I will chime in as I intended some time ago.
Tygo is a tough-headed pup and I felt like my bond with him was weak some time around 9 months old... he will be a year this Saturday. Some months ago he attacked a pup and puncture his ear. So this inspired me to seek out another trainer. So fourth trainer and I struck gold. My current trainer was trained by Ivan Balabanov and has two malinois and a GDS as his personal dogs. He is also a trained decoy/helper. He can read Tygo so well and brings our the very best in him. I go to training weekly to work on restructuring play so that it is less adversarial. We also have worked on obedience. The training is all one-on-one and I have now decided that I don't have use for dog classes. I get so much more out of one to one and the trainer can really zero in on my timing... which always seems to be the problem. So now I have a dog that has much better obedience, an awesome recall and I can use toys more effectively in training and as reward.
How this translates into SAR... the obedience is much more of a teamwork feel, so Tygo sort of seems to comply with intention and cooperation rather than compulsion or suspicion. The SAR work itself was not a problem, more our teamwork if that makes sense.
Currently, we are working on solidifying our alert (jump alert). I'm sort of regretting that choice of alers, as this 50 year old body getting hit by a 60 lb dog is well... probably not the smartest idea, but he does it and I'm am trying hard not to flinch. He is good at his work and seems to stay on task and seems to understand what to do once in the scent cone. We are also just starting on large-source cadaver tissues and that goes okay. He is still learning that this is something to alert on.
We have been getting our sign offs including handler sign offs like ropes, low angle rescue systems, navigation, crime scene management, radios and just finished our "unexpected night out"... only with a tarp and two bags of pine needles. Oh that felt great! ;-) NOT. Hopefully in a week we get our "hot load" on a helicopter done. Anyway, keeping to our quest which is easily a year and 1/2 away but I really enjoy the training and my training groups.
That is my report.
Dutch Shepherd - Ptygo (Tee-Go) de las Flores