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Thread: Does SAR not exist in Ontario, Canada anymore? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-27-2012 08:36 PM
NancyJ Several of us HAVE taken a dog who has started in juvenille level of bitework but has not ever been put in defense and I am not sure how long along a young prospect being groomed for police service gets by the age we might select (around 14-18 months) a young adult. ..Not sure where the cutoff is and that would be good to know....How far along is a "Green" dog typically?

Grim was two when I got him and part of his assessment was he was not "agressive enough" - now I have had some keen officers say he was not the kind of dog a lot of police want because his thresholds were too high...very level headed...and that they felt he would be formidable if challenged...I honestly don't know, doesn't matter. He was also on the small side [don't worry that I speak in the past tense]

Both myself and the other cadaver dog handler have a second dog;the older "retired" one. Neither one of us has the time to maintain training for two dogs. She is keeping her old one for boat work only as she is good with many finds and her younger dog still has some issues with control on the boat. Grim's rear end stability issues killed him ever working on a boat again. The pet thing is a reality for Grim. Beau is outside most of the day and Grim inside being a couch potato because I telecommute. In the mornings and evenings, Beau is "my dog". And usually for some session mid day.

Working Beau on the boat is an amazing experience. It all clicked so well that at certification not only did we get written compliments on our test worksheet, the boat driver who was on the dive team said "that dog can come down here anytime we have a drowning".......I can't take credit for him on the boat. It seems to be natural to him and I am glad because over half of our cadaver calls are drownings. It was, however the police master trainer who had me do, yes, obedience with him ON THE BOAT and to not accept any craziness on it...says he is the "kind of dog" that needs an obedience routine before he works. Beau has the full of himself attitude I think more police seem to like.
11-27-2012 08:23 PM
Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
talk to elizabeth first. Than you will understand, Carmen. I don't think she has any contact to them.
Carmen - I sent you a very long PM. Sorry for all the reading... lol.
11-27-2012 07:44 PM
Wild Wolf Interesting information, thank you all.

I am going to be self employed soon, and I would like something like this (hard, high effort, difficult work with a canine partner) to dedicate myself to. I am passionate about this kind of work, for many reasons, all of which I do not have to nor will I spend the time explaining.

I am pursuing many things with Hunter. We are ready for his BH (this spring) in IPO, moving quickly towards IPO1. We are ready for his first competitive obedience title (pursuing it in a couple of days). We are about to have him certified with Therapy Dogs International (working with sick children and other sick patients once a week, certifying next month). We also just started agility, as well. He's very busy and trained in multiple venues. I realize now that is a lot.

I have a contact now for Ontario SAR, who is assisting me. I will learn more through the SAR teams here and attend some information sessions. Perhaps I will pursue this with one of my future puppies who can have "one main focus".

We will see what happens with my contact, I trust their opinion and they will guide me and Hunter should we qualify for this as well. At this point, I want to start learning and getting involved at least for future endeavors.

Nothing else to contribute to this topic, so I'm taking my leave.

Thanks again!
11-27-2012 07:26 PM
Mrs.K talk to elizabeth first. Than you will understand, Carmen. I don't think she has any contact to them.
11-27-2012 06:43 PM
carmspack yes I would be interested . If they are looking for a young dog I can recommend a 6 month old who is doing multiple surface tracking . She is not my breeding, in fact happens to be total show lines , but is bred and owned by a person who has handled and bred SAR dogs .
11-27-2012 06:20 PM
elisabeth_00117 Carmen - by "influence" I meant has many dogs involved in work in our area. Maybe "influence" was the wrong word to use. Experience, definitely. I am only just getting my feet wet in the pond, while you Carmen have already swam many laps around it. Definitely 2 different view points.

But I will say (and this is not a negative thing) that with continued success comes influence and I am very sure you have some over the venues you work in. That is a GOOD thing if it is being done with thought which I believe it is. So, be proud of that and continue your work!

Zefra was not evaluated in a casual manner - I can give you details if you like but I do not feel comfortable posting them here - it has been quite a.... well... issue for us over the past few months. If you would like the background of why she was evaluated please tell me and I will explain.

All I know, and I will say this, is that the evaluator had full knowledge of Zefra's previous training and still wanted to welcome her to the team. Zefra would not of stayed in my care, that is all I will say on this unless you would like a PM.

