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.