To clarify the 'not the right breed' comment, when I tried three times to get puppies I was fostering into the SAR program, the first was Glory, a GSD Golden Retriever mix that had started being trained for tracking before his owner lost his home. I was told a golden retriever would make a poor SAR dog, too easily distracted is what they told me, without even meeting the dog. The second was Daisy Duke, a Lab Beagle mix, again they used the phrase, 'too easily distracted' and again they never bothered to meet the dog. The third was Joey, a GSD Bernese mix who could already track my little sister to a hiding place in the woods behind my house at the age of 4 months. This time they told me he was too old to start the training and that a Bernese is 'too anti social' which is ridiculous because every Bernese I have ever known was very friendly, almost dangerously so (my neighbors Bernese purebred was almost stolen because a guy walked into the yard with a leash and just hooked the dog up and started to walk away, the dog followed like it was normal)
The SAR club I have been in contact with before calls them selves the 'Maine Brigade' but they are not an official club, they are SAR Enthusiasts, self described of course. they only charge a yearly membership fee of $200, so they seemed like a good start, since other groups won't even take you until your dog is fully trained (at least this is what I was told). I found them to be a bit snooty, and very stuck up. They told me my best chance was for a purebred GSD or a pure Lab, though they also embrace the use of Great Pyrenees, which seems odd to me since GPs are more of a herd protector breed than a tracking one.
And yes I do plan t breed my male one more time, but not in my home, I have entire litters of puppies at my home on a regular basis as a foster home, and even though Baldr is a good dog and loves puppies, his girlfriend Hope does not like having young puppies crawl on her if they are not hers I also recently downsized after my last landlord lost the property I was living on for failure to pay the taxes, so instead of a small farm with a heated kennel attached to one end of the house, I have a four bedroom two family home I purchased with my mother, that has a very small yard. I walk my dogs multiple times a day and they get plenty of exorcise, but I can only handle either small litters of medium dogs, or litters of small dogs.
And as for how much time I have to spend on training a dog, although not physically disabled, my illness makes finding work difficult, and keeping a job harder, doing SAR is what I want to do since I cannot be a Game Warden or Police Officer. I have lots and lots of time, and my hope is to not only learn to do SAR with a dog but to be able to then teach other people and dogs for it. Of course my dream is to have my own GSD Kennel that produces Military and Law Enforcement K9s as well as dogs for Service and SAR.
And I do know that Therapy dogs are very different from SAR dogs, if I found the perfect dog, but that dog ended up being too willful or flat out crazy (I have had a few of those) it might be good to train them for something different. I believe things happen for a reason, but I also believe in having a back up plan.
Also, Baldr is not the only odd dog I have, his sister would make a great Therapy dog, but she only does well with children and kittens ( she has never had a litter or even gone into heat, but her maternal instincts are second to none) I almost had a purebred GSD this spring, I helped a local breeder track down his $6,000 stud who had gotten loose. I tracked that dog for nine miles in the woods and was promised a puppy from his next litter for finding him and bringing him home, they never followed through on the deal. Not that it struck me as odd that the did this, those are $3,000 puppies they have from German Working Lines.
I have contacted people who charge only a few hundred dollars for a pup, but three of the four had puppies that were obviously not purebred and seemed sickly (I reported them after finding out that the dogs were left outside in all weather with little shelter, they were not breeders they were small scale puppy mills in my opinion, the dogs stayed in kennels the size of rabbit cages) the fourth only had a few older pups left and while I don't mind an older pup for a pet, these dogs were already a year old and were very skittish around strangers, which makes for a difficult time training since I would have to socialize them first.
Also a reasonable price would be $500 or less, as I said in the first post, I am not looking for show quality, just a good dog with healthy bloodlines.
As I said my goal is to become a trainer myself and to be able to help people, by helping animals, by helping people. its a nice little circle that develops after a while.