Tom Middlemas


Natural methods

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As a result of the course in Greece it has been proven totally that the charts that I have in the Instructors course regarding bacterial growth and temperature are correct. As the optimum temperature for maximum growth of bacteria is at +48c and the Greek climate reaches the 40s for long periods in the year then the dogs in Greece have a marvellous opportunity to follow a trail as every time the temperature reaches the 40s then bacterial activity is at its greatest thus spreading lots of bacteria all around so providing the dog with lots of trail to follow. This point was brought home to us on a cold day when there was obviously very little growth and the dogs really struggled after only 15 minutes to follow a given trail yet they consistently trailed 20 and over hours in
moderately warm temperatures It is therefore vitally important when laying trails to allow the bacteria time to multiply dependant on the weather and this is very hard for the human mind to accept with the temptation to
start the trail as soon as possible foremost in peoples minds and a lot of instruction on this important factor will need to be given to new students.

Talking of which
It is very interesting that man has no idea of time scales when using his eyes. I was watching a group of students who were following the examples of an Instructor on the giving of the Scent article to the dog before starting a trail. The Instructor took approximately 5 seconds to allow the dog to scent but when the students came to do the same each one individually gave the Scent article for no more than two seconds. The instructor was
upset at this scenario but it is quite common in training when an instructor tries to give a practical demo it does not seem to register any form of time scale with the students so it must always be accompanied by a thorough explanation of the time scale involved

There are a disturbing number of dogs turning up at the rescue centre at Arthurshiel with severe agressive behavioural problems,especially when meeting other dogs or humans. This is due to the lack of understanding of pack heirarchy by the humans and is not a fault of the poor dog . In any pack out on its walk or daily hunt
for food the approach of any other animal or human is seen as a threat to the pack which should be challenged by (sound familiar? interested in how to solve - contact Tom)


These are the latest search dogs leaving Arthurshiel bound for Istanbul to become disaster search dogs. Tom has spent the last month getting four Border collie puppies and one of his own labrador puppies ready to go out to the Turkish Civil Defence for training in searching disaster areas due to the imminent earthquake situation in Turkey.
Tom spent a few days with Civil defence member Cemil Erden and volunteer and interpreter Burcu Celebi at Arthurshiel going over all the basic training needs and Tom will follow up with training advice and everyone is confident they will become future lifesavers


The puppies are now settled in Turkey and are all doing well, as you can see they are getting used to their new training already and more updates will follow