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NancyJ 02-27-2014 06:51 AM

NAPWDA recertificaiton
Beau passed his HRD recert. He was 12 for 12 with no false alerts. And wild man got through the offlead obedience just fine.

Most of us SAR folks realize this is an annual rite (passing recertfication testing) but it is still nerve racking....because there are few master trainers in this discipline (cadaver) and scheduling a test is expensive. There are no fees but we have to fly them in and take care of their expenses or else travel to a seminar. It is well worth it.

Our trainer is retired with a lifetime of experience training K9 officers. The things I learned this weekend (he called them "tweaks") are amazing. You cannot go into one of these tests with thin skin. I have been very impressed with my experiences with NAPWDA MTs. Many of the SAR organizations let folks who have only trained one dog, not hundreds, certify other handlers. I once saw a trailing test (SAR) where the evaluator was an HRD handler who had never worked a trailing dog in her life. For scenario based training, I would go to the SAR folks. For skills assessment, I am sold on the police organizations.

As far as Beau, his main comment was that he is still a YOUNG dog (2.5) and is maturing slowly and not to rush him or look for quick fixes. There were no issues with the scent work or his focus during same. Obedience, sure he passed but we are going to be working on more with more and more distractions to make him rock solid. This was his second certification. Many have not even had their first by this age.

He did some fun things to us though. In one of the building searches I could not go into the room with Beau and had to call it based on his breathing. It was the last hide so I "could" have failed it and been ok. You are allowed one miss or one false indication out of the 12 challenges to pass. We are going to incorporate that into our training.

JanaeUlva 02-27-2014 07:01 AM

"In one of the building searches I could not go into the room with Beau and had to call it based on his breathing."

Congrats on the 2nd recertification! I Like reading your posts. That last building search was an awesome scenario!

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NancyJ 02-27-2014 07:23 AM

We have a guy with a lab who is new to the team and they are awesome. The lab is 5 and it is his first test but WOW. He started training in OCTOBER and nailed it. The dog learns something once and it "gets it". As a plus, his dog always blows out his nose just before he indicates; it is very obvious. They are both absolutely amazing.

My skills as a handler have been earned slowly and painfully over time. You see someone else come in and do what it has taken you years to learn in a matter of months. You see others who struggle and struggle and never get to where you are. We are all so different but the common point is dedication. I am very excited about this guy as a team resource.

He is already talking with the folks at Maranatha (the primo place to get labs for SAR/FEMA) about getting the next dog.

Castlemaid 02-27-2014 08:56 AM

HUGE congrats to you and Beau!!! Very impressive!

Daisy&Lucky's Mom 02-27-2014 10:28 AM

Congratulations to both of you.

Slamdunc 02-27-2014 12:12 PM

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Way to go! Certifications is detection work can be stressful. Nice job, give your dog lots of praise, sounds like he worked his tail off.

We will sometimes send the handler and dog into a pitch black room and the handler has to call the alert off of the dogs change in breathing. A very beneficial training exercise, especially for the guys working Explosive Detection Dogs.


Shade 02-27-2014 02:51 PM

Congratulations on the recertification, that's great!! You both deserve a pat on the back that's for sure :D

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