what is the ideal search and rescue dog type - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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what is the ideal search and rescue dog type

I recently gotten into a search and rescue group and my captain will be accessing my 96 lbs 1 year 6 month old GS male on March 17th. He does know his basic commands, but because of his age he is still rather playful.

I was hoping you could give me a basic idea of what is normally expected of a SAR dog. And also what is the ideal training methods and what should be stressed.

I would really appreciate feed back, Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 11:51 AM
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How is his hunt drive? Have you taught him to tug as a reward?

Also, for true SAR dogs, a 96lb dog would not be my first recommendation. These are dogs that could possibly have to be caried, put on skidoo's, in helicopters, etc...tight spaces suck with large dogs. Most true SAR people look for dogs who are going to be in the 50lb range, maybe 60.

Of course, nothing is stopping you from learning with this boy. If SAR is something YOU want to do, take this opportunity to learn what you and your dog need to be able to do, and what tasks may be asked of you. If you get really serious about it later on, you can find a dog that was built for it, both mentally and physically.

Gorgeous pup!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 01:14 PM
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We usually put prospects through a test using the FEMA screening guidelines. It gives an idea of the kind of testing. He *is* a big boy. Most of us do tend to like them a bit smaller for agility reasons and things like fitting in small spaces (my dog has had to ride on my lap before and in gators and ATVs etc. not to mention being on a small boat)

That said, if you can manage a dog that size, there are certainly bloodhounds who are bigger than that.......He is a handsome fellow.

There are many different ways to train a SAR dog. The ideal thing is that the team has some sort of training progression for you to follow, allows you to question them and also learn outside of the team, and has a path to certification (preferable national or state) and operational status.

http://www.disasterdog.org/pdf/train.../Screening.pdf

Nancy



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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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He has a wonderful hunt drive, he loves to scent, we spend hours on trailing in the woods. and no i was always taught that tug teaches aggressiveness, if however its not i would love to be corrected on that.

He is big yes, but he is very agile

Thanks for the comments, they are very helpful!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 09:25 PM
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Tug is a great reward for your dog but so is ball play if he likes that. Some folks who are not used to our working GSDs have to be taught how to hold and play tug with the dogs. There is an element of fear for some folks but a dog who knows the rules of engagement is safe to play with. I think there is some good Michael Ellis videos on playing tug with your dog. Play it by ear with the team....if he would go through fire and brimstone for a ball, there ya go.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I think he is a fetch player to the death. I'm just concerned he hasn't been socialized with small animals enough, that's what has me in a panic for this tryout.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:14 PM
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Well don't panic. They are probably looking at the underlying dog and if they see a problem area related to training would probably send you home to work on it and come back. Now if there is overt dog or human aggression, that for us is a wash. If you are talking furry critter prey drive, that is a training problem that will HAVE to be resolved in the early parts of training.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:19 PM
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What ever happened to the issue with charging at people while he was tied out? You never responded back to your thread.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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No he has zero dog and human aggression, i'm very impressed at how he acts among dogs and humans, as long as they are happy to see him, hes happy to see them. Though he does tend to mount dogs, we are working to correct that, and it has become much less frequent.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2012, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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My apologies Emoore! I would first like to clarify that he charged from excitement and never aggression. And we have since tried a harness instead of the standard collar, and it has completely changed his behavior on line and leash, we are in the process of putting in an electric fence, to get him off the leash once and for all. I agree, that i don't like the line.


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What ever happened to the issue with charging at people while he was tied out? You never responded back to your thread.
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