The Drive Triangle

March 21, 2019 @ 11:51 am

     You may have heard about hunt drive but maybe your aren't sure what that means.  What are drives and how are we supposed to know the difference?  Do drives make a difference to our searches or training?  These are great questions and there has been a lot of talk about the subject.  I think it's time that I threw my hat in the ring.  In this episode I am going to explore three primary drives and I'll offer you a way to look at them in a way that has helped me a great deal.  Understanding each canine as a unique individual and the core motivators helps me design training and searching strategies.

 

 

All Rights Reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor 

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Reward Systems

January 11, 2019 @ 1:11 pm

     Nearly everyone will agree that the odor hunting dog should be rewarded for its effort.  However, the type of reward that should be used is still open for debate.  It can be very easy to overlook the type of reward we use, and the way we deliver that reward because it is often just inherited from our first influences.  I have discovered that many handlers have never given much thought to the reward they are offering their partner, and those who have only know what their immediate circle of peers have told them.  It is a great big world out there and your team deserves options.  Let's find out if there is more to know about how we reward our canine partner.

 

 

All Rights Reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

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On leash or Off?

December 5, 2018 @ 4:44 pm

     Before starting a search, in training or in trialing, how do you decide whether to use a leash or to cut the dog loose?  I am sometimes surprised that teams will often choose one option or the other without really considering the pros or cons.  There are benefits to being on leash as well as off leash.  In this episode I talk about my own experiences with leash choices and the process that I use to decide which option might be best for that dog during that search.  The choice is a personal one but I think that the most important thing is that we at least have the conversation and consider our options thoughtfully.

 

 

All Rights Reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor 

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What drills should my team be working on?

October 5, 2018 @ 2:26 pm

     Making the most of each training opportunity means having a goal.  It means having a plan.  Purpose driven training allows us to make the most of our precious time working with and training with our canine partners.  Wouldn't it be nice to have some guidance to help you decide which direction to take your training.  If you want to know how I decide which training drills might be the most impactful for an odor hunting team then take a moment and enjoy this episode. I will share with you what it means to discover your search teams baselines and which baselines I think have the greatest impact on trial day.  Please enjoy!

 

All Rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

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How long should I train? How often?

August 30, 2018 @ 3:29 pm

     Recently a good friend of mine asked me how often they should train and for how long do I recommend that they train during each session.  This is such a common question and it is certainly one that I have asked before of my own trainers.  The answer may not be as simple as you were hoping for.  I thought it was a topic worth tackling so on this episode I offer some of my own opinions on this age old question.  

 

 

 

All Rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

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Odor Obedience explained

July 16, 2018 @ 11:47 am

Odor obedience is a foundational skill.  A behavior that we hope to build and develop, something we grow through training over a searching career.  That term, “odor obedience”, gets tossed around a lot and I made the mistake of assuming everyone knew what I was talking about when I used the term on score sheets or at a training session.  Fortunately, some close friends and handlers called me out and have asked me to further explain what odor obedience is, and why we want more of it.  In this second “short” episode I will explain how I define odor obedience and some of the ways we can see how it might effect our searches.

 

All Rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

 

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To pay again, or not?

May 31, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

     If my dog finds the same odor twice, should I reward a second time?  I hear this question often.  Many of the questions that handlers ask me during training only take a few minutes to answer and discuss.  This is the first of the “Short Q&A” style episodes where I hope to answer, to the best of my ability, some of these questions.  So, what is your opinion?  Do you pay a second time, or not?  Have a listen and I will tell you what I do, and why I do it.

 

All rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

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An introduction to searching with patterns and detailing

April 19, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

How do we achieve the most efficient and most effective search possible with our odor detecting canine partner?  Learning to work a search environment through patterning, and with a strategic plan can increase the frequency that we enjoy success.  But does detailing and patterning undermine the independent canine hunter that we all love so much?  Lots of handlers and trainers have their own opinions about the merits of training with patterns and detailing.  Some people have a strong dislike and others wouldn’t live without it.  In this episode I am going to dive in head first and offer my opinions on the topic.

 

All rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @ Art of Odor

 

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Odor Threshold

March 26, 2018 @ 1:35 pm

A discussion on Odor Threshold may not be what you expect.  From a pro’s perspective, odor threshold is a way to consider your dogs relationship with target odor, based on the amount, or “weight” of odor that is available to them.  What is the difference between fringe odor and source odor?  How is accessible odor different from inaccessible odor?  It’s a question of how the available amount of odor impacts your dogs hunting behavior.  In this episode I talk a bit about how I visualize odor movement and how we can modify the amount of odor that is available to our dogs with well thought out hide placements.  I also talk about how all of this can play a major role in your training efforts.

 

All rights reserved Copyright Robert Boyles @Art of Odor

 

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Welcome to the Art of Odor

March 15, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

Welcome to the Art of Odor.  Thank you for taking a few minutes to check out the site and I hope that you take a listen to this brief introductory episode.  I am your host, Robert Boyles, and I am a retired professional canine handler, professional canine odor detection trainer, canine sport judge, and all around working dog super fan.  I'm going to share my stories from working a canine team on the street, I'm going to offer my experience and understanding on how I train teams and what I look for in a top notch team, and ultimately, I hope to share my passion for the art of canine odor detection with anyone and everyone.  Thank you and enjoy!

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