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?

You can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/k9conservationists

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Transcription (AI-Generated)

Kayla Fratt 0:09
Hello and welcome to the canine conservationist podcast where we’re positively obsessed with conservation detection dogs join us every week to discuss ecology, odor dynamics, dog behavior, and everything in between. I’m your host, Kayla Fratt. And I run canine conservationists, where I trained dogs to detect data for researchers, agencies and NGOs. Today, I have the pleasure of talking to an mcloon from seeking sent about pushes Precision Tracking and using high displacement to get the most learning application for your dogs. Welcome to the podcast. Diane.

Ann McGloon 0:38
Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here. Oh my gosh, yeah. Hopefully we’re done with our tech issues.

Kayla Fratt 0:45
And so Ann got her start in dogs in 1999, with her first Sussex spaniel Spaniel, Connie. She has trained and titled dogs in a wide variety of canine venues. But in 2005, her energies and devotion turned to search and rescue. As a member of Josephine County SAR she became a canine handler and ultimately the unit leader for the canine unit. She deployed her dogs on hundreds of missions throughout southern Oregon and northern California before retiring in 2009. Her first SAR canine was a wilderness air scenting and human remains detection dog. While her subsequent dogs specialized in Mandy trailing her current dog are working Hakka just recently brought her back into the SAR fold. Millie specializes in Article detection and tracking and loves to share her knowledge with others teaching and coaching online through seeking scent Canine Sports. And she primarily focuses on Precision Tracking detection and gundog foundations. Some of her students have gone on to explore or become active in canine conservation work, which is actually how we connected. I believe two of my patrons are also students of yours.

Ann McGloon 1:45
Yes, exactly. Exactly. One. One thing I want to mention with that, thank you for that wonderful introduction. And I probably wrote it wrong. I actually was in SAR from 2005 to 2019 instead of 2009.

Kayla Fratt 2:01
Oh, no, I just read it wrong. It says 2019 Right here.

Ann McGloon 2:08
Well, it’s funny because just just last weekend, I recertified myself in CPR and first aid and blood borne pathogens. So I’m back.

Kayla Fratt 2:21
Back so much.

Ann McGloon 2:23
already. Yes. For retiring, and excited to be back.

Kayla Fratt 2:27
Oh my gosh, yeah, congrats. So before we get to it, as I said, we have been trying to do a science highlight at the beginning of each episode. So this week, the EPA, the article that I picked out is from the Journal of veterinary behavior, and it’s titled wildlife detection dog training a case study on achieving generalization between target odor and variation while retaining specificity, which is quite a mouthful. This paper came out in 2016. And the basically the question was, can they use the captive spraying it’s to teach a dog to find wild samples on spreads, as far as I can tell is just a fancy word for the poop of otters and other mustelids. So they started out training the dog using a standard multiple choice carousel in a stepwise protocol. They started with odor samples from fresh captive otters, and progressed towards two week old sprites from wild otters among other mammalian dog owners and tested for specificity and generality. After each training step. They showed that training on only two variations of sprints from captive otters and able the dog to detect all desired sprint odor variations in their protocol, which indicates a rapid generalization to variations of spraying odor that the dog was not trained on, while still retaining specificity. So after 412 training trials, of which 302 were pre training, with the fresh captive otter spraying and 106 76 meeting the criterion of five up six correct, the dog immediately responded to a fresh sprint from a different captive individual from a different group. However, in test 178, The dog did not detect the gold sprint, which was wild and age two weeks based on the training, so they kind of went back to working towards wild. Anyway, long story short, we don’t have to go through the entire trial. They were able to show that the dog was able to generalize. Um, one thing that I found really interesting and a little bit curious about this paper was that everything was done in the lab. They didn’t actually ever take the dog out into the wilderness to see if the dog was able to find wild sprains. Which, obviously, you know, there’s a lot more variability with the search environment, all sorts of stuff and they weren’t using distractor odors that were super duper close to otter, so it’s not like they were comparing otter springs to springs from a mink that had a very fishy diet as well or a stoat with a really fishy diet. So while they did have to tractor owners it wasn’t like the sort of distractor odors that are most likely to trip a dog up. So interesting study. But as always, it’s got its limitations. Very cool. Yeah. So let’s get into our interview, the first question I had for you, was it you know, dogs kind of come to us naturally knowing how to sniff they know how to use their noses to some degree. But do our dogs naturally know how to problem solve? Or is that something we have to teach them?

Ann McGloon 5:32
Oh, that’s a great question. I actually will kind of, say something that’s probably not, not the norm. And that, and I’ve noticed this through a lot of my students is a lot of dogs, particularly pet dogs. Yes, they’re born know how to sniff obviously, right. But by the time they’re with their owner, maybe a years gone by a couple of years gone by. They, a lot of times have forgotten how to sniff. It’s not that they’ve and that’s a very general way of saying it’s not that they forgotten had a sniff. But think of so many pet owners taking their dogs for a walk in the dog sniffing, no sniff, sniff no sniff. And so I have actually had quite a few dogs come to me in my online classes, particularly in my tracking class, where we have to build up the dog’s ability and confidence for them to use olfaction. Again, it’s been a it’s been super, super interesting. And with that, building up their ability to say, hey, you know, I can use my nose, I’m not going to get into trouble. This is all good. The problem solving, it will depend on each dog. But yeah, I do think a lot of it, they do have to be exposed. And some are better problem solvers. And they’re definitely efficient. So that’s a lot of the times the tricky part is you will see these dogs that stuff specially in a detection application. You know, if they get a clue from their handler, yeah, don’t. Don’t problem solve, but not in the way we want them to problem solve.

Kayla Fratt 7:19
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I know I’ve talked previously on this podcast how, you know, basically, I think as soon as I started doing scent work with barley, he started problem solving all sorts of scent puzzles to find all sorts of delicious items around the house that hadn’t previously been quite as much of an issue.

Ann McGloon 7:40
Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s one of my funniest actually, it’s kind of a little story that that relates to this barrel, my first search and rescue canine she was also the first one of my dogs that I did human remains detection with. And while she was training and learning, and we were exposing her to, of course, all different scenarios and setups, which is really, really important and in a in an environment where you are going to be where she was potentially going to be deployed. And she hadn’t yet reached that level where we started doing inaccessible hides with her. So things behind cabinets behind doors, that she was at a stage of her training when she was ready to be exposed to that. So and I vividly recall the first scenario where she had source placed behind a cabinet door. And she worked and worked and worked. And finally, she figured it out and indicated on the cabinet door. And we opened it up and there was the source there was, you know, her reward and her array and and it was just really fun. And she learned right quick. She learned that reward and reinforcement could be behind doors. Ever since then, she learned to open the refrigerator. And she generalized Yes, she could open my home refrigerator and she generalized it to every single refrigerator. I traveled a lot with her for agility, you go into a hotel room, first thing she do is open the refrigerator and just check and just check. Yes. So I mean, problem solving, I think you have to especially certain concepts behind things under things. On top of things, they the dog has to be exposed to that to that concept, especially and thinking in a three dimensional aspect. And then they start to become sometimes too good at problem solving.

