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America's Top Dog

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According to the A&E site, ftwo105.thumb.jpg.4aae1598710f2415c9a451fd2f66dccd.jpg

America’s Top Dog will feature four police K-9 teams, including favorites from the A&E’s Live PD, and one civilian team competing in head-to-head challenges on “one of the biggest and toughest” K-9 obstacle courses assembled.

America’s Top Dog premieres Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

 

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I really loved this show.  It was exciting to watch the dogs run the courses, and interesting to see how the handlers dealt with the challenges.

Even though he was eliminated (I think the handler missed a few scent alerts), I was really impressed with Maker, the border collie "underdog".  He went through that first course like greased lightening!

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Maker was amazing first round. Seemed he did well second round too, but his handler didn’t seem to read him well. We were happy for Falco though for the win. 

Fun show - I wonder if they’ll need to change it up a bit here & there to keep it interesting (besides new dogs every time!).

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I enjoyed this so much that I watched it twice.  I was especially interested in the nosework because my daughter and her dog compete and have all kinds of titles and ribbons.  I was surprised that the dogs didn't have more obvious alert signals.  I've been to numerous competitions and alerts are usually obvious even to me on the sidelines.  

I always love to watch border collies because they are so smart and energetic.  I think this one and the dog who came in second would do better if their handlers weren't so hyper.  Falco's guy was calm and deliberate so the dog was more focused.  That team deserved to win.

I'm looking forward to next week's show.

 

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The Collie did great. Maybe because we know where the items are and can see from a different angle, but I think it was more a matter of the handler not recognizing the alerts. As the announcers pointed out, the time pressure may have been making the handler miss the signs. 

It's a shame since I'm pretty sure that collie would have gone through the dog house like greased lightning. (His handler on the other hand would probably still be trapped in the spider web)

 

Remember, as some cross promotions, the Top Dog winner was on the special Live PD ep after the Top Dog episode (they're doing it again next week). The winner seems to  be a bit hyper and excitable. Good thing he had his ball to play with; but I loved the interactions with the hosts. 

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17 hours ago, walnutqueen said:

I really loved this show.  It was exciting to watch the dogs run the courses, and interesting to see how the handlers dealt with the challenges.

Even though he was eliminated (I think the handler missed a few scent alerts), I was really impressed with Maker, the border collie "underdog".  He went through that first course like greased lightening!

That was the moment where I realized how important "handler training" would be in this competition. The dog was pretty great, but the handler was not in the same league as the guys who work K-9 for a living. The border collie was just staring right at the vase. Heh. 

When I got my new puppy a few months ago, my brother said to me, "get a German Shepard." And I said to him, "I don't want a dog that's smarter than me." Border Collie, same problem. 

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59 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

That was the moment where I realized how important "handler training" would be in this competition. The dog was pretty great, but the handler was not in the same league as the guys who work K-9 for a living. The border collie was just staring right at the vase. Heh. 

When I got my new puppy a few months ago, my brother said to me, "get a German Shepard." And I said to him, "I don't want a dog that's smarter than me." Border Collie, same problem. 

I can't wait to read about how your new pup outsmarted you when you post about it over on the Pets forum!   ;~)

If you've never seen the episode, you simply MUST watch the first 15 minutes of NOVA ScienceNOW  about dog intelligence, and meet Chaser - the most incredible border collie ever.  Apparently, the gene associated with cognition in humans is also found in dogs, and shows strong selective breeding in border collies.  

Here's a link to one of my favorite shows of all time:

https://www.pbs.org/video/nova-sciencenow-how-smart-are-dogs/

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3 hours ago, Taeolas said:

It's a shame since I'm pretty sure that collie would have gone through the dog house like greased lightning. (His handler on the other hand would probably still be trapped in the spider web)

LOL - yeah that & the crawl through would've been tough for the handler. I did feel bad for Maker because he was way ahead of the guy.

3 hours ago, Taeolas said:

Remember, as some cross promotions, the Top Dog winner was on the special Live PD ep after the Top Dog episode (they're doing it again next week). The winner seems to  be a bit hyper and excitable. Good thing he had his ball to play with; but I loved the interactions with the hosts. 

I DVDr'd & can't wait to watch this. From what I've read Dan was about ready to lose a finger trying to get Falco to like him!

Most every year we go to watch a demonstration of border collie's doing sheep herding. I hadn't realized there are competitions for this as well. The dogs always impress & look like they're having fun.

A friend of mine who has done rescue, etc, says border collies are insane unless you keep them busy. They're just too smart & must have a job.

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1 hour ago, walnutqueen said:

I can't wait to read about how your new pup outsmarted you when you post about it over on the Pets forum!   ;~)

Will do! Although at this point, I'm not terribly concerned that Norman is going to be smarter than me. He's a smart, trainable, and well balanced dog, but problem solving is not going to go on his resume as a strength. I doubt we'll see any golden retrievers on this show. They'd do great in the smell stuff, but terrible elsewhere. 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, gonecrackers said:

I DVDr'd & can't wait to watch this. From what I've read Dan was about ready to lose a finger trying to get Falco to like him!

 

 

About the LivePD parts:

Spoiler

At one point Falco dropped his ball and Dan fetched it for him. Dan offered the ball but was still gripping it and Falco ripped it from his hand in a blink of an eye, making Dan jump back in surprise. 

They cut to commercial break, and came back with Dan's hand wrapped up. Dan said "don't worry Live Rescue was just here.... " Then he unwrapped his hand and said he was just kidding. 

 

So yeah, they had a great time with Falco, but Falco is clearly a dog that wants to be doing stuff. Just sitting in studio gnawing on a ball or bone isn't enough for him like the other dogs they've often had on. 

