I've started to be fascinated by cadaver detection dogs, to the point of acquiring the Cadaver Dog Handbook to read about the training and so on. I was wary, because they work closely with the police, and between that and it being based on decades-old tracking (with possibly decades-old training ideas) the likelihood of punishment in training was pretty strong. To my delight, though, the handbook -- the bible of cadaver dog trainers -- promotes clicker training as the ideal! Yay! I'm on page 63/203 and so far the training, while sometimes sloppy and not *quite* how I'd do it, is all positive reinforcement with a spotlight on the clicker. (What's that saying -- the only thing two dog trainers will agree on is that the third is doing it wrong?
At least it's a tolerable wrong that I just feel could be more clear to the dog rather than a matter of ethics!)
And with his perfect timing, today, after I reached the actual "training with scent" portion of the book, Delta found an animal spine on our walk. Nice and stinky. I picked it up in a poo bag (after he rolled in it and also got nice and stinky...) and brought it home and I am extremely tempted to try training Delta with the book's methods to detect dead animals.
I am so interested in cadaver dogs that I may have shifted my plans from "calm around other dogs as the most important part of nextdog" to "appropriate for tracking as the most important part of nextdog." Obviously the *most* important part of nextdog is being something Delta gets along well with, but that's at the top of the lists for my desires.
With dog school over, I'm looking into apartments! Many in our area are pet friendly and even focus on that, so I have options. There's a really nice neighborhood with low rent prices that I'm going to call tomorrow to set up a visit and see if they have any units in my price range available. I'll be very excited to have a place of my own!
I can't tell if the antidepressants are working or I'm just in a good mood from things going well in life, but I'm enjoying easy optimism either way.
After his encounter with the critter corpse, Delta got a bath with double soaping. Sorry buddy, eau de corpse isn't pleasant to me and you sleep in my bed. I have to draw the line somewhere.
Recently I've started listening to "Drinking from the Toilet Bowl" and "Cog Dog Radio," two very great dog training podcasts. I've got "Fenzi Dog Sport Podcast" on deck next, but if anyone else has recommendations, I'm always looking for new podcasts!