Kayla Fratt 9:38
Yeah, definitely. Well, and that that leads us really nicely into my next question, which is what are some of the concepts that we can and probably want to teach our detection dogs by where we hide their target? So you know, you just gave the lovely example of the first time that she was introduced to something that was behind a closed door but what Are some of the other things that we may want to start layering in, especially, you know, in when we’re in that stage of going from a simple search up towards trying to get this dog to be ready to be operational.

Ann McGloon 10:11
So one of the things that I find really beneficial is I think when we come and look at scent work, whether it’s detection, or tracking, even olfaction isn’t the only clue the dogs are using to solve the problem. And I think we forget that sometimes. So just like in real estate, I suggest my students really look at Location, location, location. And what I mean by that is, if I have a dog that say, going to be a truffle hunting dog, for example, and I know that my truffles are only found under certain varieties or species of trees, I want to incorporate that into my training, so that my dog can pick up the associative clues, whether it’s the scent of the tree, the scent of the ground, there perhaps is different, I don’t know. But those associations, I want my dog to understand those so that when I’m out in the woods, truffle hunting, my dog is focusing on location, I know I can find truffles under this variety, or this species of oak tree or this fir tree over that trace. So I think it’s really important

Ann McGloon 11:23
when we’re training our detection dogs to do it in the environment, where they’re going to be searching. Because there are associated Yeah, there are associative clues that the dog is going to pick up on and to learn, that’s going to help them become more efficient searchers for the target odor that they’re looking for.

Kayla Fratt 11:45
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think during our pre interview, you and I were talking about this concept, and I was talking about when I was doing the black footed ferret work, how quickly barley very rightly picked up on the fact that he was ghost, he was supposed to go stick his head down every prairie dog burrow he could find. And he was, you know, he would kind of start out searching visually until he locked in on a burrow to go check. And then he would kind of go from borough to borough. And that was, you know, it’s funny, because yeah, we don’t think of vision as playing part of part of the Search Dog picture. But But that’s,

Ann McGloon 12:22
oh, it absolutely does. And I was talking to a handler just the other day and and we were surmising, wouldn’t it be cool if somebody could make a product. So somebody out there who’s really techie, or maybe it’s already been made for, say, you’re looking for an endangered species that you that are tricky to find out in, in the wilderness, and maybe, you know, move too quickly, and you don’t, and you need to practice on something. So a lot of times you’re practicing on swabs, or cotton swabs or whatever, you know, you can get your handle on, but you don’t have the physical. You don’t have the physical thing. You don’t have something that looks like a frog or a salamander, or a bee or something. So why did it be cool, though, if there was a device, or a material that looked like what you were searching for, that you could add your odor to? So you could have your dog learning on the entire picture of searching for?

Kayla Fratt 13:28
Yeah, I mean, gosh, I was, I was almost thinking, like, if I could like install my get scent tubes inside of a little piece of fake poop. That would work really, really nicely. And then yeah, then the tricky thing would be figuring out what material you could use for your, your fake frog or your fake poop or whatever it is, that doesn’t also have an odor of its own. Yes, exactly. Oh, gosh. Yeah, that’s above my paygrade for sure. But what a cool,

Ann McGloon 13:56
yeah. Yeah, way above mine, too. But it’s, it’s because of how dogs learn. I mean, they learn in pictures. So every time I’m setting up, if I’m teaching my dog anything, I want them to get the entire picture of what I’m asking them to do, whether that’s detection application, a tracking application, or a gundog application, you know, for a remote set. Now I want to I want them to understand the entire picture from the very beginning.

Kayla Fratt 14:23
Yeah, yeah. So you know, let’s, let’s kind of circle back more to them thinking about Yeah, like these, these head placements. So you know, you get the example with a troubled dog where you may be strategically placing it under certain trees. I imagine you also would really be wanting to teach the dog the concept that hey, this if this is going to be inaccessible, it’s going to be inaccessible low, which is really different from if you wanted a dog to fine bat hibernacula which are likely to be inaccessible. Hi. Did you have any other examples? Or maybe maybe within the SAR Worlds. Do you think about the behavior of missing people as you’re thinking about these search strategies for now?

Ann McGloon 15:07
Yeah, absolutely. In fact, there’s, there’s beautiful works that have been done on on the behavior of missing people. So whether they’re hikers or people with Alzheimer’s diseases, and Robert Kessler, as his name has put this book together, and he’s gone through all of these search, old searches, and it helps you understand the last person behavior. And it’s really, really important because if I’m looking for a certain person, say a person with Alzheimer’s, it’s always a good example. A lot of times, as the disease progresses, they tend to walk in straight lines and maybe walk into the berry bushes, the BlackBerry seconds, always a good example. And they walk forward, but they can’t walk backwards. So as a, as a searcher, if you were looking for someone who wasn’t cognitively impaired, why would you look necessarily in the midst of a middle of a Blackberry? Bush, you probably wouldn’t. But if you knew the behavior and knew this, the situation of your last person, yeah, you might. And there have been those searches that I’ve been on where man trackers actually have followed the track of the last person deep into thick gorse, which, if you know anything about gorse,

Kayla Fratt 16:31
it’s I don’t know anything.

Ann McGloon 16:35
It’s horrible. It’s worse than blackberry bushes. And that’s where the person was located. Because they had just walked in and they couldn’t get themselves out, they couldn’t back up. I’ve seen this in my own dogs, actually, once I’ve gotten old and gotten cognitively impaired. But yeah, knowing knowing what your subject is likely to do, or how they’re likely to react is super important. And it’s the same with, you know, placing heights for detection, too. If I’m, if I have, you know, a species are something that I’m going to be looking at, again, that’s only underground. I’m not going to waste my time a lot, practicing elevated heights.

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Kayla Fratt 17:15
Yeah, or suspended, or,

Ann McGloon 17:18
yeah, if I’m looking for a bird species, or something more, I need my dog to understand elevation, I’m going to put a whole lot more time into elevated hides, that I am to bury where I may not spend any time at all, because I want to give my dog the best chance of success. So I want them to give them the most exposure to what they’re going to actually encounter out in the field.