 

His handler did say not to touch Falco, and Dan did his best to follow that, though clearly he did want to give Falco some pats and scratches. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Taeolas said:

 

About the LivePD parts:

  Reveal spoiler

At one point Falco dropped his ball and Dan fetched it for him. Dan offered the ball but was still gripping it and Falco ripped it from his hand in a blink of an eye, making Dan jump back in surprise. 

They cut to commercial break, and came back with Dan's hand wrapped up. Dan said "don't worry Live Rescue was just here.... " Then he unwrapped his hand and said he was just kidding. 

 

So yeah, they had a great time with Falco, but Falco is clearly a dog that wants to be doing stuff. Just sitting in studio gnawing on a ball or bone isn't enough for him like the other dogs they've often had on. 

 

His handler did say not to touch Falco, and Dan did his best to follow that, though clearly he did want to give Falco some pats and scratches. 

 

I like spoilers, so thanks!

The few K9's I've seen so far in studio were approachable, so surprised about the warning not to touch Falco.

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2 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

I doubt we'll see any golden retrievers on this show. They'd do great in the smell stuff, but terrible elsewhere. 

Yes, but they can DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!!! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqbVbPvlDoM

I used to work in City government, and our facility was used to train K-9s in our area.  My office was often used after hours/weekends to scent train, and the scratch marks on my steel office door looked like a grizzly tried to get into a cabin (my office was in a huge garage, hence the steel doors).  All our City K-9s loved me because they were allowed to say hi & play when their handlers came to get fuel.  The difference between the fierce working mode and down time was amazing - they turned into total mush puppies (well, with me they did - I think it was the familiar smell and my lack of fear).

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5 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

That was the moment where I realized how important "handler training" would be in this competition. The dog was pretty great, but the handler was not in the same league as the guys who work K-9 for a living. The border collie was just staring right at the vase. Heh. 

 

Absolutely.  The border collie was great but the handler didn't pick up on the signal.  Scent training usually begins with a bunch of boxes on the floor with the "hide" in one of them.  The dog is trained to do something like sit down to indicate he found it.  My daughter's dog just naturally put his paw on the right box so that's what she went with.  It's an easy signal to pick up even when the hide is not on the floor.

5 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

And I said to him, "I don't want a dog that's smarter than me." Border Collie, same problem. 

LOL  My daughter says the same thing.

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Spoiler

Bear from tonight is so funny, he's chewing on his chew toy, and making this awful noise, and Dan Abrams looks worried.   Actually, Bear still makes that noise when he's just relaxing, and Dan's petting him.  

Dan said he has PTSD from the dog that won last week that ripped the ball out of his hand when Dan went to hand it back to him (Falco?)   .  

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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Another thrilling episode, and an almost photo finish.  I didn't think Bear was going to beat the time, but his quick release and callback gave him the extra few seconds for the win.

I floved hearing about the Doberman K-9 visiting kids in hospitals.  

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16 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

Bear from tonight is so funny, he's chewing on his chew toy, and making this awful noise,

That was the oddest noise.  He sounded like he was in distress but he must just do that as the handler didn't seem a bit concerned.

I am loving this show and wish it was going to be on more than a few weeks.  The teamwork between dog and human is fascinating.  Once again, the calmer and more deliberate handlers prevailed.  I was very impressed by how quickly Bear and his handler cleared the scentwork rooms.  

The dog who came in second (forgot his name) really wanted a piece of the "criminal" he took down.  He was totally focused on him even after he was called off until, I assume, the guy was out of sight.  

One of the losing handlers dragged over a ramp for the dog to clear a jump.  I didn't hear any comments about why that was allowed.  I'm still wondering how that works.

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I haven't watched last nights ep yet; but in the first ep, they did make a comment that after 30 seconds or so, a handler is allowed to aid the dog if needed to clear the obstacle. I'm sure the specifics of the aid and what they can and can't do are told to the contestants ahead of time in much more detail than the quick comments we get. 

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Was fun to see it so close this time. I wonder if the little underdog next week can keep up - they do well but don't seem to be a match for these police dogs. The scent tracking part is killing it for them so far, & understandably, as they don't do that for a living!

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I wonder if the contestants know in advance what the different parts of the competition will require.  I was surprised that most of the dogs, including the professionals, were so reluctant to go into water.  If I had entered a competition that I knew would require the dog to swim, I'd make sure my dog was willing to jump into water before I entered.  Of course, dogs are only human, and so sometimes they just don't do something on a given day of competition that they've done flawlessly many time in the past (ask me how I know this  ;-}  ).  But still, it was three dogs who totally balked at going into the water in this episode. 

I didn't see the beginning of the first episode, but in this episode the bully "underdog" really acted like he had no training at all for the scent detection part.  Again, been there.... sigh.  But the locker room search was really the only room that was particularly challenging for a dog that's been trained to do that sort of work.  Dogs that have been trained to do scent detection by people who just train as a hobby do more complicated room searches at intermediate levels of competition, so it's not like the underdog needed to be trained to a level of doing it for a living.  I kind of wonder if the "underdog" trainers are attracted to the more macho aspects of running obstacle courses and apprehending "perps", and don't really realize that efficient methodical scent detection is going to be a big part of the competition.

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Boy Howdy, I hope Minion's "suspect" in the final round was wearing a cup.

Also, Minion's handler really showcased the value of the handler not letting the time pressure get to her, and just trusting her dog in the scent challenge.  They did an awesome job throughout the competition, but I especially loved how much more she just stepped back and let her dog work the rooms than the pros did during the scent detection. 

 

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7 hours ago, Hooper said:

Minion's handler really showcased the value of the handler not letting the time pressure get to her,

I agree. Team Minion was a great example of teamwork

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