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  • Passive suspect on track?

    I have an almost 3 year old German Shepherd who we have been on the road now for about a 1 year and half. He is trained to bite and hold. We do not have a street bite but several non physical apprehensions.

    I have been having problems with passive subjects in deployments. One of my first tracks that I went on was for a Felony Domestic Violence suspect that had left an apartment complex. My dog tracked the suspect and located him hiding on the ground in the woods. My dog did not engage the subject. I did not know that he had located the suspect until I turned on my flashlight and observed my dog near the suspect who was lying on the ground with his coat covering himself. The suspect was being passive and did not make any movements, which I felt at the time was the reason for my dog not engaging. I had a similar problem later on where I did a building search the dog located the suspect hiding in a shower standing up. My dog pulled down the shower curtain, however did not engage the suspect. My dog basically looked at me and I could tell he was unsure what to do. I suspect later slowly crept out, which I called back the dog, since the suspect has given up.

    I worked with my dog later in training doing hidden sleeves and muzzle drills, for the building search and believe he has over come that but will not know until I get another deployment like this.

    My most recent track, my dog located a burglar hiding in the bushes. My dog bolted towards a set of bushes and I held onto him to see what he was going for. I didn’t see the suspect but gave commands to him to show me his hands, which he then came out and was taken without incident. My dog did not engage the suspect but I am unsure how close he got to the suspect. When the detectives interviewed him the next day, the suspect advised that he was drunk and passed out in the bushes and was woken up by the dog licking him. From this I can ascertain that he suspect was again passive.

    I foresee this being an officer safety issue and luckily no one has been hurt and the suspect has been taken without incident in all three of these scenarios, but I feel that it might be an issue down the line and am trying to figure out what training I could do to assist me and the dog. The issue I feel is that I am tracking in the woods or someplace else, my dog locates the suspect hiding but since he is a bite and hold and does not engage, that I will continue pass the suspect or call my dog off thinking he is distracted by something and pass up this suspect and then am ambushed by this suspect.

    Does anyone have any training tips that I could use to help me and the dog? I currently use a Decoy with a hidden sleeve or a ball reward at the end of my tracks. I don’t know how I could use a muzzle in a tracking situation but if someone believes I can, I am will to try anything. Sorry for the long post but I thought I would try to be detailed as possible.

  • #2
    Sounds as if you have a really good dog and I do not think that you have any problems in relation to temprement. The dog is just reacting to new circumstances and is unsure that is all.

    Do you have a speak on command which will help, if not I will advise you. Include a couple of these senerios in your in-service training, run them again at a similar time and venues.

    Your problems are quite easily overcome but the three incidents you have recounted illustrate quite clearly why this technique of Bark and Hold is manifestly unsuitable for civilan GP dogs. But I am sure that will not help you, don't get stressed out I assure you that you do not have a problem. A problem is if the dog totally ignors the subject...... If you want any further advice I will he happy to assist with my 02..............
    "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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    • #3
      I would have to agree that as long as your dog is not passing up the suspect you are in good shape. During training tracks tell the dog to bark when he locates the "suspect" Encourage him when he is barking and once in a while have your "suspect" engage the dog. Be consistant and over time your dog will start to bark on its own when he locates the suspect. Your dog is fairly new to the game. I also wouldn't want my dog to apprehend everyone he locates on tracks. If the suspect does not resist, he shouldn't be bit. Also, if you always have your dog apprehend the person he tracks in training, he will do it for real and it will limit you to who you can track. You don't need your name in the paper for "mauling" an elderly person who walked away from a nursing home.

      As far as building searches, have a passive "suspect" during training. When the dog locates him, have the "suspect" snap a large rubber band on the dog's nose. This works well especially when the "suspect" is behind a door that is just cracked open. The "suspect" can keep the dog out while snapping the rubber band. The dog also has to trust his nose instead of his eyes. When the dog takes in a good nasal sniff at the door, that is when he should be snapped with the rubber band several times. This works well.

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      • #4
        I agree....you want your dog to FIND the person...thats what he is used for. The bite is only if the suspect deems it necessary to be bitten. My dog is bite and hold, but bites when told or attacked. He does not just bite because he finds someone. I understand you may need to have to bite a passive suspect at some point...if that is going to happen I think you are going to be giving this "passive" suspect commands to do stuff and this is going to get your dog all hyped up anyway and he will be looking to bite whatever is in his way, at least mine is!!!

