Develop Off-leash detection skills from day one

In detection training as in many projects in life, it is important to begin with the end in sight.

I want a detection dog that is self-motivated and is operating independently under direction.

I want to be able to direct the dog to a distant objective to search.

With these two goals in mind, I want to develop handling skills and detection skills at the same time.

Directionals and detection are taught separately and then combined. When the dog knows a basic independant search and the basic of directional control the two can be combined.

Imprinting new odors

This video shows a dog learning a new odor working off leash on a carousel I built to hold 8 Ray Allen scent boxes. If I remember correctly each box is 30 inches from the center of the carousel and all boxes are 24 inches apart.

I often start with a remote feeder. When the dog goes to the feeder it gives you time to rotate the wheel. Here I am delivering the reward by hand. We start eh session on food reward and end up with tug reward.

With the carousel, the dog works independently from the first day of detetion training.


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  • Dear Mr. Pat Nolan,
    Superb Video!!!! It is a superb step by step instructional video.
    Thank You for sharing .
    Best always,’

    Ravi Nambiar Reply
    • Thank you,

      will be posting more

      Pat Nolan Reply
  • Awesome video!!! Thank you for sharing. Do you happen to have plans for this box “wheel”?

    Matt Reply
    • Matt,

      I don’t have plans for the wheel but I will post a video showing the construction soon


      Pat Nolan Reply
  • Very cool, what kind of whistle is that?

    Rebecca Reply
    • Rebecca,

      I am using an Acme-535-Silent-Dog-Whistle. It comes with a cap on a chain that I remove. I add a short piece of clear plastic tube on the end so that I can keep the whistle in my mouth without using my hands.

      I will post a picture of the set up soon.


      Pat Nolan Reply
  • Pingback: Directional Detection Canine

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