What is sourcing?

  • Dogs driving to the highest concentration of odor
  • It isn’t ONLY the moment of the dog finding target, it’s the entire components of the dog’s drive as they search for the scent

Overview of the components of a search

  • A large component is your dog not being in odor all of the time
  • The dog has to seek out the odor, driving to the source, getting to the source, and alerting to the source

What does sourcing LOOK like in our dogs?

  • Look for the “aha” moment
  • Look for an emotional shift
  • If they understand the game, they will get excited 

How to handle our dogs to help them (without creating MORE problems)

  • Reinforce the “aha” moment and put emphasis on driving to the source. After that, you can start adding the final response/the alert 
  • It’s more important to focus on the sourcing, rather than the final response, because once you learn to read your dog’s sourcing body language, you won’t necessarily need a final response
  • Allow your dog to work independently, don’t help too much 
  • Try to teach your dog to not pay attention to your behavior and focus on sourcing
  • Consider what you’re doing with your body pressure
  • Be mindful of human precision vs dog precision
  • Don’t underestimate your dog

 Exercises for building a dog’s ability to source/drive to odor

  • Set your exercises up for success
  • Thermal puzzles
  • 3-dimensional searches 

Find K9 Conservationists at: https://k9conservationists.org/