Kayla Fratt 17:42
Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. I know. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot with niffler, who’s my far less experienced dog. Currently, he’s only ever worked on wind farms. So he’s worked in areas with really consistent wind tends to be really long, narrow set cones, there’s not a lot of swirling or lofting, or anything interesting happening. It’s just just went across the plains. And it’s tricky in its own way, because again, it’s these really long narrow set cones, sometimes we were still working in really tall grass or around like soybean fields. But you know, the first time that he has to work something with more 3d complexity, there’s going to be a lot of really interesting problem solving skills that he’s going to need to learn that he doesn’t currently have versus barley, his first project was on zebra mussels. So he was immediately learning how to do basically it’s a it’s a vehicle search. So he was really learning how to slow down and be detail oriented, and even take quite a bit of direction. And then his next project was that black footed ferret project where we’re out doing like 300 acres searches across the desert. So there was no question there.

Ann McGloon 18:54
Yeah, no, but that’s a really hard concept for not only for handlers to grasp, and for dogs to grasp, I’m going to, you know, your, your situation where you have huge amount of acreage to cover and you need the dog and your scent source is larger, and you need your dog to cover ground efficiently, and work all day. And you know, it’s a different search parameter, and then you need to adjust for your next project into detailed searching. Yeah, that is not necessarily an easy thing for a dog to do or a handler to grass. One of the one of the things that again, all goes back to location, reinforcement, reward placement stores placement, where you place your training, odor is going to dictate and you can dictate the kind of searching that you want out of your dog, whether it’s fine tail, or large area. Yeah.

Kayla Fratt 19:57
Do you have any examples that you could give up like I know it’s hard to do over a podcast where we can’t draw a diagram, but of how you would set up a search to really start moving the dog towards learning how to slow down and be detail oriented or vice versa, doing a bigger search.

Ann McGloon 20:15
So, slowing down, slowing down can be tough, particularly for dogs that that are incredibly driving incredibly just want to run that have that built into them. So slowing down, being able to slow down to think to process is, is it can be challenging, but what you need to do almost is take your odor source and go to almost the lowest threshold that you can go. So something that’s so small, that your dog has to has to stop has to process. And one of the ways that I’ve been experimenting with right now to help a handler is using future out in the field. And so you don’t have a lot of guides out there that you can use. So for example, mine detection dogs, right, they might be running lines or lanes, and they might have strings or other guides for them, that you have your body, your body can be a guide. So what I mean by that, say I need my dog to search, a search along a creek bed or something, I can set up my hides so that the dog is always finding them in front of my feet. And that way, I can slowly move through a search environment perhaps. And my dog is working. And they know they’re only going to find the source in front of my feet, for example. And I can move my dog just by moving myself slowly through a man during you see what I’m see where I’m going with Yeah. It’s the only thing you have out there is your body in a sense. And if they only find source right around your body, that’s where they’re going to hang out.

Kayla Fratt 22:08
Yeah, you can kind of magnetize them to you and then use your body as the as the way to move them through.

Ann McGloon 22:15

Kayla Fratt 22:16
yeah. Interesting. Do you? I’m curious about if there are any drawbacks to that as far as having the dog than miss stuff that’s like six meters off to the side? Or has that not been a problem? Because the dogs aren’t so cute into you.

Ann McGloon 22:33
It? It depends. I mean, if I, again, if I were looking for something, and again, as a handler on this, one of the things we did in search and rescue, depending on the environment and the wind and the terrain, we would either have a large grid or a narrow grid and how we searched. So the same application can be used in this example, if I believe that my source is between the, say, the creek if there’s one boundary and 20 meters out, or 10 meters out as another boundary, that’s the only place this species is ever found. I’m going to use my body and grid and grid the area. And my source is only going to be found within those parameters again. Yeah. So yeah, yeah. But you have to be you have to know where you’ve been. Yeah, the trick. You Oh, one of the tricks and even and even in wide area search or big areas where you’re out bought 160 340 acres, whatever it is, you’re searching, you have to know where you’ve been. So there’s a give and take between gridding the area, and always getting your dog in position to get older, depending on how the wind current environment is set up. So you’re always balancing those two things.

Kayla Fratt 24:05
Yeah, that makes sense. That’s where I feel like I’m usually walking around with, you know, my GPS, six inches from my face. And somehow still trying to watch my dog and not step on a snake.

Ann McGloon 24:18
And I probably tell you to put the GPS. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I’ve coached a few folks that yeah, you get wet into the GPS. And and what happens in that situation, quite honestly, is you get Sophos focused on the technology that you forget to be spatially aware.

Kayla Fratt 24:41
Yeah, exactly. I mean, especially as you’re saying with, you know, these bigger searches, you know, depending on how your topography varies within a couple 100 acres, you’re going to have to update your strategy as you go or the wind could shift over the course of a couple hours search, which is really different from like, again when I was on the wind farm. If you had a wind turbine that you were searching around, so I got very good at, I didn’t really have to look at my GPS, I can just kind of tell, you know, basically how to follow the search pattern within based on where I was in relation to my my turbine. And also the wind there is so consistent, and it’s so flat, which is just really different from a lot of other setups that we may encounter.

Ann McGloon 25:26
Yeah, when you’re when you get out into the areas where you have complex terrain, the the wind situations, the the, the little micro climates that are going on, can be really, really tricky. The other thing about when you’re searching in a in a large area, my first search dog barrel again, she was a six spaniel. They’re actually, they’re hunting dogs, they’re really good little hunting dogs, but she did not, she did not range like say lab or some of the other breeds that would just just just go go right there at a site. They’re just, they’re just gone, right. But the Vantage from what I found, the advantage for me was, is I always had eyes on my dog. So even if she was only 100 100 feet, or 200 feet from me, I could always watch her. So I could always see the head flex and see those changes of behavior in my dog. Where if the dog is out of my sight, I miss them so I can always see those and go and I learned through our training setups and things like cat to trust them. So I see oh, man got a heads slug. She’s got odor there. And and then I could take a bearing and you know, do some other stuff. And and we could try to work our problem to a solution. But so that was an advantage to be able to see dog.

Kayla Fratt 26:58
Yeah, I actually I think I prefer dogs that work a little bit more closely. When I first started working at working dogs for conservation, and I was comparing my my border collie barley to to the labs that I was working with. I was like, Oh my gosh, how am I going to teach them to range farther? How am I going to get him to work further away from me? He’s way too close to me. And then now, you know, unless I’m doing really massive transects, which I generally don’t do unless it’s for a specific study reason where they’re kind of trying to find like, how big can we possibly make our transects and still be useful. And I don’t need that both of my dogs range nicely enough. And I would much rather have my eyes on the dog. And I like that both of my dogs. Being Border Collies are also really responsive in the field. And I like that I’m able to give them direction very easily, which I think is a personal choice thing. I don’t think it’s wrong to have a dog that ranges really well and maybe doesn’t listen quite as much. But personally, I like something.