I totally agree that a dog who is doing SAR should be totally committed to this venue - please see my original post in this thread - and I agree that there would be no time for anything else if done properly. Totally agree and never said otherwise.
11-27-2012 05:58 PM
carmspack first of all " but want to understand since i know Carmen has a great influence " I have ZERO influence but I do have experience. Basically what I am told , I do . I am told what the requirements are and I need to fulfill them or get passed by . Past performance and reputation have no advantage when an individual dog is evaluated . Either he has it or not .
As high level instinctive tracking is extremely important to my lines many of my dogs do end up in some search or detection capacity.
I did ask one of the certifying officers (remember with the RCMP guidelines) about bite training and he was very clear about it , looking at me as if , why are YOU asking me this -- the answer was NO .
I was on the phone this afternoon talking with my western connection , Yeulett , comparing notes on what the different line combinations are excelling at .
Asked her , same answer , no bite work .
But that does not mean that the dogs are placid, docile , dogs. They have high drives and high prey drive , but they must be totally rock solid in their temperament and be very resilient and adaptable and be able to handle conflict and commotion both from team and from handler .

Just like Jocoyn said , there are liability issues , and there is no TIME left to train in anything else , this is a total committment . (so pretty much what Jocoyn said). It is highly unusual to have a dog evaluated in a casual manner , meaning Zefra , because without an operational human team member the dog is of no use .

The link I gave for the Alberta group , that person just returned from evaluating search dogs for a group in West Virginia . This is a serious calling -- life or death -- not pleasant work because the results can be heavy , heart breaking .

One dog per person . In one department that one dog means one dog , so not even a "pet" dog at home .
I (we) found that out how severe they were , when a handler who had one of my dogs , certified and operational , who was getting close to retirement -- annual recertification necessary by the way , a dog can fail at any time and be asked to brush up and come in for retest . If he fails a second time that's it . Anyway the person thought it would be a good idea to get a new candidate started so there would be a seamless re-entry with the new dog . I hand picked a female . She did some trainging on her on and then the trainer /evaluator / certifying officer found out and gave the option of choose one dog -- or you will have no dog and no you on the team. She sent the female back to me and happily she has produced some good service dogs for my program.
11-26-2012 08:18 PM
elisabeth_00117 I forgot about that thread - good link.
11-26-2012 08:14 PM
NancyJ The interpretation of bitework varies and that is an ongoing very hot discussion. I think it comes down to the individual team or governing agency. Threads almost always fall apart during this discussion and if someone wants to pursue, lets pick up on an existing thread with that topic or start a new one. I think the key thing is to be aware it may be a limitation.

Also accept that teams pay a LOT of money for their liability insurance and anything that can jeapardize it needs to be considered. The LE who deploy us will NOT use a bite trained dog to search for a missing person based on some court cases. [I actually posted about that earlier this year]

Just to let you know though that they know our dogs very well and several of these dogs are tug reward and also have (per the Master Trainer) a considerable amount of fight drive... I used to think you could have too much obedience but now that we have amped up to some stronger dogs from lines bred for police service, wow. You need a lot of obedience to maintain a respect/partner relationship. One change I have seen is an increase by ALL agencies in their obedience requiremens as people move away from pets to serious working line dogs in all breeds.

My own attitude is if you have time be training in a different dog sport why aren't you spending that doing SAR related training? Some things can be related, like agility or obedience. Some folks who may not have a job and have money can pull it off but most of us suffer from having enough time to train in our discipline let alone other sports. THere is no such thing as "good enough" in SAR. Certifications are the beginning point of your training not the ending point.

Ah this was the most recent thread on Schutzhund dogs and SAR
11-26-2012 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Good question, hopefully they will elaborate. Personally I would not train a dog like mine for SAR because his prey drive (for actual prey, not necessarily dancing around for toys) is very high *and* I routinely encourage it by allowed him to chase and kill prey and do lure coursing (which we don't train for, we just *do*). I'm sure it could be done because the control is there and if I intended to do SAR I would not have encouraged this from the beginning, but in my opinion is somewhat of a "conflict of interest" especially since I use prey (allowing him to chase and "kill" - for real or catch a lure) as a way for him to de-stress, like if we do a cluster conformation show I'll enter him in a few coursing runs so he can literally cut loose. Lure coursing is one area where I have very intentionally *not* put a lot of control on the dog.
This is my thought too...
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