I thought I would share this with the SAR community.. Titan is not certified yet but he did such an AMAZING job on Saturday that I needed to share with you guys. If this belongs under the Braggs Thread, then it can be moved, but it was meant for this audience, as I would like feedback too
About 14 months ago I started Titan in SAR. We started on a non-certifying team in Germany when we were stationed there. We were part of the team for about 5 months before we moved back to the states. Over there they used the Bark and Hold as an alert. He had gotten that down pretty well but obviously we were still working on it. When we moved in August we weren't able to find a team here until about Dececmber.
We found an awesome one about 45 minutes away from me. They however trained the Refind instead of bark and hold and it was such a challenge retraining Titan to do that. We moved him to a compound and controlled searches for the longest time. Probably about 5 months until he understood the whole concept. Periodically we would change it up to a little less controled to see how he did and he was getting it but I was still having a few problems getting him to come alert me when he found someone. He would find them, they would radio me when he got there.. then he would come back to me and never alert. It was really really frustrating. So we continued on controled searches where I knew where the victim was and could essentially do the refind myself while commanding him at the same time.. (sounds funny, hopefully you know what I mean)
Well our last session we did was his first time in an uncontrolled search area where I had no idea where the victim was. It was also a much larger search area than we had done before so I was kinda nervous and thought he might get burned out quick because it was so hot and humid out. Titan did phenominal! Took a little long with him because the victim apparently went the 50 yards in the wrong direction so we essectially doubled our search because our lead told us where he wanted us to start, assuming she went to the location he told her. Well we kept going and Titan did everything perfectly. Found her, alerted me, showed me where she was and got rewarded... it was such an amazing experience to see it finally click for him and for him to get it down after all this time. I was such a proud mama!
Sorry for the novel, just wanted to share that with you guys. I'm sure you all have experienced that with yours in the beginning, it just made me really really happy to see that all the training was in fact working, I have gotten discouraged sometimes but I am glad I kept on training regardless!! Hopefully with about another 6 months to a year of training I can look at certifying him.
Any suggestions for me still being in the beginning stages and all that???