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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lesson 27: Alert to Danger-Part 1

Alert to Danger
Fire, Earthquake,Tornado
Dig up or Wake a Person
Part 1 of 2

Teaching your family disaster dog to alert or wake you up in dangerous situations and weather conditions can mean the difference between life and death. Survival might depend on your dog waking you up at the right moment or alerting you when they feel the floor shake.

This lesson will be in 2 parts in order to cover the various alerts that can be taught the same way.

Part 1; Understanding the Alert

Understanding the Alert 

Daisy checks for a Person

Teaching your dog to alert you to possible dangers before and when a danger happens can be lifesaving. Bloodhound Daisy always wakes me if she thinks there is any danger. During storms or if she smells smoke she comes to me and paws me to wake me or get me moving. 

I encourage her behavior but not to the point of her becoming over protective and waking me at the slightest sound.

One thing with dogs we should always keep in mind is that they try very hard to please us and some dogs will go overboard in the attempts to do so if we encourage them to much. There is often a fine line between motivation and encouragement that can be crossed which results in a dog that has issues understanding what we ask. 

For instance, teaching a dog to bark for an alert can make some dogs bark all the time or anytime they want something. Another example is teaching a dog to dig at a certain time then one day he digs the whole yard up for no reason except it was fun and he remembers the day you said it was okay to dig. 

To avoid this problem, always associate what you ask the dog to do with a command, situation or action on your part. Then they learn to do their part and you work as a team. 

Any other time, when they are not under command or in the situation or action with you and they are not suppose to bark or dig, tell them to stop. Don't encourage them to bark or dig.

I like quite dogs and teach mine to sit or paw me for alerts. In this lesson we are going to use our dog's natural instinct about impending weather to save a pack member by alerting us to danger.

Many people have noted how their dog has behaved in unusual ways before an earthquake or serious storm. Dogs, like other animals, often react before a major event by taking cover or grouping up for safety.

Native Americans, farmers and outdoors adventurers know to watch animals for signs of weather changes. When the geese fly north we know a mild day is on the horizon but if they fly south we know to watch out for bad weather.

Our animals know long before we do and it stands to reason if we show our dog what to do when they feel the changes coming then we can be prepared ahead of time.

Teaching your dog to be a family disaster dog or survival dog is similar to learning CPR or becoming a Doomsday Prepper because you will not be able to actually perform these skills in a real situation unless an emergency occurred.

Similar to CPR-we want to have the use of these skills but hope to God we never have to use them.

Your dog can save your life or the life of a loved one.

To teach your dog to alert you to danger, such as smoke and weather conditions you will need to set up a pretend or mock training opportunity where you can practice what to do. 

Here we have a person pretending to be unconscious
 under Blankets and Small Furniture

As you practice, the training becomes like doing a fire drill where your family and dog learns what to do if they smell smoke or hear a tornado coming.

If you have an emergency warning system in your town or location that sounds off on the television or radio regularly that you can hear then you can use this to as a signal to your dog to alert you. 

If not, then we can rely on the dog’s natural ability to know when doom is pending by teaching our dog’s to show us when they get the urge danger is coming.

To use the National Warning System as a clue or command for your dog to wake you or alert you then you would do the training sessions at the time when the warning sounds on your radio or television. You will have to plan ahead to have the session set up and ready when the warning goes off.

If you have a burglar alarm or other alarm on your home or car, your dog can be taught to alert you to these sounds as well. You can make your own alarm with a horn or loud noise maker if you want the extra advantage of a noise alarm that helps to wake everyone.

If you’re in an area of the county that has earthquakes or tornadoes, use these opportunities to work your dog in a drill or session so when the big one comes your dog will alert you first.

Setting  a training session or drill to teach your dogto alert you can be as easy as having a person hide under a blanket or as complex as making a pretend pile of lightweight rubble from cardboard boxes, newspaper or whatever furniture you can think of that makes the scene look like a disaster happened.

This set-up gives your dog a reason to react because the scene or person does not look normal, thus the dog realizes something is wrong.

Setting up Sessions and Instructions are covered in detail 
in Part  

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