SAR training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Smile SAR training

Gypsy and i have been together for sixteen months now and we have trained very hard in obeadence, she has become so much more than i expected. I'm thinking of training for search and rescue because of her abilities to finding people when we play hide amd seek. we never lose.
Soon i'll be taking her to a junk yard to try and find my friends kids who will be hiding there. i also have taken her to strange places and played hide and seak with a friend and again she found him every time.

Gypsy and i think we would be an assett to a SAR's team with the proper training. any info on how to get started would be welcomed.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 08:17 AM
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You need to find a SAR team in your area and talk to them. SAR is not fun and games and something you just "train a dog to do." It is a lifestyle. It's not just out there finding friends in a junk yard. It's life and death. YOU have to be committed to it 110% as well as your dog.

Do you like being outdoors hiking in sub zero temps for 12 hours? How about 110 degrees? Do you want to be called out day and night to go on searches? Is your job flexible enough to allow this? Are you in good enough physical condition to hike through any conditions your area might throw at you? Are you proficient with a map and compass? If not, are you willing to put a lot of effort into it to it do do so? Do you have the available funds to drive long distances and buy the equipment?

If SAR is something you are really interested in--stop all training towards it immediately until you are actually on a team. Not have very specific training steps they go through with dogs. It takes a lot longer to undo bad habits than to train new tricks. Depending on the team, the terrain, and the general area there are generally very specific guidelines you must follow for indications, alerts, and searching in general (air scent vs. trailing, etc).

Find the team first. Worry about training next.

This isn't something you do on your own.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 08:47 AM
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i agree with you except for for the part about training just to do it and a lifestyle. if the OP wants to train in SAR just for fun what harm does it do
to the OP or the dog??? i can totally see where having a dog trained
in SAR is just fun to have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDElsa View Post
You need to find a SAR team in your area and talk to them. SAR is not fun and games and something you just "train a dog to do." It is a lifestyle. It's not just out there finding friends in a junk yard. It's life and death. YOU have to be committed to it 110% as well as your dog.

Do you like being outdoors hiking in sub zero temps for 12 hours? How about 110 degrees? Do you want to be called out day and night to go on searches? Is your job flexible enough to allow this? Are you in good enough physical condition to hike through any conditions your area might throw at you? Are you proficient with a map and compass? If not, are you willing to put a lot of effort into it to it do do so? Do you have the available funds to drive long distances and buy the equipment?

If SAR is something you are really interested in--stop all training towards it immediately until you are actually on a team. Not have very specific training steps they go through with dogs. It takes a lot longer to undo bad habits than to train new tricks. Depending on the team, the terrain, and the general area there are generally very specific guidelines you must follow for indications, alerts, and searching in general (air scent vs. trailing, etc).

Find the team first. Worry about training next.

This isn't something you do on your own.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i agree with you except for for the part about training just to do it and a lifestyle. if the OP wants to train in SAR just for fun what harm does it do
to the OP or the dog??? i can totally see where having a dog trained
in SAR is just fun to have.
Training a dog to do anything for fun or work is good for owner and dog.
Common sense?
If you are able to go the extra miles in time and effort to make the dog useful to others then why not try?
I agree with GSDElsa's advice: if you are going to do it, do it right.

Last edited by PaddyD; 05-28-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i agree with you except for for the part about training just to do it and a lifestyle. if the OP wants to train in SAR just for fun what harm does it do
to the OP or the dog??? i can totally see where having a dog trained
in SAR is just fun to have.
SAR is not for fun and games. SAR is to find a lost person and can be life or death. SAR could be a dog specifically trained to find dead bodies.

SAR teams are not going to allow someone to train for kicks and giggles. They aren't going to waste their time with someone that isn't serious because when the call comes for their team, such as in Joplin MO, the people that have spent their time training better be serious.

Personally, I don't think I could ever do SAR. I think, like paramedics, you have a special kind of person who can mentally prepare themselves to find the worst while still hoping and working for the best possible outcome. Those people need to be commended on what they do and the time they take out of their lives to do it. I think they are all volunteers??
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i agree with you except for for the part about training just to do it and a lifestyle. if the OP wants to train in SAR just for fun what harm does it do
to the OP or the dog??? i can totally see where having a dog trained
in SAR is just fun to have.
No.

SAR is Search and Rescue, it is not a game, it is not something to do with the dog. If you want to train your dog to find friends for the fun of it, do it, it will be good for everyone, but do not call it SAR, call it Hide & Seek or whatever, but no SAR.

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Last edited by Catu; 05-28-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 04:24 PM
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Completely agree. While there is no harm to train to the dog or handler it is harmful to the team. They do not have the time money or other resources to waste training someone who just wants to have fun. Many many teams will not allow a dog in the beginning they require the handler to become proficient in land navigation before they allow the handler to train the dog. If you are not commited to SAR then please don't waste the resources. Also the reason of "I want to save a life" isn't a good reason either because there a good chance the person is not found alive and you have to be prepared to find a dead body. Also be able to help your dog because things like 9-11 where the dogs were constantly finding dead bodies the dogs got depressed and had to be cheared up so they would continue working like they should. It's an extremely noble thing to do and yes it is ALL volunteer. I started training Jinx and it's amazing to do but definitely not a game. Today we trained for hours in the pouring down rain in super hot weather fully clothed. You train a ton and it generally takes at least a year before you are able to certify and take the dog on a search.

BTW it IS a lifestyle you (the handler) must be willing to get called out at all hours in all weather most of the times in the middle of the night where it's just you and your dog in the woods alone in the dark. You and/or your dog can get seriously injured in the process. You have to have a job that is flexible because a lot of time you have to call off work to go for a search it is life or death you have to have a life that will allow for you to drop everything (most of the time) and go search. You're family has to be understanding as wel as sometimes you spend long hours even days away from your family to do a search. It really is a lifestyle

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Last edited by Holmeshx2; 05-28-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2011, 08:04 PM
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Just got back from a three day seminar at the Western Carolina Fornesic Research Facility.........all wore out...but some great training on whole human bodies. [treated with the ultimate respect]

......all I can say right now is don't play at a junkyard! Too many dangerous things there.

If you are truly interested in it the first thing you need to do is find and talk with a team. Often times it is hard to find a team that has "room" for new handlers. It takes a whole lot of time out of many people to train just one dog so they want to work with the dog and handler they know can do it and will stick with it.

Your dog may or may not be all that you think she is so you need to be prepared with what you would do if it would not work out with the dog.

Most SAR folks view the dog as a tool and if it is not working right they usually keep the bad tool as a pet and get another for work and we pretty much expect people to look at it that way.

Nancy



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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2011, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info it's all welcomed and taken for what its worth.
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