While this thread is mostly about alarm/protection dogs.....does anybody bother to train a search function into their dogs? Seems a lot of us have Grandkids. My youngest pup now has enough brain power to start training a " find the kids" command. Older kids ( now adults) used to have a grand time trying to lose the dog on 2500 acres. Dog was trained to air scent instead of track so kids were out of the house for hours as you have to let the scent age. Never took her more than 15 mins to find them but quite the useful skill if you had a missing person. Fun time with dog, kids and useful besides.
Pretty easy to do as a game, and In my opinion should be started as young as possible so dog doesn’t get lost.
For majority pups get used to only locating us by site and sound, after a certain age forget they can locate us by smell.
Several videos on YouTube where people will call their dogs and hide then dog freaks cause it can’t find them. Run all over the house looking and listening rather than smelling.
Yes it can get hilarious, but the consequences for a dog that can’t find you, or it’s way back in strange area can be deadly for the dog.
Tourists lose dogs every weekend cause their dogs are basically mentally stunted.
They get loose in strange area, chase something and don’t know how to backtrack themselves.
I’ve done it with mine as a game.
Examples: I may give dog smell of wife’s shirt, and ask “where is mom,” wife will get their attention when they look at her they get rewarded.
We later progress to one of us hiding outdoors, and one of us will tell dog to find the other.
Pretty neat when they trailing you, and wind blows scent to them and they leave the trail, and head straight for you.
I took our youngest dog don’t into woods couple years ago for his lesson. Little later for him as he was 2. Usually do it earlier.
Turned him and his parents loose.
When I saw he was trailing something I Toned his parents back, and watched them backtrack on the garmin.
When he was about 1 mile out, and upwind, I toned him.
we sat silently and waited, and waited, and waited.
Took him quite a while before he figured it out. I could see when he panicked for a bit doing all kinds of loops, straight runs etc. Then he stopped, reasoned it out, and began following his backtrack.
He got to a draw where he last saw me and got confused again going wrong way, then stopped, and reasoned it out again, and followed his trail straight back to truck.
He was one relieved pup then.
I don’t recommend taking dog into the woods for that lesson without a good satellite tracking collar though.
I could have got him at anytime if he panicked too bad i would have just drove to him so he could hear truck or had my other dogs bark so he could find way back.