For search and rescue work, you will want to be able to provide your Bloodhound with a sample scent and direct him to pick up that scent trail and follow it while not becoming distracted by competing scents. Bloodhounds used for search and rescue will need to be in good physical shape and familiar with distracting environments, wilderness terrain, and the noise and various people associated with a search and rescue operation.
I want to teach him how to track scent
Hello David, At this age I would start by just teaching pup how to generally use their nose. Games are usually the best ways to do this with young puppies. Play things like hiding large treats around the room for pup to find. Hide and Seek come where you call pup from an easy hiding spot and reward when they arrive - many will start to use their nose to help find the more often you play this and the harder the hiding spots get gradually. Create scent trails by dragging something like a piece of meat along the ground then leaving a small piece or treat at the end of the trail for pup to find. Keep the games fun and look for pup using their nose more and more. Once pup is ready, you can go ahead and start using human scent trails for pup to find someone hiding close by using things like a line of sweaty socks leading to their hiding place, but you simply want pup to be encouraged to use their nose, to begin to learn a "Search" command, and to expect a reward once they find what they are looking for - to motivate future searches. Work on pup's basic, intermediate, and eventually advanced off-leash obedience as pup grows too. Pup will need an off-leash level of obedience by the time they are ready for more advanced tracking training, and the obedience will build on itself, starting with puppy class with socialization and basic obedience. Make socialization a huge priority. Pup needs to be confident adaptable and used to various people, other animals, and environments to be great at tracking for search and rescue. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Is it to soon to start introducing him to searching
Hello Tracy, It is never to soon to start. He may not be ready for really long hikes and super intensive training, but you can start with fun search games, teaching him how to use his nose generally through hide n seek type games, socializing him around the types of things (like different terrains, animals and people) that he will need to be comfortable around later, and teaching obedience to work up to off-leash skills later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Off leash trailing tracking, having her come back to me esp when I need to correct her on the trail if she’s off trail and when she finds the person I’ve been having her do touch but how to get her to bay or speak and stay with the victim??
Hello Sheila, It sounds like you are making good progress so far. I suggest recruiting several assistants who can help you, one at a time, over the next couple of months. Friends or fellow Search and Rescue volunteers that your dog does not know will be best. First, teach Lucy to bay on cue by teaching her the "Howl" command. You can teach her how to do this by following one of the methods from the article that I have linked below. Experiment with the different methods and use the one that gets her to bay rather than bark if you prefer baying. Practice the command until she will reliably bay when you tell her to "Howl!". The command word can be something other than "Howl" but make sure that you always use the exact same word. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-howl Once she knows the command, have your friend hide and have Lucy search for her. When she finds your friend have your friend command her to "Howl" and reward her when she does so. Practice this until Lucy begins to howl on her own when she finds your friend if your friend waits a few seconds before giving her the command. When she begins to do this, then have your friend wait five to ten seconds every time before telling her to "Howl". Do this to see if Lucy will do it on her own and to give Lucy time to think about what she ought to do. If she does it on her own, have your friend reward her. If she does not do it, then have your friend remind her by telling her to "Howl". When she howls after being told to, have your friend reward her with a single treat, but if she does it on her own, have your friend reward her with five treats, one after the other. Practice this until Lucy will howl every time she finds your friend without being told to. To practice having Lucy stay with the person, once Lucy will howl when she finds the person, then have your friend mimic different positions that people might be in when Lucy finds them. Have your friend reward Lucy every five seconds that she stays with her and performs her duties. When she will stay with the person for one minute, then increase the amount of time between rewards to ten seconds. Keep increasing the amount of time between rewards and extending the amount of time that you expect Lucy to stay with the person, as she improves. Do this gradually as she improves. When you arrive where Lucy and your friend are, reward Lucy also. Eventually Lucy should be able to go longer and longer between treat rewards without leaving your friend's side, then when you arrive you will give her just one treat for waiting the entire time. Practice all of this with multiple friends, one at a time. You can either practice with the same person until she masters it with that person, and then move onto a new person, or practice with someone different every time. There are pros and cons to doing it both ways, but both ways should work well as long as you practice with multiple people so that she will do it with more than just one friend. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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