Training an “All Clear” for Detection Dogs with Paul Bunker of Chiron K9

In this episode of K9 Conservationists, Kayla speaks with Paul Bunker about all clear procedures.

Science Highlight: An assessment of the effects of habitat structure on the scat finding performance of a wildlife detection dog

What is an all-clear response?

  • The dog’s formal response to let the handler know there is no odor to alert to

What is a go-no-go response?

  • The dog’s NON-formal response to let the handler know there is no odor to alert to

What’s a situation we may want to teach this for?

  • Odor recognition tests
  • Teaching them that they can still get rewarded for no odor, which reduces stress
  • Good to check for contamination
  • Teaches them to be confident in leaving a search area with no target present knowing they will still be rewarded

What components make for a successful all clear?

  • Ensure it is maintained and refreshed
  • Prepare your training session in advance. Progression plans are extremely important.
  • Variable reinforcement with your dog’s reward hierarchy
  • The dog must 100% understand target before learning all clear
  • Don’t use jackpot rewards for an all clear

What other options do we have for reducing stress and reducing false responses (go-no-go)?

  • Teach odor separately from systems of searching so they are not codependent
  • Train blank sessions
  • Train longer sessions (within the abilities of your dog) so that it is similar to long working days
  • Develop independence early

Links Mentioned in the Episode:Where to find Paul Bunker:  Website | Instagram | FacebookYou can support the K9 Conservationists Podcast by joining our Patreon at Conservationists Website | Merch | Support Our Work | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

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