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Drake108 06-04-2014 10:02 PM

Ideal Characteristics for SAR K9
I am currently in the process of meeting with a SAR team to observe some training sessions. Drake will then take their SAR K9 suitability test to see if he possesses the necessary skills/drives to become a SAR K9. My question is what makes a good Search and Rescue K9. Specific examples would be greatly appreciated. Also, how old was your dog when you began training for SAR? Thank you in advance of your helpful responses!

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gsdsar 06-04-2014 10:07 PM

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Sociable, good hunt drive, good toy drive, less than 2 yo.

That's the basics. It gets deeper than that, but that the crux of it.

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NancyJ 06-04-2014 10:13 PM

I would also add GOOD nerve not rattled by just about anything and good overall fitness / ability to work for hours.

carmspack 06-04-2014 10:19 PM

the permission and the ability to make decisions. Too many handlers micro manage the dog , telling the dog every move to make . Stand back and let the dog show you. This is not obedience, but harnessing the dogs' talent for our use.

The dog has to have initiative , work without constant motivation .

The dog has to work with distractions and stay dedicated to task. No running off to visit with some doggy for a romp .

No crittering -- bad habit .

Kingsj 07-11-2014 02:08 PM

I would echo drive and nerve strength/confidence. My sweet girl is super biddible, and very sensitive to my direction. She's not "soft", she does well with the occasional correction, but she pays a lot of attention to where I go, the direction I face, etc... I love that in her and it makes her extremely easy to live with. On the other hand, she is not as independant a worker as the quinessential SAR dog would be.

Personally, I like the trade off, but some people don't mind that strong independance. If you're not sure what "strong independance" looks like, it would be a dog you want to call 'butt-head' for being stubborn! :)

My2shepherds 07-11-2014 02:13 PM

No crittering -- bad habit .[/QUOTE]

What is crittering?

Kingsj 07-11-2014 02:17 PM

When a dog is supposed to be working, and they get distracted by something (usually a furry woodland creature), we call it "crittering".

wolfstraum 07-11-2014 02:18 PM

Crittering is chasing wildlife....deer, rabbits - whatever

Solid nerves both environmentally and socially, confidence, hunt drive....a dog who won't give up until it finds what you have hidden .... for example - a dog who will hunt in a pond for a submerged toy for 40+ minutes and won't give up until he finds it....

A bit more to the social side than aloof, and not dog reactive/aggressive but not one who keys in on other dogs to play either


My2shepherds 07-11-2014 02:20 PM

Okay... thank you. wolfstraum

Kingsj --- I noticed you were in Ohio.. Are there several SAR groups in Ohio? I am intrigued by this and would like to learn more about it.

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