Ann McGloon 28:02
Yeah, yeah. There’s always pros are always cons with anything. So absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I always like to be able to see my dog. My personal preference.

Kayla Fratt 28:13
Yeah, I know. It’s tough in some environments. I mean, I can imagine and what was it the gross, the

Ann McGloon 28:22
the Gorst Gore’s

Kayla Fratt 28:25
gross gorse like in the Gore’s I would imagine that you really need your dogs to be very close to you, otherwise, you’re not gonna be able to see him even if, you know, they’re just a dozen meters away.

Ann McGloon 28:35
You can’t get in it. See, that’s the stuff. It’s it’s, it is virtually impenetrable, unless you’re it. It’s like a wall of needles. It’s the worst thing you’ve ever experienced. And so, so you would never assume that a lost person could even get in it. And yet, and yet people do. Especially if they have, you know, a cognitive issue and they just walk into it. You would never think anybody could do

Kayla Fratt 29:10
that. Oh, my gosh, are horrific. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, and I know again, thinking about, I was shadowing someone at WD 40, doing fire Scout surveys. And there again, you know, in certain types of Montana forest, even if the dog isn’t that far away, you can see on the GPS, so the dog isn’t that far away. You don’t necessarily have eyes on them. So that’s just a little tangent, though. So I have a couple other questions from Patreon that I wanted to start getting through and we’ll keep chewing on all these different concepts. So Jana from Patreon who I know you know, asked how we incorporate handler movement and hide placement into training, and especially with the goal of accurate but effectively progressing through searches in the wilderness. Um, and that’s the question, so I don’t I don’t have more detail on exactly what she’s got in mind?

Ann McGloon 30:08
Um, well, I think we know and I do know her beautiful working dog and relationship that’s really cool to watch.

Kayla Fratt 30:15
Absolutely, yeah.

Ann McGloon 30:16
Yeah, when we’re working, you know, stay in an environment detection hide your body. And that’s the thing, our dogs even when they’re independently searching, they’re working with us, or they should be there should be that invisible leash, so to speak, where you want the dog working independently. But I want to be able to just subtly with my body, move my dog, I don’t, I don’t need to say check here, check here, check there, I can just use my the pressure of my body to turn my shoulders one way and suggest let’s search over here, or increase the pressure by moving closer to my dog, which would tell them, I need a little more detail in this area, or I take pressure off and I move back and I open up the search area and I invite my dog into my space and open it up for them to search. Because they are always they’ve got eyes in the back of their heads. They’re always watching us and moving with us. And I’ve done agility for years as well. So I know very well, all it takes is a slight shoulder turn or a shoulder drop or what to take a step back. And you can invite the dog into that space to search without being too directed without compromising the dog’s independent searching style. So that’s not really, she does that very well with her dog. That’s not really that difficult. And you can do the same thing, even with a large problem. So even the dogs that are ranging far or arranging close in, you are still moving with your dog. And you are still a teen out there. So we want our dogs independently searching but there are some times we are the handler. And we can use our our cognitive skills when we need to and say I see what’s happening. But my dogs, they physically can’t get to an area. And that might be a terrain reason. And so I need to be able to direct my dog around, say, you know, a cliff face or around an obstacle. So I can actually get them back in a position so they can help solve, you know, the problems that they’re being asked to solve. But there are times when we do have to step in, that can be for safety. But it can just be that we can see the dog working a problem, but there’s no way they’re going to be able to access it. So we need to get, that’s where getting the dog in the position to access the owner and move them through the environment becomes really, really important. My name is key.

Unknown Speaker 33:13
And I have a two year old working cocker spaniel named Cooper. Cooper and I are new to this field of conservation detection dog work. So I am loving being a Patreon of the canine conservationist, we get to meet once a month via zoom with people all over the world and watch each other’s videos and give input and it’s just been such a wonderful learning opportunity. And on top of that, I’m really excited about something that’s about to start, which is a book club, that we’re going to be going through a scent book that I tried to go through on my own and realized I really needed some more help. So it was perfect timing for me. And I’m really looking forward to that. Just being able to meet people and talk through issues and better understand the whole field of canine conservation work has just been such a great thing. And Kayla and the canine conservationists have played such a huge part in that happening for me. So thanks, Kayleigh.

Kayla Fratt 34:13
Yeah, yeah. And then again, you know, probably knowing your dog and knowing how much direction is going to be too much direction and how much instruction is going to get the dog to just wander around following you because nobody wants that either.

Ann McGloon 34:29
No, no, nobody wants that. Yeah. And I think some of that comes with not getting the unknown hides in fast enough in your training and keeping at it all in balance, because, you know, for new handlers that are out there, perhaps listening. I always start with known heights because you’re learning to read your dog you’re learning. You know, they’re learning you’re learning how they learn. So you’re going to see in dogs that use memory a lot. For example, they always go check previous hide locations, consider using memory over olfaction. That’s where location comes in. You see it with nose work dogs, they go into search environment, and they check the table, the chairs, the trash can, because that’s where judges tend to put hides. So dogs aren’t stupid, that’s where they go check first, and then they start using their nose. So you’re gonna see that, but then quickly, as quickly as your training allows, and your dog progression allows to get to those either single or double blind hides, because that’s when you really become a team. That’s when the magic really, really happens.

Kayla Fratt 35:36
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I know for the, you know, like just thinking about, like, and this is a slightly different skill, because you’re, you’re talking about kind of supporting the dog once the dog has already caught odor. But another one that I know I’ve run into is teaching the dog how to check in a specific spot, and kind of asking them to go back through a specific area. And I know, I’ve just had to be very careful that, you know, two thirds of the time when I asked him to check something, there’s nothing there. So it’s still worth it for him to listen to me. But he’s not just going to throw an alert because I asked him to look at something.

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Ann McGloon 36:12
Exactly. One technique I like to use a lot is, a lot of times we tend to work our dogs into the wind. I actually, if I if I do that, I actually like to work the other direction, I actually liked the work with the wind at my back. Because that way, my dog, the WinZip my back and that way, my dog, when they catch that odor, they’re going to give me this beautiful head hook right back into odor. And you can’t you can’t mistake it. It’s just beautiful. And it’s like bingo, there’s your source. It’s sort of like, you know, and you’ll see this when you’re working into the odor to you’re working in, you’re working in and all of a sudden your dog was sick, and you get this head hook bite back end. So that head hook is just such a big towel.

