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Old 05-21-2014, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How's training going?

Well hello SAR members Been on a break for a few months, getting my butt kicked in gear in other areas of my life (work, school, gym).. but I just wanted to see how all you guys are doing in training and/or live searches.

Nothing new here, still on break from SAR started school and started at a new gym here. Those are the newest additions to the life of Whitney. Titan has LOVED every minute of the last few months, he gets much more play time, and we actually do a lot more nose work too, which he loves. Any advice to keep him up on his nosework would be awesome, we trained live find/area for almost 2 years, so I am trying not to let that dwindle too much during our down time.

Anyways, I know a few just started out and a few have been here for a while. Just interested in what y'all are up to in your world with your pups. Hope everything is going well... looking forward to hearing from you all.

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Old 05-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Glad Titan is doing well! I've never done nosework but it sounds like great fun.

Our last training was really great. We have mostly been going out to rural areas practicing quick live find scenarios. I've been handling one of the trailing dogs and am getting good feedback/compliments from the team. The Sil Sanders tracking sem really helped with line handling and I'm starting to be able to read this particular dog really well. We have TWO puppies on our team now so training sessions are full of cuteness. One of the dogs had a find in Oso, supposedly. I never heard the details and I wasn't there, but it sounds like the conditions were terrible.

I've slowed down training quite a bit since passing academy because I have sciatica. It took forever to get diagnosed and I was unable to go for walks for a while. I'm back on my feet conditioning and planning on a backpacking trip in June.

Oh! And I got in touch with a local breeder I really like and she's thinking of breeding her search dog in a few years, so that fits with my timeline perfectly. I didn't realize this but I've actually run into her at obedience trials before and was admiring her shepherds.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm hearing you about body pain. I struggled with plantar faceitis and now that is not bugging me but I have an inflamed IT band at the hip. Wo is me. ;-) Hope the sciatica starts behaving!
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just got back from 5 days of seminar at Western Carolina. one day bone id human vs animal, one day health for the working k9 and three days of advanced cadaver Level 2 class. No pictures; not allowed but I am just home trying to decompress. It was intense - some great things I saw Beau do that really impressed me but some areas where we need to improve. Scenarios much tougher and more real world than any certification test...so it may take me a few days to process everything....to "recover" from the facility ( I would lie if I said it was not somewhat unsettling) and to structure a plan to correct the deficiencies we did find and to build on the really neat things we also found.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Karin: Sounds like you guys are on the right path! Glad you were able to find an amazing trainer. I have found a decent one, but not one specifically experienced with GSDs and that would be simply amazing.. I am lookforward to hearing about your further progress!

Kaimeju: That's awesome! I wish I would have done what you are doing before starting SAR. I think it would have built a better foundation for me. Looks like that's exactly what you are doing. Awesome!! Super excited about your future pup!! Finding the right breeder is the hardest part! Looking forward to pictures and updates when the time comes.

Nancy: I have never been to a seminar of any kind for SAR though it would be very very educational. I envy you in that area. Glad Beau did well in some of the areas that you didn't expect. I hope you aren't beating yourself up over the others. While I dont' knwo you well in the sense of family, I believe through posts and PMs I know you well enough that you will wokr through that and come out much stronger.

Thanks guys for responding, I was really wondering how everyone was doing for a while and finally just decided to be nosey I enjoy hearing abotu everyone's lives (K-9 and not too).

Anyone have exciting plans for the Memorial day weekend?
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm really glad you started this thread. I love hearing about where people are and what it's like where they are working, since SAR varies so much by area and discipline. I always learn something new!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoung2153 View Post
Anyone have exciting plans for the Memorial day weekend?
Missing our summer practice search to go to a conference for work. How about you?
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaimeju View Post
I'm really glad you started this thread. I love hearing about where people are and what it's like where they are working, since SAR varies so much by area and discipline. I always learn something new!



Missing our summer practice search to go to a conference for work. How about you?
OMG does it. I learned how different our group is here than everywhere else, it's all based on location and the kind of environment your dog will be in.

I am taking on 2 additional dogs.. friend going out of town and needed theirs to be watched. It will be Titan, Remmy (1.5 yr lab/huskey) and Hera (10 month Akita). It should be a rather interesting weekend with 3 huge dogs. I have done 5 dogs before, but they were well behaved and had a much much bigger property. These 2, unfortunately are not exactly polite animals. I think it will be a lot of crate time for them too sadly, mostly because Titan has a low threshold for puppies, and it was last minute so I already had plans... which were Church volunteer gorup, then BBQ and a surprise B-Day dinner for a friend. HOPEFULLY Monday will be... relaxing and quietish. lol.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Whitney, what are your plans with Titan with respect to SAR? What does your trainer say now about his behavior that lead to the SAR vacation... vacation from SAR that is? have fun with a house full O'dogs.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Karin I'll PM you a little mroe details.. but basically it's ME who isn't completely confident with Titan in that setting anymore and if I were to work a lot with him on it we could be fine. In the mean time I have just offered to be a volunteer and come when I can until a few things change.
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