Family-Disaster-Dog-Lessons

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Training Dogs and Weather


Bloodhound- Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham photo by A. Higgins

Weather plays an important role in training dogs, so let's talk a little bit about training your dog in the foul weather conditions. 


When working a search dog one has to work in all weather conditions and all possible situations in order to expose the dog to different environments and scenarios so that the dog and handler is familiar with each event or condition they may encounter in a real incident. This also teaches the dog and handler how to problem solve and work those situations better. 

This is also true with time of day and day of the week. 

People get lost in all types of weather, any time or day and many times the weather is why they are missing, such in floods or tornadoes. Disasters are often weather related so it makes sense to train with your dog in all types of weather plus most dogs do not mind the weather like we do but some do.

I have met many dogs that prefer to stay indoors in bad weather. I had a bloodhound named Yeti who even as a young pup refused to step into the rain. I would open the back door to let her in and she would be against the door standing four feet planted on the door frame. I could never figure out how she did that with four feet and fit in the door when she was grown up she would fall into the house from leaning on the door ! But pull out a harness and leash then out the door she would go to track anything down, rain, snow or hail. 

What matters is how fun we make training or work for the dog because they will go along for the fun of it, especially if they find it interesting.

All weather conditions affect the search scene and how the search will be handled by the dog and handler because of environmental changes that happen to the scent particles  when exposed to different variables. These variables can be temperature, moisture, humidity,wind, terrain  just to name a few. There is a whole science behind scent and weather.  

Keep in mind, you and your dog constantly learn from each incident or training because each incident is different in one way or another, no two are the same.  With scent dogs, no location is the same tomorrow as it was today because scents constantly change and move which is why it is important to work in all weather. 

Amber


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Bloodhound - George
with me,
I owned his parents and grandparents, he went to live in Texas with another of my hounds when I moved west.



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