fun little scenting & retrieve exercise - Page 1

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by Koots on 16 May 2017 - 16:05

This was just a spur-of-the-moment exercise, after finding a nicely-sized chunk of pipe in the garage while goofing around the yard/property.   I wanted to see how Thor would search for the pipe.


I put up Thor in the kennel then took a little walk on the property to toss the EMT pipe into the bush off the trail. Then I got Thor out, walked him to the spot where I tossed the pipe and gave him the command to "find it". The EMT pipe had my scent on it from playing fetch for a couple of tosses before this to see if he would pick it up.



by susie on 16 May 2017 - 19:05

Nice can transfer it to drugs, bombs, humans...

How did he learn the command? By intention ( training ), or is he able to "understand" the sense just because of playing with you on a regular basis?

Besides that, I really love males, he still looks like a youngster, willing to please ( at least at that moment ), and when he had success that proud of himself...

by Koots on 16 May 2017 - 21:05

Susie - I trained Thor for this command using operant-conditioning starting from a pup. He displayed good drive to hunt for his ball when it was tossed into the bush, so I just attached the "find it" command to what he was already doing. We have a lot of natural bush and rocks on our property, perfect for hiding things on or below. It didn't take him long to make the association between the command and action. I am constantly testing him by tossing sticks into the bush where he can't see it (he is lying down beside me), and seeing if he comes back with the one that has my scent on it, vs all the others lying around.

This foundation is something that can be used for detection work but I haven't started any of that. I have taught him to differentiate between "find the ball", and "find the bone (nylabone)", but for anything else I just use the "find it" command. I tested this in the winter burying one of my gloves in the snow (he was in kennel and not able to see), then bringing him to the general area, letting him sniff my other glove then giving the "find it" command. I used a shovel to bury it so there was not my scent disturbing the snow and it was just off the driveway so no tracks to the glove. My husband was surprised at how quickly he found my hidden glove, but I was not, lol.

Thor will be 4 yrs old this July, a bit slower to mature and still quite goofy with us (although he doesn't care for other people). He is a willing, happy worker and lots of fun to teach/train - he really enjoys the verbal praise after he makes his find, as you can see.

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