Chained search

The chained search training will need to be done with only two buried "victims". The chosen hiding places will need to be within the worked on debris filled area separated by a distance of 50 meters. As soon as the dog has been able to find one of the buried people, the chained search technique will then need to be applied by mimic dissuasion on the part of the other buried person so that the dog immediately goes and this will teach the dog to reinforce the way it will search for people. In all of this, the trainer will need to be observing attentively and let the person that has still not been found by the dog know when to mimic (through a transceiver).

Once the dog has learned to adequately locate two buried people, a third person will then be buried, remembering to always maintain a distance of 50 meters from the other two. The amount of people buried will then need to increase. However, you will need to go varying the amount of people buried such as one time one person, then five, then two etc. The dog will need to learn that the search ends once the trainer walks up to it. Obviously in a real search and rescue scene, the dog will not get this type of treatment from the trainer. The trainer will need to keep the dog's expectations up high so that it continues on with the search and will need to know when to stimulate the dog when he or she sees it necessary.

The dog will then need to gradually start adding on the new scheme of chained search to its conduct, this will help the dog to develop a new expectation of the possible continual search of an inconsistent number of buried people and this type of reinforcement will serve as an added stimulus for the dog. Once the dog has been well trained and you are able to trust in it, you will then need to introduce the dog occasionally to diverse types of discriminative searches such as odoriferous and visual ones as well as searches with in the presence of adverse factors, and in confining situations.

The following will describe a tactic example that has as an objective to habituate the rescue dogs to develop the search and signaling work of buried survivors, by working directly under the pressure of light bulbs which is something that is normally used in night time interventions or in dark spaces. For this type of work the following is used:

  • Several radios.
  • An electric generator.
  • Around 3 light bulbs of 550 Watts and reels.

After having gotten the dog previously used to the brightness of the light bulbs in a place away from the debris filled area, you will then need to train the dog directly in a real work area. The light bulbs will need to be strategically placed in between the debris depending on the position of the person that is buried.

The trainer must be checking on the reactions of the dog or of each dog during the development of this nighttime search, and must indicate to another second person when they should turn the light bulbs on or off. This type of training is intended to obtain a simultaneous adjustment of the possible adverse overload the light bulbs could have on the dog. The idea is to attenuate the risk having the dog become inhibited in a harmful way. After having done this type of training several times, the dogs generally react in a positive way to these sessions and should be able to locate the buried person with all the light bulbs strategically placed at a short distance.

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