SAR Endeavors - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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SAR Endeavors

Hey there, I've been lurking and while I do think this subject was touched upon in the "Reality of SAR" thread, I did not want to derail it even more from the original topic.

Cowboy is 8 in February and no spring chicken and I'm considering SAR. I worked with a team back when I was in college in the 90s, and was exposed to much of the training; not only the dog handling aspect, but topography, the affect of weather on terrain, some ham radio and as those of you doing SAR know, there is just tons of skills besides just the dog/handler team.

Given that I have a pretty good idea of what it entails, I have found my mind going back to it over the years and I've started looking into clubs in my area and sending out some emails asking if prospective new members are accepted, where they train as well as some background and certifications the club has.

I really thought a team would be thrilled to see I wasn't just contacting them like "yuk yuk heya i'm here with my dog. he's a pretty good dog and i wanna be a search and rescue with spot here yuk yuk" and appreciate that I would like to get involved before I have a dog/pup.

One club has replied saying they accept new members with dogs/pups already. I thought that was strange. A friend of mine doesn't think it's strange, but I kind of thought they would like that I'm willing to jump in and get to know the team/team gets to know me and start not only helping out, but brush up and learn some of the many other skills involved.

Is anyone else surprised?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 09:28 PM
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I sure think it is strange. IF you were in SC I would want to snatch you right up.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:03 PM
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And what is wrong with the "I am here with my dog/puppy who has good drives and would be interested in doing search and rescue?" I skipped all of the "yuk yuk yuk yuk" from the citation. Is the proper approach "I am worthless, my dog is worthless, my time is worthless and since I just want to kill a couple of years hanging around listening to how worthless I am, how worthless my time is and my dog is? Does that sound as the right approach?

And somebody accepting new members strange? Wow!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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so speaking of detection work , here is an article that appeared about one of my dogs being prepared for service -- please, the spelling errors have nothing to do with me or Sue ! I know it is not a sheppard -- some commentary took a little bit of license too -- but the dog is totally solid on hunt/ search , tracking --
Sniffing out trouble | NorthBayNipissing
here is the ladies blog Birch-Bark Hill
there just so happens to be a good sample of a multi surface track done by a dog from me "Blast TD"

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Whoa, what? I don't know where you are coming from with this post but thanks anyway.

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Originally Posted by RebelGSD View Post
And what is wrong with the "I am here with my dog/puppy who has good drives and would be interested in doing search and rescue?" I skipped all of the "yuk yuk yuk yuk" from the citation. Is the proper approach "I am worthless, my dog is worthless, my time is worthless and since I just want to kill a couple of years hanging around listening to how worthless I am, how worthless my time is and my dog is? Does that sound as the right approach?

And somebody accepting new members strange? Wow!

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 06:11 AM
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Well apparently it is really strange and suspicious to get a positive and friendly response from a SAR group as opposed to arrogant and condescending. Very sad the yuk yuk yuk yuk attitude.

Maybe some groups have realized that by treating newcomers better (instead of treating them as nuisance) they can end up with better people. Maybe the ones that persist through a bad treatment are not those who are the best, but often those who have personal friendships or other relationships with the established members or just lack self confidence to move on somewhere where they are treated better.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 06:34 AM
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Rebel, I am sorry that you had a bad experience. If you had to screen membership requests then you might understand. Very few people want more than another dog training venue and really don't seem to think about things such as missing work, missing scheduled personal events, and being stuck in the woods for hours, eaten up by bugs and torn up by briars.

I am always polite to newcomers but we cannot allow them to come in with a dog when the timing is not right and they will sit in the woods a lot, they will flank for other handlers a lot-- it is NOT a hazing ritual but a tremendous learning experience. Yes, it also separates the wheat from the chaff.

The beginning dog does not need a ton of team time. It needs some quick assessment of where the dog and handler are now, then homework assignments. The advanced dogs need folks to spend 4-6 hours in the woods set up by people who understand how scent works/ how dogs work....those kind of problems you don't typically get to set up at home like you can the beginning trails, the beginning runaways.

On the other side of the coin when I give a very polite response but direct them to read the join tab on our web page (which they usually have not done) then let them know that we have a 3 month period before they can bring a dog, they often don't give so much as a reply back. So rudeness goes both ways.

Like many teams, we really don't have a problem finding good quality people and dog handlers and most new dogs belong to existing handlers. It is a little bit harder to find ground and base support.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 09:17 AM
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Suka did the SAR group you approached understand that you don't intend for your 8 year old Cowboy to be trained for SAR.
I think your approach is good .
Even if you start out as the equipment guy , or the coffee truck , or the track layer there are so many little jobs that contribute to the success of the team. By reporting and participating shows that you are reliable and serious .
Then , later, you can bring in a dog --- but be prepared to be told that what you have chosen is not suitable -- there has to be some critical evaluation .

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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The yuk yuk was just me demonstrating the opposite end of the spectrum , or extreme with my own brand of comic humor.

The reply I received in my email was not rude; it was friendly but with the one caveat of needing a dog now instead of later.

In one of the threads in this subforum, someone mentioned finding out how a team trains and which certifications they require so I wanted to make sure this wasn't a warning sign.

Thanks for your replies.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 11:34 AM
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They could simply be ok membership wise with sport staff and prefer to only accept people who have a dog that can get up and running. I would very that just because they require a dog for new members does not mean owning a dog automatically gives you an in if the dog has no potential, drive, and good tempermebt.

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