Kayla Fratt 37:06
Yeah, yeah, I love that. It’s funny how you’re playing with, like, generally speaking in an operational search, you want the wind at your shoulder. But you know, in, in some training scenarios, it may make sense to work in different ways just to to build on different skills, which are I think that’s where it starts getting really tricky and interesting

Ann McGloon 37:28
thing. Well, yeah, and I think in the wilderness environment, which I spent a lot of time in, you know, you’re at, you’re always trained to have the winds crosswind or headwind or whatever. And you know what you get out there. And you can’t do that. The environment doesn’t allow for it. So you have to expose your dogs to downwind scenarios. upwind snare, I mean, they have to be exposed to all of that, because you get in there and trails out in the wilderness generally. So you have to learn to navigate the safest way possible through the environment. And wind is usually the last thing that you can actually think about.

Kayla Fratt 38:10
Yeah, exactly. Well, and especially, you know, when you’re running into situations where again, thinking about some of these searches I was doing at Montana, like, it’s dense, you can’t really like put your finger up and feel where the wind is even like a smoke puffer or whatever, you can’t necessarily get much out of it. And then you’re going up and down these ridge lines and searching throughout the day, and you’ve got rising odor in the morning and seeking odor in the evening. And, or, you know, I guess not odor but air, which brings the odor with it. Yeah, no, that’s a good point. You know that there’s these ideal best practice scenarios, and then there’s the reality once we get off the ground.

Ann McGloon 38:49
Exactly, exactly.

Kayla Fratt 38:53
Yeah, so Okay, another question that came from Megan on Patreon. And she was asking, and this is an interesting question. So we’re just talking about how we can use vision to aid on our search training. But she was talking about how do you teach the dog to differentiate between visual aids and odor. For instance, she came across a company selling scent work hides, but they were in all sorts of fun shapes and bright colors, which might make the hide more noticeable. And if you use those things in training, how do you guarantee the dog is searching for the odor and not searching for the you know, the visual aid?

Ann McGloon 39:21
That’s a great question because I think those and that I haven’t seen what she’s referring to, but I I would tend to stay away. Stay away from them personally because it’s the same. It’s a great it’s just such a super question goes well, those of you that know me out there and there’s some that do know how I hate boxes. I am not a fan of foxes. I am not a fan of anything like that, especially as the dog is being quote imprinted on an odor because that can become part of the picture for the dog. And so I see that a lot dogs being imprinted in, you know, a lineup, which to me is something completely different anyways, but and they’re they’re being imprinted using a box. Now I know in some situations, if you have an odor that that’s the only way you can imprint a dog, then you’re kind of stuck with it. But that box you don’t know if what became important for the dog was the odor, the box in the odor or the box. And I’m a real lazy dog trainer in a sense is I don’t want to have to then prove my dog off boxes, or prove my dog off funny shapes, yellow shapes, yeah. Yellow color dog see readily and blue. So I don’t want my dog looking for and thinking that I need to look for the yellow odor or the blue odor or the one that shaped like a triangle. I want them just focused on odor. And that’s all I want them focused on. And I think about when I when I’m starting a dog or working your dog on placing that odor as quickly as I can in an environment so that the there’s distractions all all the time, right? So if I go train at my fairgrounds, there’s distractions everywhere. I don’t need to place distractions out there’s enough horseshit on the ground excuse my language. There’s enough stuff out there on the ground horse poop on the ground or you know, the discarded candy wrappers or whatever it is in the fairgrounds environment. I don’t need to purposely put distractors out, which are purposely put out items, which again, are dogs can pick up on the fact that something was purposely put out, I just want my dog sing on odor. So I tend to not muck it up with anything that could potentially overshadow

Kayla Fratt 42:00
that. Yeah, yeah, that makes a ton of sense that I know, I’m working on a webinar right now, which will be way past by the time this episode comes out, but on kind of imprinting and teaching your dog a target odor. And I was going back through videos that I have of different times I’ve taught barley a new target odor, and I think the cleanest session I ever did with him teaching him an odor, we started using, like six inch tall grass right away. So he was just searching and kind of it was a it was a hay field sort of sort of area so much taller than your your lawn, probably, but not knee height. So he was having to kind of start searching for that odor, within like a 10 foot radius of me within 15 minutes of being introduced to it. And I really liked that setup for him.

Ann McGloon 42:53
I tend to Yeah, I was just gonna say I would tend to agree, I know I when I introduced Millie on fire are the odor of firearms, and spent shells and things like that. I basically, you know, I had a jar and I had her sniff it and I gave her a few cookies and whatever. And then that I did like a couple of times that and then I immediately hit it. Because that’s the other thing when we place source out, again, location location. So your dog comes across a new odor that hasn’t been in the environment before, they’re probably going to check it out. And you can mark it and get in there, reinforce it and then pretty soon are like, Oh, okay, that’s an important note, or I should pay attention to it. And it goes, it’s simple. It’s quick. And most dogs pick up that concept pretty fast.

Kayla Fratt 43:49
Yeah, definitely. I’m curious. I haven’t I won’t have the opportunity to do this again until my next dog. But I have found that introducing searching much more quickly has worked much better for barley in particular and I’m not quite sure if that’s because he’s he already knows the searching game so well. Or if it’s because he’s such a visual dog in such a try it dog he’s so quickly goes into training mode that lineups can be really, really tricky for him. And I yeah, I find that kind of introducing the search really early on has been really helpful. And niffler has only ever learned one target odor at this point. And I introduced it to him in a much more kind of like I had two tins and I was kind of putting I was I was playing like a cup game with him right away before introducing the search. And that was just his first, you know, first one or two sessions before we introduced a search. So it was still pretty quick, but not quite as quick as what I’ve done with barley in the past.

Ann McGloon 44:50
Yeah, I introduced search, you know, right. As puppies, you know, they’re searching for toys, they’re searching for food. They’re searching for their supper. They’re learning They get about how to search. They’re learning about the environment, they’re learning how to the things move to go under, over, you know, through things, surfaces, textures, all of that kind of stuff. And then when I do introduce an odor, I, I, I will tend to, to now I didn’t in the past, you introduce what I would call a, you know, a miscellaneous sort of odor. So, with my young working Cocker, she was started on handler scent, because I was doing tracking with her. And then when I started doing detection, I introduced Kong and the small bits of Con, just to get us a small odor threshold. And also just because I wasn’t to be honest, sure what odor I was ever going to put her on. So I thought I was going to play with Kong right now she learned how to search. And so when it was time to introduce odor I wanted her to find that was like I said, Yeah, easy.

