Welcome to Dale McCluskey’s Police K-9 Training and Consulting. This advanced system of training provides handlers and trainers with unique insight into the dog and human dynamic. Several training options are available to assist you with unleashing the full potential of your service dog and program.
This guide provides the framework from which to build a drive based tracking standard for the K-9 team. This guide will provide insight into how to get achieve the entire package without trading focus or speed. Regardless of your current level of training this illustrated step by step guide will encourage, motivate and challenge you to move to the next level of tracking.
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Tracking vs Trailing
The line between a trailing and true tracking standard can be a blurry one based on what is seen from the surface via physical response. While speed can certainly be an important aspect of having a successful tracking team one must be able to establish which script it is running through to assess if a tradeoff is being made at some level between speed and focus. This tradeoff manifests itself via lack of focus as it relates to the loss of target scent and failing to release the bite. While the drive of the dog may be firmly connected to the track the dog is seeking out the fastest pathway towards fulfillment beyond the boundaries of the follower script. Within this context the focus shifts beyond the boundary lines of what the handler wants and towards becoming a toll booth on the path of fulfillment for the dog. The dog begins to associate the quarry in a overly possessive way. This relational misalignment also can manifest via not responding to the handler’s commands and releasing the bite in a timely manner. A true tracking ability comes through communicating effectively via the alignment of the roles and knowing how to use this to influence a dog’s decision making process. As meaningful influence take hold via the role changing process the dog begins to tune into what is on the handler’s radar and agenda. When the right balance is struck between speed and focus the team becomes a force to be reckoned with.