Alert: True or False

Some terrific insight in this blog!

Training Matters

A recent discussion on a Yahoo group has brought to light something I’ve been struggling with for a while. If you have ever trained for Nose Work or gone to a Nose Work class, ORT, or trial, you have probably heard the phrase, false alert. Handlers say things like, “He lied!” or “He wanted the food distractor” or “But he looked at me.” There are no two ways about it, saying a dog “falsed” puts the blame squarely on the dog’s shoulders.

But instead of worrying about why a dog indicates odor when not at source, maybe a more useful use of time would be to think about what the human half of the team was doing when the dog “false” alerted.

Sometimes a handler stands stock still—or stands too close—as the dog works. When this happens, a sensitive dog may react to the handler’s stillness and closeness and interprets…

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