Kayla Fratt 45:57
Yeah. niffler, his first six months of trading was all food. I didn’t introduce bats to him until we had been officially hired for a wind farm because I was like, I don’t know what I’m going to want him to find, like, no point. I know. And there are different ways that people do it in the conservation world, I barley is also trained to just find birch, like what you would use in nosework. And that’s what I’m going to teach niffler next. So I’ve got something that I can put in a tube. And I don’t really care about it’s an essential oil just for really easy, kind of on the road training. Because you know, there’s only so many places that people let you put dead bats. And I assume you’ve run into this with like human remains where it’s like, Hey, can I just like, put my placenta in this in the partner something like, I don’t know how people would feel about that. Very well. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, we run into the same thing of the conservation dog world. And I know like rogue detection, they do something really clever, where they introduce all of their dogs to Wolverine, Scott, because a Wolverines are really, really rare. So your dog isn’t going to slow you down by finding Wolverine all the time. And B, again, because they’re so rare. It’s the sort of thing that hey, if your dog finds it two years later, when they’re supposed to be finding something else, it’s still interesting. It’s still like good data. versus, you know, I would absolutely not want to teach my dogs to find coyote scat, just for fun, because there’s coyotes everywhere and it would slow down and ruin so many of our searches to have my dogs picking up coyote Scout all the time.

Ann McGloon 47:27
Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s really That’s clever. The Wolverine scat like, right, yeah. Yeah, to find an odor that so you can keep practicing, you know, out of seasons. So you know, when you’re in between projects to keep practicing. One thing I will suggest, is to also think about the thresholds that are threshold, because Birch is pretty stinky. So as you know, so if what I like to do is, is, if I’m going to have a dog that is going to be looking for a source that has a large odor threshold, and that actually works out really perfect, or I need my dog to really work out an air scenting type problem, which is a detection problem, then that’s a difference, like Birch is a good way to go. But if I need my dog to be detailing really fine detail, I’m going to put them on a very small odor. So for me then con, for others use bedbugs. But something with a really low odor threshold, so that my dog really has to use their nose and get that sniffing frequency really, really high. And I need that for precision hard surface typing anyways.

Kayla Fratt 48:41
Yeah, that makes sense. So Okay, the last question I’ve got written down, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean we’re done. But last question I’ve got written down is also from Meghan from Patreon. And just as a reminder, if anyone listening if you want to ask questions, join us on Patreon. We also have a book club we also do a video training call. Super fun. It starts at three bucks a month so like there’s no reason not to. So Megan asked, odor contamination is a big issue of the competition set world is this a concern in conservation detection? Can odor contamination in the search environment will be used to teach the dog to differentiate between residual odor and the actual source? So a couple different questions there. I’ll let you jump in with what you know from you can answer from the SAR background as well as you know from conservation, and then I’ll I’ll chime in whenever I’m ready.

Ann McGloon 49:31
There’s some those are some really interesting questions I know from the SAR world, in my experience with human remains detection contamination usually raises its head when handlers are putting sources out to have the dog find and inadvertently contaminate the area. So I think that’s something that has to be thought of and taken into account depending on on how your sources as wildlife conservation handlers had access to that source material and how you handle it, and to make sure that you didn’t don’t inadvertently contaminate things with, you know, as you’re placing out source material, and I think that goes for any kind of detection application, because, yeah, it’s older. So the dogs are going to indicate if you contaminate the question always comes up, is it residual? Is it contamination, um, you know, X or Y, or Z, it’s sort of a catch 22. And so one of and this usually comes around in terms of, if my dog indicates, on, say, the seam of a cabinet, they are not getting their nose onto the source, when I call those on source, or they’re not actually getting to the source, because they physically can’t it’s an inaccessible type hide. Yeah. As has the odor at that point, is it? It has it changed molecularly is it something different? It’s not, they’re not at source. But I, I tend to not want to, I’m not a scientist, and I’m trusting my my training and how I’ve trained my dog, I want my dog to find odor and get their nose as close as possible to the source if they can. So I worked out into my training plan, if my dog indicates on, contamination, residual, that’s information to me. If that’s the only thing that’s there, then I would, I would take it, let’s somewhat let somebody else figure out, you know, what it is what it isn’t. But I’ve trained my dog on odor. And to get their nose as close as possible. That doesn’t mean that my dog comes into a room. And, you know, smells the odor of a recently fired handgun, for example. And it’s pooled in the corner, and they get stuck in the corner and never tried to find source. That’s a different question. I want them to try to, to work and say, Hey, I’ve got odor here in the room. But now I need to work the room to find source to back to back, you know, work the dynamic in that room. And so I’m not going to, you know, reinforce them laying down or barking or whatever the dog does in the corner when there’s nothing there. So I think that’s a that’s an it’s an it’s an interesting, complicated, complex question.

Kayla Fratt 52:52
Yeah, yeah, I go, I go back and forth on this sort of thing as well. And I know what I did with niffler. Last summer on the wind farm a lot was if I couldn’t find anything, but it seemed reasonable that there was something residual there. So there was a couple of times where he alerted to kind of a wet patch of dirt that may have been blood, I would give him a little bit of chicken, and we would keep going. And then when he actually did find a bat, we’d play our whole game and do the whole thing. And I think part of that for me as well is I’m not looking for evidence where, you know, if I were looking for evidence, I may want to reward for potential blood. I would, you know, realistically, the blood doesn’t help us in our study. So if I accidentally proved him off of this residual blood, it doesn’t ruin our goal, because again, I can’t do anything with it for that particular study. Versus then if you did, and there were a couple of times where this happened, where I was able to confirm that it was a little bit about so I’d find like a little teeny tiny bit of I call wing leather, like the skin in between the further wings, or like a little tuft of hair, and we would jackpot for that, because I could confirm it. And it was like holy cow, man, that was so little. So little odor. What a great job. What a good boy, even though I couldn’t necessarily, I mean, depending on exactly what it was. We still maybe couldn’t use it. I don’t know if that adds anything to this discussion or the distinction or maybe just muddies the water more.

