Schutzhund dogs and SAR - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Schutzhund dogs and SAR

Attended a 4 hour long class on case law for K9 handlers at a nearby Police Department led by K9 Master Trainer.

One topic that came up was deployment of bite trained dogs for search operations. Most departments near us will NOT use a patrol dog for a missing person search and do NOT want sport (schutzhund) trained dogs.

This article explains some of the case law (this was not presented there but Deb Palman writes some good ones) and involves a discussion with T Fleck.

http://emainehosting.com/mesard/pdf_...rol%20K-9s.pdf

Now, the department's take is they know schutzhund, we know schuzhund but that a jury or an insurance company does not (and thinks "the dog was trained to bite!") and that as long as there are dogs, there is always some possibility of a bite and the case has arleady set precedent for their own dogs. They do not want to go there with our (SAR) dogs as they are accountable for deploying us. They even have their own dogs trained in narc and trailing that don't do bitework.

This officer told us we should also be adding face time with the public to our training records...i.e., how many human contacts has the dog had to help demonstrate non agressive behavior.

Melgar v Greene. 2010 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Not trying to spark controversy or saying that others cannot interpret t his differently, but saying this is something to consider with these types of discussions.

Nancy



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Last edited by NancyJ; 08-23-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 04:57 PM
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Very interesting. It seems it is still up to the specific team right? At least that's what I have been told befor when I was looking into SAR. I was told that because my dog had "bite work" she could not do SAR. She was only four or five months at the time though. I don't think she had really had "bite work" haha. I was told to check with other teams as they may allow it.

Hope this makes sense. I am scatter brained today.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Some states have rules. Some police departments have rules. Some teams have rules. My point in this thread was to state this could explain why some of the departments who have called us want assurance our dogs are not bite trained in any way.

The case was 2010; decisions by SAR teams have been around much longer than this and were probably due to a concern of offleash out of sight control of bite trained dogs by some, insuarance and liability concerns by others, and and lack of understanding of schutzhund by others.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:33 PM
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Interesting read.

We all use a tug as a reward for our dogs in training. Could not then a clever attorney argue that SAR dogs are bite trained since they are working for a "tug reward" and this is biting??
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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With the way the world is going I sure hope not! I mean if the to require that dog in Montreal can't even accidentaly scratch you without risking euthanasia....seriously .....that is why he said we need to do everything to proove our dogs are consistently happy happy friendly dogs in our training records.

I guess it is better to let someone die than make the beancounters unhappy. Even in the case listed where the bite dog went out....there was real information to say this was an emergency and the kid might die. So, save the kid's life / get sued.

Of course, if you let the kid die, then you are negilgent. As a SAR handler there is no way I would work without being under a team or agency's liability coverage!.

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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:48 PM
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With the way the world is going I sure hope not! I mean if the to require that dog in Montreal can't even accidentaly scratch you without risking euthanasia....seriously .....that is why he said we need to do everything to proove our dogs are consistently happy happy friendly dogs in our training records.

I guess it is better to let someone die than make the beancounters unhappy. Even in the case listed where the bite dog went out....there was real information to say this was an emergency and the kid might die. So, save the kid's life / get sued.
And because we stand by and let it happen, it's happening. At what point do we say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Dog training doesn't work that way."

Instead, we let lawyers and lawmakers, that have no clue how a dog is worked, how a dog is build up and what Schutzhund or a real reward is about, make decisions for us and we are so scared that we go with it.

Seriously? Happy go lucky dogs, with no tug rewards?

Schutzhund dogs, the dangerous beast?

Show me one case where a titled Schutzhund dog was actually involved in a serious mauling and bite attack? Schutzhund dogs are the type of dogs that, most of the time, DON'T have to worry about.

I have yet to see one dog worked in Schutzhund and SAR to become a threat. As a matter of fact, I know Squads where these dogs are prefered because they already know how to work and have a good deal of Obedience on them.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:00 PM
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Damned if you do, and damned if you don't..

We do allow SchH trained dogs in my group, but it does depend on the individual dog. My wilderness dog is titled to a SchHII and is far more solid tempermanet vise then some other SAR dogs that I have encountered.

No agency that calls us out has ever asked about bite training (and most of our searches are in Maryland).
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Sandra ......... I am not arguing anything but trying to point out WHY certain requests have been made of us by departments.

Police Departments Follow Case Law

This was a case from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Regard a bite trained dog

Our local LE has taken this case into account when requiring that dogs with no bite training of any kind be allowed to search for missing people. They seem to have zero concern with tug dogs. Their concern is along the lines of jury and insurance because if any "official" dog bites anybody under any circumstance it is likely to wind up in court.

Which "we" should not let the supreme court rule on cases? Which "we" should not let LE apply those cases as they feel necessary to protect their liability?

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Our local LE has taken this case into account when requiring that dogs with no bite training of any kind be allowed to search for missing people. They seem to have zero concern with tug dogs. Their concern is along the lines of jury and insurance because if any "official" dog bites anybody under any circumstance it is likely to wind up in court.
Completely understandable. Just sad to see what lenghts even LE has to go to cover all bases.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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One more reason to quit!
The whole thing starts locally and it's spreading all over the country all the way to the top and the supreme court.

Quote:
This officer told us we should also be adding face time with the public to our training records...i.e., how many human contacts has the dog had to help demonstrate non agressive behavior.
And I was told recently that wilderness dogs don't need that. Oh the irony...

Last edited by Mrs.K; 08-24-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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