unintended consequences

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unintended consequences

Postby Andy W. » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:35 pm

Last evening I took Ella on a 2 km hasty. Weather, environment and wind near perfect. It was an area we have not trained in before and walked on rarely. I kitted her up and set her and me up as per any normal search. I knew there were no mispers out - she didn't. All went well (including a surprise 'reward' at the end to keep her interest) other than when unintentionally we met extraneous walkers and cyclists. They were all on our path and obvious to see. Whilst i wasn't surprised that she blanked the cyclists (as we've never searched for a moving cyclist ever and why would you) I was bit surprised that she didn't attempt an alert on the two individuals on foot. OK both had dogs with them (which she studiously ignored) and also the humans (who she briefly checked out) weren't behaving in the traditonal 'misper' manner of hiding behind trees at 25ms off a path.

Question: is she conditioned by training to only alert at stationary mispers, prone mispers or hidden mispers? We have trained on stationary / sitting mispers in view before (with mixed results) and hidden stationary ones that moved once first found (great results) but I wonder on this occassion if the presence of other dogs made her discount the 'attached' human as a possible target on the basis of a human with a dog can't possibly be lost??

Not a big issue (is it an issue anyway?) as I would have seen them (aka a misper) in a real situation but interested in hearing anyone's thoughts?
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby mike » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:17 pm

Andy,

you hit the nail on the head when you said about conditioning, if you train a dog to find a missing person that is always static, be it hidden, lay in view or just sat down, the dog may not show any interest in some one who is walking.
There have been countless incidents where SAR dogs have found lost / missing people who have been walking in the search area.
It is nothing more than dog training when you set somthing up and it causes more questions than answers.

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Re: unintended consequences

Postby roland and meg » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:24 pm

Andy I seem to remember searching for you at the old HQ.
You were misper but sat on a camping stool.
Meg apparently sniffed around you for ages before alerting.
"I've found something and it might be worth a look, but it's not a misper. This one is sat on a chair for gods sake"

What about the old lady / gentleman sat on the bench having a rest on the next path could that be a misper.

moving mispers!
I remember getting my misper to move after the find!
You could see the dogs face. " no really he was just here a moment ago!"
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby Andy W. » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:34 pm

roland and meg wrote:Andy I seem to remember searching for you at the old HQ.
You were misper but sat on a camping stool.
Meg apparently sniffed around you for ages before alerting.
"I've found something and it might be worth a look, but it's not a misper. This one is sat on a chair for gods sake"

What about the old lady / gentleman sat on the bench having a rest on the next path could that be a misper.

moving mispers!
I remember getting my misper to move after the find!
You could see the dogs face. " no really he was just here a moment ago!"


Yes I remember that evening but I thought it was just because of my alluring after shave. [laugh]
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby SallyM47 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:24 am

During the summer months, when mispering at training sessions for various dogs, I've been curled up on the ground or sitting down, propped up against a tree. All dogs have alerted and refound as appropriate.

However, during the last month or so as the nights have become darker and the ground wetter, I've taken to standing up - it hasn't exactly 'put the dogs off' but I would say (from my point of view) that they've all been a bit 'confused' when finding me - it seems to have taken them longer to decide to go and alert the handler... ?

Seems we might have to alter our mispers' behaviour more often to cover this type of thing since real mispers cannot obviously be guaranteed to be sitting or lying down?!
[wacko] [wacko]
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby rich&sassy » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:15 am

SallyM47 wrote:Seems we might have to alter our mispers' behaviour more often to cover this type of thing since real mispers cannot obviously be guaranteed to be sitting or lying down?!
[wacko] [wacko]


Good idea to do this anyway really - especialy as your training becomes more advanced.

Experiment with different scenario's in different settings. Misper walking away from dog on a find, misper making all kind of noise........anything you can think of really. (if you can think of it chances are a misper might do it).

Andy.....I agree with Mike but also are you sure sure you didn't have a plain old case of "I can see them dad and I know you can too so......" [wacko]

Dog walkers are particularly diffucult though because how many times out training do we come across dog walkers and purposefuly get the dog to ignore them?..........loads!! [ohmy]
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby Andy W. » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:24 pm

Andy.....I agree with Mike but also are you sure sure you didn't have a plain old case of "I can see them dad and I know you can too so......" [wacko]

][/quote]


Rich, quite possibly although she didn't give me the collie stare and I thought that after 3 in the open and no one in the undergrowth she might have decided it was worth a 'pop' to try get her ball.
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Re: unintended consequences

Postby mike » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:18 pm

As previously said, once your dog is operational and a sound knowledge of the basics start to change the scenarios, the wider the variety the more confident the dog will become and the more confident you will become as a handler. Just remember that when you start doing this make it short and sweet to begin with, the dog is quickly rewarded and enjoys the variety.
The only limit will be what you can think of, people up trees, under a car, sat in an open barn etc etc etc.

You will be amased how quick they will pick things up.

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