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Ann McGloon 54:32
No, I think you make an absolutely fantastic point in that. You know that we’ve trained our dog on a specific odor and just because we can’t physically see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. So you have a small piece of bat that’s remaining. That’s or a piece of skin that’s left off animal and our dog picks it up I mean week can’t physically see it, perhaps, but we’ve trained our dog to, to such an extent that they’re going to indicate on it. If you’ve, like I just mentioned a minute ago, when I, when I’m training, and I can take it anywhere, I’ll take my little bits of calm. So you can see people stick them, and I do it too. You stick them in a wall, and it’s Dyckman, they’re really deep. So they, you know, you can’t see them or whatever, and, and then you got to take them out. And then you wonder, you wonder why you sir, have your dog search, continue their search and say they come back to that, that spot. And you think, oh, that’s just residual. That’s just nothing. And then you look closer. And know, you’ve pulled off a little microscopic piece of that car as you were pulling it out of the wall. Yeah. So I don’t, I want to teach my dog odor. And I want them to indicate on the odor threshold, that that I’ve trained them to as low as you know, I need to go or as high as I need to go or whatever it is. And if there’s nothing there that I can’t see, I’m gonna let somebody else figure it out. Yeah, or in your, or in your case, that’s actually you know, who knows? You you mark it, you note it in your book, and maybe someday that’ll be interesting information for somebody.

Kayla Fratt 56:25
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And oh, gosh, I had something else. Where was I gonna go with that? Oh, contamination. I think one of the other things that you may notice, I think part of the reason in the scent work world we get, like in the AKC competitive set work world, order contamination is such a big concern is probably I think, partially because you’re working with such ridiculously volatile compounds. So as we said, Yes, like this birch organic, essential oil, it’s so easy to have that added up everywhere. Versus if if you’re taking a little bit of coffee, and you put it on a hard surface, and then you pick it up and you go away. And the next day someone is searching there, there’s probably not enough odor to mess up someone else’s dog. But if you you know, put a drop of an essential oil somewhere and didn’t put it on a Q tip, and then left it there. And then even if you pick it up, it seems like there’s a much higher chance that that is enough odor to mess up someone else’s dog. And then I think on the other side, on the in the sent work world, you know, you’ve got, again, in this like AKC sent work world, you’ve got so many people all looking for the same target odor, that you’ve got other inexperienced handlers, potentially leaving out contaminants that are an issue for you in a way that like, I just did a training session at PetSmart. The other day, I’m not really worried that anyone else has hidden a dead bat in a PetSmart. But if you if you were in a Home Depot, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to be a little bit worried that someone else has recently done some nosework practice there.

Ann McGloon 58:01
Yeah, that’s a that’s a real concern. Because if your dog indicates, and you’re, and you didn’t put anything out, but somebody else put something out, or somebody else made a contamination, then you’re kind of like, entering this little gray area where you know, what, what’s happening? You don’t really know. And I’ve heard that, you know, I mean, in the US, not many people use Kong, but they do overseas and UK and Europe, it’s very, very common. And so I know that I was listening to I can’t remember her name on on the wildlife conference, it was just held recently. And I think there was a mention about, you know, why they didn’t use Kong as a as a training aid. And it was just because of that the same reason that, you know, somebody could leave something out, and then it’s not a good scent to use in that.

Kayla Fratt 58:52
But I can actually now I’m thinking, you know, this training session I did in PetSmart. Yesterday, if my dogs had been trained to find calm, we would have found a lot of cogs.

Ann McGloon 59:05
Here’s, here’s the thing about that, because I’ve actually had some of my detection students who, who have transitioned their dog to college, and they’re like, oh, my gosh, but what if a con is, is out in a, in a search environment? You know, that I go to an AKC test, and that’s the distraction odor. And I said, is it hidden? And they say, No, it’ll be just on the floor. I said, then your dog probably won’t indicate on it. Because remember, location location, your dog goes in that environment. And unless they’ve been trained and reinforced for indicating on the call that’s in the middle of the room just sitting there, they’re probably not going to they’re looking for the thing that’s hidden. Right? Well,

Kayla Fratt 59:49
I would imagine, I don’t know exactly the condition of the columns that you use for training, but these immaculate never used before. You know, they’re still shiny. They really, really just smell like rubber cones probably have a pretty different odor profile. Again, the cones that I use around my house that have been slobbered on, there may have been dog food or peanut butter involved. But I assume you’re not using your stuffed cones but still like there’s so pristine that they seem a little different. Potentially.

Ann McGloon 1:00:20
Yeah, yeah, potentially. Yeah. But I mean, it goes back to that, that thing about location in, you know, search and rescue dogs, they’re out searching, let’s say the wilderness for the last person. Well, every time you train, that person is hidden somehow. So you also have to train them on the moving subject, the person who is not hidden. Otherwise, it’s not part of the picture from

Kayla Fratt 1:00:47
the dog, right? Oh, gosh. And they would just ignore, you know, a child that’s just sitting under a tree.

Ann McGloon 1:00:54
Well, sitting under a tree is a pretty, pretty picture. But yet still hidden. Sitting down is tucked up against a tree is pretty standard, actually. Okay. But, but but say the, say the last hiker. Who’s I’ve been walking around. Yeah, still mobile, still mobile, there’s kind of a, our search dogs begin to recognize the picture of other searchers. So you know, when they’re young, nude, sometimes they’ll indicate and alert on them or whatever, the wilderness air centering dogs, but after a while, they realize those are just other searchers wearing the backpack, they might have walking poles. They look like other searchers, they’re in a group or whatever. Well, your last perfect walking around to and look like that. So you have to teach the dogs that in person is not always behind a tree. And this is really important for us that do earn trailing in particular, because your loss. Particularly, you know, someone with a cognitive impairment of some kind might just be walking. They’re not hiding. They’re just walking.

Kayla Fratt 1:02:10
Right? Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, it’s so I feel like, again, like the big thing we keep talking about is how understanding the behavior of what you’re looking for is so important. And then making sure you’re mimicking that in your search setup.

Ann McGloon 1:02:25
Absolutely, it’s the same for, for you guys that are doing the wildlife conservation, make sure you understand, you know, your species that you’re looking for, where they’re normally located, and how they normally present themselves and to mimic that and get it. Yeah, absolutely important. And especially,

Kayla Fratt 1:02:45
you know, and this is something we’ve talked about, that I’m really obsessed with is the idea of how literal your dog is. And how, again, you know, they may like so for example, niffler found a couple of live bats over the course of this summer that had been hit by the turbine but hadn’t died. And the first time he found one, I mean, he followed it to he follows the odor to source and then he got there. And he got to within about two, three meters of it and then stopped dead was like, I don’t know what to do with this. And it’s like, yeah, that’s totally fair. I didn’t teach you how to deal with that versus barley. The first time he encountered a live that he just alerted to it. He walked right up to it marched and plopped out and he was like, Yep, this is it. And that is a very niffler has very much so my dog who is more likely to make errors of omission. He’s more likely to be like, That’s not 100% When I knew how to look for so I’m not going to tell you about it. And barley is very much so my dog who will be like, Well, how about that? Well, what about that? Are you looking for this? Can I have my ball now?

