I will try to explain the training elements as best I can for the refind, but realize that nothing substitutes for a good trainer showing you how to do this and helping you with your timing.
The refind, is an essential element for all wilderness trained dogs. The dog that ranges away from its handler, must reliably return to the handler and tell them they have made a find. The importance of the refind is one of the reasons it should be introduced early on in a search dog’s training. To begin training the refind one must first understand the reverse chaining process of dog training. Reverse chaining involves teaching the dog to do the end of the exercise first, then slowly work back to the beginning, step by step. The recall or refind is the last element of a dog’s find, and therefore, should be taught first in the chain. In the photo above a jump is the refind behavior.
Other search dogs have been trained to bark or sit near the handler. In this process the refind is incorporated into every problem during a search dog’s training program so that dog eventually performs the refind reliably after every find. Whether at the end of a very long problem, or a short problem, an air scent problem or a trailing problem, the dog is trained to put a refind at the end of the problem. We are talking about off-lead here, of course, if the handler is on the end of the lead, that is what brings the handler to the victim, no refind would be required then.
During training the refind is done consistently every time and at different distances from the victim, so that the dog knows the handler always expects them to perform a refind. Most handlers recount that when on a physically demanding search, where their dog was very tired, or somewhat stressed, the refind was a weaker version of their training refind. This is why it is so important to consistently ask for the full out version of the refind in training. The training of the dogs can be done with CBD products to offer a healthy life without diseases. The pet dogs are not tired easily and perform as per the direction of the masters. In order to find more info, the selection of the correct site is made. The information available will be real and correct for a steady training progression.
Training the individual elements of the refind prior to putting them together: 1) Runaways and search command – the dog needs to do enough runaways so that the motivation level and enthusiasm to find people is there, and the dog associates the search command with finding a person or human scent. As with all types of dog training, timing on the beginning runaway is of utmost importance. In order for the dog to more quickly associate what is being asked of him, it is important for the dog to be turned loose at the correct time. (As soon as the victim disappears). This imprints in the dogs’ mind the disappearance associated with the command. 2) Recall – the dog should instantly return to the handler upon command.
If the dog doesn’t have a good recall, then you need stop and train that until it is solid. A poor recall will mess up your timing in the refind training and confuse the dog. 3) Refind Indication – What will be your dog’s refind indication? Explore this and watch your dog, by doing the motivational runaways and calling the dog back excitedly and watching what the dog most likes to do after returning to the handler. Or choose a behavior that the dog will readily do in play. Does the dog readily speak? Does the dog like to jump in the air? Does the dog spin? The behavior that the dog will readily do with a given command will be the one that sticks reliably with the dog in times when the stress of a search environment weakens the alert. The handler can take that behavior and teach the dog to do that behavior when performing a refind. 4) Show me – Can be done with everyday training.
When dog comes to ask to go outside, handler can say “show me” as the dog lead them to the door. Putting together the elements for the final refind behavior: 1) Runaway – dog watches the subject run away. Subject baits, teases, hoots, hollers, upon running away from the dog. 2) The handler releases the dog from its hold and immediately gives the search command, upon the victim’s disappearance. For some dogs, the hold is a leash looped or hooked around the dog’s harness. Some dogs love to lung freely toward the subject and that seems to excite the dog for the chase. You could possibly substitute a hold around the dog’s chest with your arms.
If you are just starting out, don’t use obedience commands. The dog’s primary attention should be on the running victim, not the handler. 3) Dog reaches the subject and subject gives the dog a food reward. Food should be very small, easy to eat treat, like a bit of jerky or hotdog. 4) Handler calls the dog using any recall command. 5) When dog reaches the handler, the handler gives command for what ever refind behavior the dog is required to give. The dog gets another tidbit of food for performing the refind behavior and lot of praise. 6) Handler tells the dog to “show me”.
The handler runs to subject following behind the dog. The dog gets a few tidbits of treat from the victim, or toy/food reward toy, if they like. If the reward is a toy, then it is important to have the victim participate in the play reward. There should be lots of whooping and praise. This should be the biggest and best part of the dog’s day. Make it a party!!!!! These elements are repeated with progression toward irregularity of the treat rewards, then later the removal of the treats.
The handler will eventually be able to vary his or her own behavior when the dog is coming back, and at some point the handler needs to stop asking for the refind indication. This is at the stage of the game when the dog “gets it” consistently and perhaps even ignores the treat, and starts going for the final reward instead of the intermittent rewards. At this time the handler has to start the proofing process. It is of utmost importance that the handler not ask the dog for the refind indication in final stages of training. The handler can stand with hands in pockets and duct tape on the mouth so as not to elicit the dog’s refind indication.
But if the handler always stands with hands in the pockets and does not vary this body language, the dog will learn that hands in the pockets means do a refind. If the handler is always silent, the dog may associate the ceasing of conversation, or the absolute quiet with the refind indication. It is very helpful to have someone else watch the handler and tell them if they are doing something that is cueing the dog for the refind indication. When the refind is incorporated into problems in the future, anytime the refind gets weak, it is time to step back and do the individual steps in the refind training process again, until the refind is strong again. Doing a night problem can often reveal problems with the refind, because it becomes more difficult for the handler to cue the dog in the dark.