I have an intact male and he has had to work side by site with a bitch in heat. I had to tell him to leave it a couple of places where she pee'd and he started sniffing and drooling but other than that he was focused and has worked just fine both in training and on the real thing. We have also had to work with pitts hitting the ends of their chains with an officer with a drawn gun "just in case". The dog has to ignore that kind of thing.
Dog agression and weak nerves should be, as Renee pointed out, a total wash. Dogs in their truck barking when people get too close - I think in general a little
of that is tolerated but not dogs slamming up against the crate bars like they are going to attack everything.
Where we are people have not checked with the calendar about when to go missing. Sure some are hikers go missing on weekend and then a search starts when they don't show up for work on Monday. Sure there are some weekend calls. Nursing home walkaways don't check the calendar nor do small kids or despondents
. To balance with work. Ungh. Well you work it out with your boss. You use most of your PTO doing SAR related stuff. You miss some searches (my agreement is I won't go if we have a critical meeting and I am an important participant and, because I am salaried I either 'make up' the time on a weekend or use PTO. -- we don't actually clock in or anything but since I telecommute they usually get more than 40 hours anyway. FWIW - People tend to drink and drown on holidays like July 4, Memorial Day etc.
For our cadaver dogs the most frustrating thing for us is trying to schedule them (they usually are scheduled calls unless it is a drowning) for the weekend because then there is overtime for the police department and getting up early in the am is sometimes not really appreciated......but we explain that we have to take time off work and not get paid and spend our own gas money to do this.....
Dog agression vs snarkiness. My female (who was washed for bad hips) was a bit snarky with other dogs but not outright agressive - however - even that I have decided I am just not going to deal with anymore-if I get that behavior I will either fix it or drop the dog. It is not worth it. A SAR dog really has to be dog neutral or you are looking over your shoulder ALL the time.
It is a shame these dogs sounded like such bad ambassadors. When we have demos at tables - all of our dogs are social in that they are either neutral or love people but we like to send the gushy ones out to interact with the public. Not one dog hackles at or withdraws from people or goes whacko about other dogs.
Some things you should look for on a SAR team is
**Do they have attendance requirements
**Requirements that K9s and handlers must meet in terms of goals = or similar to the NASAR SAR II body of knowledge (either that or some equivalent)
**Do they have written standards
**Do they ceritfy their dogs, preferably to an external national standard through a national organization
**Do they have insurance
**Do they get calls, what kind of success have they had (fair to ask)
Just some of the things I am thinking about.