Mal's as a SAR dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Mal's as a SAR dog?

Can a Mal be used as a SAR dog?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 08:56 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

Of course

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

What are some traits that would indicate that he would make a good SAR dog?

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:02 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

Uh well...they have tons of stamina and drive, and they're commonly used for scent detection...so why wouldn't they make a good SAR dog?

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

I dunno, thats why I asked. I'm interested in trying to get into SAR w/ my Mal Zeus.

I'm not sure where to start, or if he even has the traits that one would need.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:17 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

I would suggest Googling tracking clubs in your area. That's usually a good place to start. Or you can try googling trainers that are experienced with tracking.

If you're a trainer and are interested in learning how to teach scent detection and tracking, you may want to look for classes or seminars, etc. that are especially for trainers. I went to a school that taught scent detection and tracking, but that was in addition to obedience, puppy development, behavioral modification, support dog training, retrieval, personal protection, police K9, etc.. So I'm not sure how easy it is to find a course that focuses strictly on scent work & tracking.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:20 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

I have read several times that a SAR dog needs good "hunt" drive. If you throw a ball into tall grass, they will look for it forever. I don't know if that's any help to you or not.

Mals tend to be a nice size for SAR, too.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 10:08 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

Mals definitely have the drive for SAR. Unfortunately many do not have the environmental soundness/nerves to do it, especially USAR. Of course, most GSDs don't either, but this sort of environmental sensitivity tends to be more common in Mals.

But it never hurts to try. Find a group, have him evaluated and give it a shot.


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 10:45 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

There are a lot of Mals in SAR work - as Chris suggested - get him evaluated

Best thing would be for your to find a SAR team and find out if SAR is right for YOU. There are teams in the NJ area. Jennifer on this board is on a NJ team. The dog is only a part of it.

Many teams are going to make you come to training without the dog for awhile before they invest any time in your dog because the people who decide they will only do SAR if the dog works out don't usually "stick". Typically if SAR is for you and the dog does not work out, you would get another dog or do something else to support the team.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 11:40 AM
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Re: Mal's as a SAR dog?

Some of the best SAR dogs I know are Malis, but in experienced hands, if this is going to be your first dog for SAR, I'd stick with the labs.

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