At Confident Canine we are able to help with many things outside the expected remit of dog training, we have a wide range of experience both personally and professionally in many different dog sports and activities.
So, when I was asked if I could help a search and rescue dog with their indication work I was really excited. I love the challenge of more complicated training and issues and so couldn’t wait for our session.
Oscar is a lovely and very clever lad so we were able to cover so much in our hours 121 session. This was great as it means his owner can now work on those things until next session and this allows for much greater progression between sessions.
Oscar and his reward
My previous experience having been in alert barking/report barking in regards to stalking but this particular scenario of search and rescue requires not just a notification of a find but for the dog to then take their owner to their find. I looked into various options for training this so that we could find the best fit for Oscar and his owner.
Meeting up we discussed their chosen path, requirements and they way their rescue group works so that I could find what might suit best to fit in with this with least disruption to the way either they or their group works. So, it was decided we use back-chaining to achieve this and we worked on various segments, slowly back chaining until we were ready to run it forward.
Long story made very short we started work on transferring Oscars ‘touch’ command to a ‘show me’. Then on Oscar learning to come into a straight sit after an initial nose touch to handler to indicate a find. Finally once the ‘report’ has been made, handler asking ‘show me’ and Oscar then being able to return to our ‘mis-per’ with his handler to earn his reward, in this case his ball!
It was a lovely session and great to see the penny drop when he managed to complete the chain over a small distance. I think Oscar and his owner have a lovely future in Search & Rescue and look forward to hearing about their progress over time.