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Training Cache-hunting Dogs


javamutt

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My dog comes with me on almost every hunt. I got to thinking that with his nose, he ought to be able to help find the caches. Training hasn't gone all that well though; I tried to visually locate caches before he did, and throw a few treats on it. I would then ask him "Where's the cache?" hoping the reward would motivate. Unfortunately, I think I just trained him to look for treats instead of ammo cans. The closest thing I've done to cache-training was getting him through advanced agility courses. We have learned to cross obstacles (like trees over creeks) together and traverse thick woods without leash-tangling.

 

I know we have a lot of canine cachers in here, so I was curious if anyone's dogs actually helped in finding the caches, and if so, how they taught the dogs to do that. I'd love to have him partake in the hunt rather than just the hike.

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Yeah, try scent training and leave off the treats, just use praise. I trained German Shorthaired Pointers for hunting for 13 years, but 2 dogs I trained for scent training. They were very enthusiastic and lots of fun. I never used food as a reward. Those two dogs would track a person with incredible accuracy. I sold them both, but wish I still had Mo-run. It helps if your dog is a breed that is scent oriented.

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Nope - haven't tried scent training yet... It took a while before we could "walz" together in the woods without tangling leashes. Now that we've mastered that and keeping close on obstacles I think we're ready for the next thing. Having inherited the sight-hound tendencies from his greyhound ancestry, the woods are full of distractions for him, so it will be interesting to see if he can focus on it.

 

Is there an abridged version of how to go about scent training in this context? Love to give it a shot...

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