Ann McGloon 1:03:48
Well, and to understand how they learn. I mean, I Molly, my other one of my other Sussex. He was uh, he also did HRD. To be honest, it wasn’t really his gig. So I certified me did a couple searches, and then it got sick and I retired him anyhow. But you know, probably wasn’t his gig. i He was so literal and how I trained him, it was like, get my nose, my nose closed source and do it down. Well, when the hide was inaccessible, he couldn’t indicate he couldn’t. He never would faults, but he could not bring himself to indicate he couldn’t get his nose on source. Yeah. So master trainer I was working with at the time, he said, Well, what does he like to do? I said, Well, naturally, he does a little pausing and let him do a PA thing. It’s not hurting anything. He’s not digging. He’s not destroying source. And it was like, oh, so I let him party down and problem solve. But he was so literal in what I taught him because couldn’t take a

Kayla Fratt 1:04:51
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he’s probably for dogs. They’re trying so hard to do it right. Is there anything that you wanted to bring up? Or wanted to circle back to? Before we go? Is there anything I forgot to ask you about?

Ann McGloon 1:05:08
I don’t think so I’ve just really enjoyed the conversation. And I, you know, since I’ve had a couple of students now that have gone into the wildlife conservation field, I’ve been enjoying learning about what you all do and how you do it, and how complex it really is, and how your older sources in your projects can change from something big, something small, to you know, different, such vastly different environment. Yeah, I think it’s completely fascinating. And does take, you know, dogs and handlers with just the right drive and dogs and handlers that can problem solve. And, and I think it’s really fascinating. So I’ve, I’ve been thrilled to, to learn this aspect of search work.

Kayla Fratt 1:05:56
Yeah, well, and it’s nice for us to have people like you who are willing to learn and willing to jump in and mentor people, because this is a young field. It’s much younger than Sar. So we just don’t have as many people with 20 plus years experience in this field. There are some, but there’s not as many as you can find in some other disciplines. So it’s really lovely when we can find people who are willing to help that. We’re grateful for that.

Ann McGloon 1:06:23
Well, it’s it’s great every time I go out, and I say this to my students, every time I go out with my dog, they’re teaching me something.

Kayla Fratt 1:06:31
Oh, yeah. Yeah. And actually, yeah, the one last thing that did come to mind for me when we were talking about the really big searches and the really detailed searches, that’s actually part of the reason that I have two dogs is because I know that not every dog is actually a dog who is willing and able to make those massive transitions and I, I suspect at some point, I’ll end up with three or four dogs you know, not necessary right now and not really feasible given my living situation, but

Ann McGloon 1:07:04
let’s go. You’re gonna need you’re gonna need a bigger van. Gonna need a bigger fan or

Kayla Fratt 1:07:10
let’s we’re gonna need a bigger boat. Yeah, gosh, if I could have like a pole behind dogs sweet. Then I could have two more dogs. Or if I switch down to working chihuahuas if my detail dog is just it’s just eight pounds that I can I’ve got room for eight pound dogs. I’m not gonna make it to all of the my large area search dog but uh, you know, detailed stuff. I don’t see why you couldn’t have an eight pound dog.

Ann McGloon 1:07:41
If you you know what you actually could and especially if you have an environment that that suits that dog Absolutely. Right. Yeah, I think there’s a chihuahua or I’m happy I know that I know. There’s been a new in Oregon that was the Pantheon that was doing HRD and I know there’s been others I think there was a disaster dog that was they were using for very small you know to get into small space Oh yeah, that’s hard. I don’t want to we talked about

Kayla Fratt 1:08:13
when we’re doing a lot of boats searches How nice it would be to have a little you know, just a dog under 20 pounds that you could like hoist up to or you know actually put into the boat to check a ballast area or something like that. I know. Working Dogs for conservation has a beagle and a sheep II knew that both do rat work down in I think South Georgia Island area and I just interviewed someone from New Zealand who uses Border Terrier fox terrier crosses, also for rodent stuff, which makes a ton of sense if you’re looking at rodents you probably want to terrier.

Ann McGloon 1:08:50
Yes, but yeah, there there’s an advantage to the smaller dogs. I mean, I’ve always had smaller dogs although

Kayla Fratt 1:08:56
Yeah, how much do Sussex weigh?

Ann McGloon 1:08:59
So here’s here’s just a comparison. So Emily is 15 inches. She’s my working Cocker. So she’s 15 inches at the weathers and weighs in at about 18 to 19 pounds. Tali is my male Sussex spaniel. He also is 15 inches up the withers and weighs in at 45 plus pounds. And he is fit.

Kayla Fratt 1:09:28
Wow. I mean, cars aren’t like English bulldogs, which often are overweight, but also, you know, you look at an English bulldog or even like a fit Frenchie. And they weigh two or three times as much as you would expect for a dog that height.

Ann McGloon 1:09:42
Yeah, yeah. Six or like little just, I don’t they’re stalking dogs, but they’re there. They shouldn’t there shouldn’t be fat, but they’re well boned and yeah, they’re big dogs. So little packages.

Kayla Fratt 1:10:00
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, I think I think that’s all of your time that I want to pick up right now I could talk to you all day. But I really, really appreciate your time. And to all of our listeners, thank you so much for being here. I hope you’ve learned a lot you’re feeling inspired to get outside and be a canine conservationist in whatever way suits your passions and your skill set. You can find those shownotes where we’ll link to all of AMS. In upcoming stuff, you can donate canine conservationists, and you can join our Patreon over at Canine conservationists.org Until next time. Are you on Patreon yet? If you love this podcast and want to support it in the long term, Patreon is the way to go. I spend hours per episode researching guests writing out questions, recording interviews, posting on Patreon to engage with our patrons about all of those, cleaning up the audio and putting together all of the promotional materials. Even with the help of volunteers. This is an enormous task that takes up a ton of my time. And right now I’m not paid for it. For just $3 a month you can support this show while also getting access to our exclusive detection dog training video help calls which happened once a month, our learning club calls which are currently quarterly but I’m hoping to move to monthly and a lot more. You can join the fun over at patreon.com/canine conservationist or using the link in our show notes. You also may want to share this with anyone else you know who is interested in getting involved in the field of conservation detection dogs, because this is hands down the lowest cost way to get as much mentoring and assistance and joining the community of other professional and aspiring conservation detection dog handlers. And you’re gonna really enjoy it. See you there.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai