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Books Search & Rescue K-9 Trailing: The Straightest Path
K-9 Trailing: The Straightest Path
Based on 2 reviews

K-9 Trailing: The Straightest Path

Based on 2 reviews
  • By Jeff Schettler
  • Paperback
  • 193 pages

The "straightest path" is a simple honest approach to good trailing dog training. Schettler outlines his method for working trailing dogs, step by step, and with only one goal in mind: finding people. The simple truth of the matter is that trailing and tracking dogs do not find what they are looking for on most cases throughout this country. The problems all boil down to training for the dog, the handler, and the search managers. This program was designed for handling a trailing dog, and Jeff has been teaching now for over a decade. Whether you are training for search and rescue, are a K-9 cop, or a tactical team manager, Schettler's advice could save your life, the life of your dog, or that of another person one day.

A note From the author

Constant failure is not an option for me nor should it be for any handler interested in saving lives and solving crime. There was a time when I did not know what success in trailing was and I had to take a serious look at my K9 training protocols. The “Straightest Path” is nothing more than a simple and honest path to good trailing/ tracking training based not only on all of my experience in the field being successful, but also all of my failures. There can be no growth without both. I will outline my method for working trailing dogs, step by step, and with only one goal in mind: finding people. This program was designed for anyone handling a trailing dog and I have been teaching it now for over a decade. It is important to offer to others what was so generously given to me by many of the great handlers of the past and present.

What Experienced trainers are saying about this book

"Jeff has written a definitive work that draws on his lifelong work with canines, his extensive background as a canine trainer, a handler, a K-9 law enforcement officer and his work with the FBI. A complete methodology, The Straightest Path is a must read if you are a beginner or a veteran handler that wants to be the best K-9 man hunter."

- Frank Meritt, Subject Matter Expert for the first two CTT pilot courses contracted for DoD. He has trained Marine and Army personnel and law inforcement officers in canine and tactical considerations.

"A book written by a manhunter for manhunters. Schettler gives a compelling, comprehensive account of reality-based K-9 training. Read this book and save lives, maybe even your own life."

- Brad Dennis, Director of Search Opperations, KlaasKIDS Foundation, Search Center for Missing and Trafficked Children

"Jeff takes on the highly controversial theories of scent and the scenting dog and provides real world practicality that all handlers can learn from."

- Officer Kevin Baughn

"Jeff Schettler has the ability to break down complex canine issues. He makes easy sense of it all and is more passionate about understanding scent and reading your dog than any one else I've ever known. This is life saving stuff!"

- John W. Kunkle, Placerville Police Sgt, Training / K9 Supervisor

"The Straightest Path is a must read for any scent detection K-9 handler. Jeff Schettler has written an honest and informative book about working a trailing canine; a book that every K-9 handler will find insightful. I highly recommend The Straightest Path."

- Pam Nyberg, K9 Handler, ALPHA Team, Georgia

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Michael J. Decker
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 : Trailing and Tracking
    • The Nature of Human Scent on the Trail
    • The Scent Article
    • Equipment
    • First on the Scene
    • Reading a Trailing Dog
    • Distraction Behavior
    • Following the Freshest or Closest Trail
    • Split-Trail Training
    • Traffic Intersections
    • The Importance of Progressive Training
    • References
  • Chapter 2 : Choosing a K-9
    • The Bloodhound
    • Other Breeds
    • Puppies or Adult Dogs?
    • Testing for Temperament and Trailing Ability in Puppies and Adult Dogs
  • Chapter 3 : Trailing Gear
    • Trailing Gear for the Dog
    • Suitable Harness
    • Trailing Collar
    • Long Lead
    • Reeling In and Reeling Out
    • Cleaning a Long Lead
    • Trailing Gear for the Handler
    • Footwear and Clothing
  • Chapter 4 : Trailing Scent Forms
    • Why Trailing Dogs May Fail
    • Hunting for the Freshest Scent
    • Hunting for the Strongest Scent
    • Various Types of Scent
    • What is Human Scent?
    • Emotional Scent
    • Ground-Disturbance Scent Forms
    • Air Scent Forms
    • Proximity Scent Forms
    • The Importance of Proximity Alerts
    • What is Proximity Scent?
    • Subtle Body Language for Proximity Alerts
    • What To Do When the Dog Gives a Proximity Alert
    • Training for Proximity Alerts
    • Tactical Considerations
    • Practice, Practice, Practice
    • Death Sent Forms
    • Trailing Scent Forms
  • Chapter 5 : Environmental Effects on Scent
    • Time
    • Temperature
    • Wind
    • Water
    • Environmental Contamination
    • References
  • Chapter 6 : The Three P's
    • Producing Scent
    • Preserving Scent
    • Presenting Scent
  • Chapter 7 : Trail Layers and Laying Trails: How It All Relates to Real People on Real Trails
    • Diversity Training
    • Psychological Issues, Brain Disorders, Drugs
    • Basic Trail Laying
    • Progression
  • Chapter 8 : Fire Trails
    • Fire Trails for Puppies
    • Training Beginner Adult Dogs
    • Fire Trails for Veterans
    • The Big Mistake in Trail Laying
    • Identifications
  • Chapter 9 : Adding Distance, Turns, and Obstacles
    • Distance and Speed
    • Distance and Turns
    • Obstacles
    • Scent Pools, Cross Trails, and Back Trails
    • Resting on Trails
    • Re-Scenting After a Break, or Anytime
  • Chapter 10 : The Handler's Arch Nemesis: Distractions
    • Causes of Distraction
    • Genetic Predisposition
    • Distraction Reinforcement by the Handler
    • Handler Distraction
    • Dogs Not Trailing to Begin With
    • Lack of Proper Hunt or Prey Drive
    • Then Handler Not Being an "Alph"
    • Training for Distractions
    • Phase One
    • Phase Two
    • Phase Three
    • Phase Four
    • Phase Five
    • Phase Six
    • Pushing the Envelope on Distractions
    • Dogs and Crack Addicts
    • Noise and Object Distraction
  • Chapter 11 : Scent Discrimination
    • Split Trails
    • The First Phase of Split Trails
    • The Second Phase of Split Trails
    • The Third Phase of Split Trails
    • The Fourth and Fifth Phases of Split Trails
    • Successful Elements of Scent Discrimination
  • Chapter 12 : Age of the Trail and Other Variables
    • Why We Cheat
    • Establishing Reliability
    • Double-Blind Testing
    • Trailing K-9 and Handler Evaluation
    • Definitions
  • Chapter 13 : Streams and Rivers
  • Chapter 14 : Surface Transitions: Hard Surfaces
  • Chapter 15 : Extra Exercises
    • Walk-Back Find
    • Controlled, Contaminated Start
    • Car Drive Away
    • Very High Finds
  • Epilogue : Watch for K-9 Trailing, Part 2
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author
  • Index

About the Author

Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler. For a time he was attached to the FBI's Hostage Rescue Teams' K9 Assistance Program, designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives. Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the U.S. and is a specialist in the areas of tactical trailing applications and an expert witness in the areas of scent evidence and trailing with bloodhounds. After leaving the police force, Jeff founded TacticalTrackerTeams, and later integrated it with the Georgia K9 National Training Center, LLC.

Bought this product?

The Author goes deep into the differences in trailing and tracking. Absolutely necessary to distinguish between these as there will be a misconception that a dog can trail as opposed to track. Two completely different disciplines. Judgments made in California Courts clarify these differences . He pulls no punches in telling it how it is, tells it from experience . It is obvious that he has been there and done it, the hard way. We can only hope to glean his knowledge and experience. Anybody who is getting into this discipline to try to claim the Limelight for being a dog handler, forget it. The dog allows us to use his nose, they are the boss, not the handler. It is hard work. I've heard Trailing called the "Black Arts", this book confirms this for me.

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I read almost every book about trailing there is on the market and this one is by far my favorite one. It is a must for every K-9 handler, law enforcement or search & rescue, who is thinking of getting a trailing dog. I wish I had read this book before I started training my dog. Not only does the author give general information on trailing but there is so much more to it. Different training issues are approached. Exercises and how to set up trails are well explained. The author is not stingy about his knowledge, he just shares everything he knows. He doesn't make trailing a magic powder but explains really well, what REAL trailing is, that is: hard work, hard training and not always a happy ending. The reader feels that the author knows what he is talking about and made all the mistakes there are to do. And having met him in person I can assure every reader that Jeff Schettler really knows what he is talking about. This book is all about real life. No fantasy and no blinding. This book is about the hardest job one can do with a K-9. In this book Jeff Schettler shares not only his huge knowledge and competence but also his passion for trailing K-9's. A passion that is very contagious.

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