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First, the popular phrase of “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Tradition and history will not give us the best advantage in progressing new ideas. Keep an open mind! Most of the information the dog community relies on is fifty to a hundred years old (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, the Jackson Laboratory work on canine social genetics). Many new concepts and ideas have been discovered since these seminal works.

Second, there are no magic bullets. It is not the influence of a single session or single trial learning that will make a successful detection dog. It is the thousands of repetitive short exposures throughout the dog’s first year of development. You are crafting the dog’s behavioral pathways and slowly shaping the dog into a dog that cannot be distracted from its odor detection task. This is the foundational behavior you must build before you start asking a dog to perform complex detection tasks.