Hide Placements for Training Success with SAR Handler Ann McGloon

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Ann McGloon from Seeking Scent about precision tracking and using hide placement to get the most learning application for your dogs.

Science Highlight: Wildlife detection dog training: A case study on achieving generalization between target odor variations while retaining specificity

All dogs know how to sniff. Do they all know how to problem-solve?

  • A lot of dogs, especially pet dogs, have forgotten how to use their nose and their olfactory abilities
  • Depends on the dog, but sometimes they need to be encouraged to problem solve.

What concepts can we teach our detection dogs by using hide placement? Why would we want to use placement to teach these skills?

  • Olfaction isn’t the only cue dogs are using to solve the problem.
  • Location, location, location.
  • Train the environment they are going to be searching. This will help create more efficient searches because you are giving them exposure to what they are going to be experiencing on the field.

Patreon Questions:

  • Janna: How do we incorporate handler movement and hide placement for training? Especially with the goal of accurate but effectively progressing through searches in wilderness?
  • Megan: How do you teach the dog to differentiate between visual aids and odor? For instance, I came across a company selling scent work hides, but they’re in fun shapes and bright colors, which may make the hide more noticeable. If you use things like that in training, how do you guarantee that the dog is searching for the odor and not searching for the hide itself?
  • Megan: Odor contamination is a big issue in the competition scent work world. Is this a concern in conservation detection? Can odor contamination in the search environment be used to teach the dog to differentiate between residual odor and the actual source of odor?

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