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        • #5
          Ive been getting various opinions on what my dog should have done. Some believe that due to it being a bite and hold, it should have bit the hidden passive suspect. I am sort new this being a handler for only 1 1/2 year. Just trying to figure out if I have a training issue or not.

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          • #6
            Tracking

            I am a new handler also, only since April of this yr. I am Iraq with my dog which we are a Combat Tracking Team. (School), Vohne Liche Kennals 9weeks. 5 Denver IN, 4 Yuma Proving Grounds AZ cert 1500meters in the desert.

            So for my 2 cents is this. The dog is showing a change of behaivor when he is tracking, and when he reachs a subject he reacts again. Remember every thing travels down leash, if your just along for the ride its all the dog. Keep tention on the leash, do not correct him when hes tracking with the leash, only voice commands. Use the sleve at the end of the track in the woods building etc. Other times use the tennis ball. Only use the sleves max 2 times a week once you feel you got it down. So the dog dosnt expect to bite every one at the end of the track. Its fear sent. If the subject is a bad person......lol. but for real the dog will can tell due to the human odor he is leting off, nervious etc. Trust your dog.

            I will answer any ?'s you have in each step phase along the way for you.

            ? For you. Is your dog air scenting or is his nose to the ground. There is a differance. Most patol dogs will just air scent the subject. You can train the dog to track the ground which im sure you know. Your dog is doing what he is supposed to. If you aggresive he will be. you have to be excited like you won the lotto when he finds or does what you ask of him. Talk to him like a baby. When he is tired and looks at you. he is looking for guidence. I will go on. But will wait for your response.

            SGT. K
            "whys the sky blue? because god loves the Infantry"

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            • #7
              With respect I think you are being a little over analytical, for this civilian police dog team I think the dog is a little unsure that is all, bring him on with a little training and they will be find. This is very common with a young dog and most teams experience it to a greater or lesser degree..........
              "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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              • #8
                I've been reading this post with some interest to see the various opinions and thoughts. Some issues we encounter are training based and others are a matter of law. If your dog has been conditioned to bite each and every time on a track you're going to have problems. Tracks involving lost children or confused adults will pose a problem for your agency with liability issues. Do yourself a favor and review some basic case law regarding the deployment of police service dogs. Read over Graham v Connor. If you have an opportunity attend a Terry Fleck seminar, or atleast visit his website at K9Fleck.org.

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                • #9
                  Training

                  I agree ,that's what I am implying, that it's training. Just alot of stuff I through out there to see if any of those things were happening amd things that might help.






                  SGT. K
                  "whys the sky blue? because god loves the Infantry"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by k9 max View Post
                    I've been reading this post with some interest to see the various opinions and thoughts. Some issues we encounter are training based and others are a matter of law. If your dog has been conditioned to bite each and every time on a track you're going to have problems. Tracks involving lost children or confused adults will pose a problem for your agency with liability issues. Do yourself a favor and review some basic case law regarding the deployment of police service dogs. Read over Graham v Connor. If you have an opportunity attend a Terry Fleck seminar, or atleast visit his website at K9Fleck.org.
                    I think we are all on the same page here basically but if you have been allocated a 'bite and hold' trained dog as a civilian police handler it's through no fault of your own nor obviously the dog's, in my opinion it's a misinformed administration policy decision notwithstanding the responsibility will remain with the handler.

                    It will be almost impossible for these teams to search (searching being their primary responsibility) for vaunerable adults and children, and even in something as conducting an open area search for a suspect may easily result in Mrs. Lobsided getting dogged putting the trash out in her own alley. I hate the idea of searching areas on a long tracking line, it's so inefficient, but I can't think of an alternative.

                    We have had this discussion a few times and I understand the risks at the sharp end having policed urban areas with a dog, and although now retired I have been no stranger to violent conflict whereby I have had to used a dog to effect an arrest. But I consider sending a dog in on a passive subject basically flawed and frankly reprehensible which ever way you look at it, it's an assault and one which will be almost impossible to defend yourself against.
                    I regret that Terry has withdrawn from this forum I think it was a mistake as some of you handlers would have benefited from his legal knowledge on current US case stated..........................

                    Anyway I have strayed from the point of the thread for which I apologise, smokey231 please let us know how you get on and work on the bark on command, which will aid you with a hidden subject. As your dog has been trained as a 'bite and hold' give him his head with a few bites in the building, use your verbal commands he will take the lead from you. Not too much though never lose sight it's the finding thats important not the bite. You have to find them first........
                    Last edited by Eurodog; 10-05-2009, 04:09 AM.
                    "That's funny, he's never done that before!"

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