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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Florida SAR?

I have no idea why I didn't think about posting this before here..

I am in the military previously stationed in Germany where I bought my now 2 yr old GSD, Titan. About 6 months ago I started him in SAR training in Germany. It was pretty much ran by someone who had a retired SAR dog. It because a private org but was not qualified for "real" searches. it was more for the experience. Anywho I thought it was great for Titan. He LOVED saturdays.. he knew as soon as that bell went on his collar what he was doing that day. He was doing an awesome job and progressing in the training rather quikly but then we had to move.

I was PCS'd to Fort Walton Beach, Florida and have been searching for a local SAR for Titan to start training again. Of course eventually I would like him nationally ceritified but for now I'm just looking at starting his training again. I haven't been able to find many organizations and the ones I have found won't return calls or emails. There was one org that I talked to but they meet over an hour away from me.

I was hoping someone can direct me to some organizations in my area. I would really like to start Titan up again. Not to mention I am getting a Boerboel puppy in January and would eventually like to start her on SAR when she is of age. Anything would be awesome!! Thanks

Whitney
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 10:51 AM
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I am not familiar with SAR groups in your area so I can't direct you to any particular organization. But I hate to see 0 replies to a question here so I will give you my thoughts.

Your inquiry sounds like you are looking for a dog training club. SAR groups are not venues for people to train their dogs, which may be why you have not heard back from some.

If you want to volunteer your time and skills to help find missing people, then find out what groups are called out by law enforcement to search for missing people in your area. Your local county Sheriff's Office would be a good first place to check with if you haven't already.

After you identify the active volunteer groups in your area, ask them what their needs are. They may not need new members at the time, so you might have to wait to get a chance to apply. If that is the case, see if you can volunteer in SAR in some other capacity other than a dog handler. That would enable you to start helping your community sooner and will give you valuable experience that SAR dog handlers need.

A travel time of over one hour is not uncommon for people to get to good training areas, so that should not be an impediment. If you meet with that group then maybe you'll find experienced individuals that live closer to you that you can train with informally between official trainings.

Why would you want to train a Boerboel for SAR? My advice is to join a group first and find out what types of dogs they need instead of getting a dog and looking for a group for it.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Jonathan & Benny

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:59 AM
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[QUOTE=wyoung2153;2323965I was hoping someone can direct me to some organizations in my area. I would really like to start Titan up again. Not to mention I am getting a Boerboel puppy in January and would eventually like to start her on SAR when she is of age. Anything would be awesome!! Thanks

[/QUOTE]


An hour is less of a drive than most folks. I would suggest that you make contact with them and have your dog evaluated. With regard to the Boerboel, that is not a breed of dog that would be considered for use in SAR work. There are specific traits that we need for search work. Just FYI.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:43 AM
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I just want to reinforce the comments you have already received. I agree on the travel time - I know I traveled about 3 hours for my first team and 2 for the second (until we moved closer and now most trainings are only an hour away)--there are not so many calls that can justify having teams too close to one another.

We have also driven 4-5 hours for some human remains searches and up to 3 for live person searches ........ usually the long distance calls are leaving at 4 am or so to be on the ground running for the first morning shift. (Though we try to get folks let us run the dogs at night which is our best time)


Ditto on the Boerbel. I have a friend with one and there are a number of reasons why I would not consider. Not being a breed snob but if you want to do SAR you go into it with a dog that is already hard wired for the job.

I understand the call thing. I went through the same thing when I started looking to join a team about 10 years ago. There are tons of people who call SAR teams, most who are just looking for dogsport and SAR volunteers must (1)Work a normal job (2) Train several days a week (3)Miss work to go on calls (4)Do things to raise funds for team expenses (5)Do PR events like demos etc....so the folks on any team worth joining are usually pretty overstretched as it is. Add the typical (of many many) inquiries for someone who saw a movie or read a book and wants to do SAR but only because of the dog......and folks are often not to quick to respond. Sometimes I am 2-3 weeks late myself when we get an inquiry and more often than not, they have NOT read our webpage section on joining.

If this is something you would be interested in doing regardless of whether or not you had a dog....would you pursue? If it is not, find a dogsport that is fun for you. If it is, then your passion will be so strong you will keep pushing for it and succeed.

Florida has a double whammy. We do have alligators in the low country of South Carolina, but not really in the upstate where I am, though there are poisonous snakes. The one thing I know about gators (having gone through jr high and high school on the space coast of Florida (Merritt Island) is they LOVE dogs. Too many high school friends lost pets to gators and my parents actually saw one lurch out of the water and take a neighbors dog. A real consideration. I always dread it when we get a call in the southern and eastern parts of my state.

Nancy



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Last edited by NancyJ; 12-03-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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SO sorry I never responded to this.. I had emergency surgery and wasn't on for a while and completely forgot!

Just was going through old threads of mine and was like Oh Shoot!!!

Thank you guys for the input. I found a FANTASTIC team, the one that is an hour away. They are a truly amazing group of people. Titan, my GSD, loves working there and it's just been wonderful and he's progressing rather quickly.

As for the Boerboel. I did not get her for SAR. I just know they are a VERY diverse breed and thought I would try her out. I ask the breeder for specific SAR traits; determination, perseverance, high hunt/search, confident, not dog aggressive, not reactive. She gave me her pick puppy and she is just wonderful. I am going to take her with me on a training day once she gets all her shots and have them evaluate her to see if she would work. If not, I'm not worried. Titan LOVES it and will be SAR for as long as he is capable.

Just wanted to update, I know this was an old thread but I HATE leaving discussions open and can't believe i never wrote back, sorry!!

v/r,

Whitney
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Commander Charly Titan (GSD)-15 Jan 2010
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
If this is something you would be interested in doing regardless of whether or not you had a dog....would you pursue? If it is not, find a dogsport that is fun for you. If it is, then your passion will be so strong you will keep pushing for it and succeed.

Florida has a double whammy. We do have alligators in the low country of South Carolina, but not really in the upstate where I am, though there are poisonous snakes. The one thing I know about gators (having gone through jr high and high school on the space coast of Florida (Merritt Island) is they LOVE dogs. Too many high school friends lost pets to gators and my parents actually saw one lurch out of the water and take a neighbors dog. A real consideration. I always dread it when we get a call in the southern and eastern parts of my state.
Yes it is something I would still pursue.. I read a lot about it when I was younger and now that I am older I pursued it.. admittedly initially more for Titan than myself but after the first day I was hooked. I will be a part of SAR with or without a dog for the rest of my life.

As for the alligators.. they scare the you know what out of me and I get so nervous when people let their dogs swim in the river my my house.. I have let Titan a few times.. but oddly enough I feel much better with him swimming and playing in the ocean. Don't know what I would ever do without that boy.

v/r,

Whitney
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Commander Charly Titan (GSD)-15 Jan 2010
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