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Short Set Four: THREE Steps to Knowing When Your K9 is in ODOR!

Hey, AJ Vargas here with the Source Podcast, All Things Working Dogs. I’m bringing you another short set. And on this short set, I want to focus on some fundamentals of detection.
And sometimes it’s important, and what I see a lot of times with handlers, we always want to do the big things, but we never focus on the small things that make us successful. And that’s probably one of the most important things you can do as a handler, is to do the small things that make you successful.
Look at any great player there ever was. They don’t do all these great things, they just do the basics great. And they perfect the basics. The release on the ball, the way they catch the ball, the way they get open, they work on those finite details to where they just have it.
And I encourage each of our handlers to do the same thing. So for this short set, we’re talking about detection, and the basics of detection, and those fundamental things that will make you successful.
And those three things are one, line work. How you feel the dog on that line will make a world of difference in reading that dog. The next thing I’ll talk about is what that dog sounds like when they’re an odor, and then what the dog looks like when they’re an odor.
And you can do some very simple drills to begin to learn those principles. Again, utilizing feel, sight, and sound to be successful as a dog handler in the detection realm. Knowing what the dog feels like when they’re an odor, knowing what the dog looks like when they’re an odor, and knowing what the dog sounds like when they’re an odor.
And what I would suggest is breaking things down very simple and small. We have a detection wall here that we have set up, and we begin to teach our handlers. handlers those very principles from day one when they start detection and we do it in a very controlled environment because if they learn to read their dog well a lot of the other principles that they need to learn in detection come very easy.
The biggest struggle most handlers have is reading the dog. They guess or they rely solely on what the dog does in relationship to the sit. They don’t read all the indicators and all the things that go along with their totality of the alert.
So we’re going to teach that in a controlled environment you can set this up as well. Run a known set where you know what the find is and begin to key in on the site, the sound, and the feel when that dog is in odor.
And then lastly you’ll get the alert and start putting that chain of events together so you know exactly what it looks like what it feels like and again what did I say what it sounds like. Those things are so important as a detection handler.
So that’s our short set for this week. Set up some small sets to focus on sight, sound, and feel of what the dog is when they’re in odor. Have a great week of training. See you next week.

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