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Wall Work  Here we see a short clip of a few dogs being worked on the Herstik Wall. These dogs have recently learned to ignore the distracters and alert to the target odor with a solid conditioned response. Note the response to odor is independent of handler behavior and focused on the target. There are many advantages to this type of focused response.

 

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Ball Drop  In the early stages of training using the Herstik Wall the reward is given from source. In this clip we see the proper method for delivering the reward. The end of the tube is kept covered by the wall handler so that the dog draws vapor from the target material when he comes to the hole. Depending on the stage of training the clicker may come from the wall handler or the K9 handler, (on the handler or trainers cue), then covered again and then the reward is delivered by the wall handler on a cue to him. Proper timing is critical in the early stages of training in order to develop the desired results.

 

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Independent Alert  This clip shows training of a handler and dog to indicate independently. The dog is learning to stay solid on the indication and the handler is learning to not cue the dog by stopping. The handler is having some minor difficulty breaking her own bad habit. The second leash, handled by the trainer, (Mike Herstik), allows for control of the dog to teach him not to follow the handler off target odor. Note the use of the clicker to help mark the target and instill confidence in the dog.

 

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Vehicle Training  This clip shows early stages of training to search vehicle exteriors. Once again note the handler independent alert to target odor.

 

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Oketz Training  The following clip shows a dog being trained for the Oketz, or Special Forces K9 unit of the IDF. The dog is being transitioned off the wall using conventional scent boxes. These dogs must learn to search at distances up to 400 meters out from their handlers, clearing ahead as the patrols move forward. Note the conditioned response of the odor. the training of this group was supervised by Mike Herstik.