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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sar

Hello, I'm trying to get into Search and Rescue to become an even stronger person. The commitment is a lot of work understandable, however have a secret passion for missions. Only regret is I didn't do SAR sooner. Now please share your experiences in SAR. Also have questions regarding dogs for SAR because I wonder about getting my own German shepherd for this. Also questionable to use my 5-year-old Labradoodle who seems to have good scenting skills observed in Intro Scenting back in March 2014. In addition, please let me know knowledge and experiences with dogs for search and rescue.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:49 AM
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SAR is a very strong committment. The best thing is to get involved with a team (and there are plenty in California) and see if it is a fit. There is strong partnership with a dog but most SAR folks I know view their dogs a lot like LE view their dogs...working partners, strong bond, but not the same kind of relationships you have described in past posts. It is not "about the dog" and the dog is mainly a tool to an end.

You also have to be willing to risk your dogs life. I know you have mentioned feelings that all life is equal. I think most are willing to risk their dog's life to save a human.

Not likely a 5 year old dog would be allowed to start out in a SAR program. Sometimes a team will let an older dog come in with a handler so they can learn about training the dogs but that dog rarely actually works. FIgure 7-8 years old most are retired.

You are barely 18, if that. How could you regret not starting SAR sooner? Being a legal adult is often a prerequisite.

It is rewarding, yet painful. It is hard to deal with death, particularly of a small child but it is not uncommon that the victim is found dead. The live finds carry you forward when you get in the low spots.

Nancy



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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
SAR is a very strong committment. The best thing is to get involved with a team (and there are plenty in California) and see if it is a fit. There is strong partnership with a dog but most SAR folks I know view their dogs a lot like LE view their dogs...working partners, strong bond, but not the same kind of relationships you have described in past posts. It is not "about the dog" and the dog is mainly a tool to an end.

You also have to be willing to risk your dogs life. I know you have mentioned feelings that all life is equal. I think most are willing to risk their dog's life to save a human.

Not likely a 5 year old dog would be allowed to start out in a SAR program. Sometimes a team will let an older dog come in with a handler so they can learn about training the dogs but that dog rarely actually works. FIgure 7-8 years old most are retired.

You are barely 18, if that. How could you regret not starting SAR sooner? Being a legal adult is often a prerequisite.

It is rewarding, yet painful. It is hard to deal with death, particularly of a small child but it is not uncommon that the victim is found dead. The live finds carry you forward when you get in the low spots.
19-years-old in college, dogs aren't tools they have souls. Have SAR dogs and SAR people died in SAR missions?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 11:54 AM
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If you let us know where you're located, someone may be able to point you in the right direction for a club near you.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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If you let us know where you're located, someone may be able to point you in the right direction for a club near you.
I found a SAR in Marin. Talked to a guy already through email. Awaiting replies from the dog SAR site for unanswered questions. In the meantime, I know there are people experience and knowledgable on here. So questions will go here too to be answered.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Lobobear44 View Post
19-years-old in college, dogs aren't tools they have souls. Have SAR dogs and SAR people died in SAR missions?
Plenty of dogs have died in both missions and training-either being hit by cars or impaled on rebar, bitten by snakes, and serious injuries. I personally know several dogs who died due to SAR missions or had to be PTS due to serious injuries.

I know of some folks who have died; the most dangerous part of SAR for the people is driving to and from. Certainly some injuries as well. I have a 5" long plate in my own ankle.

Just sharing a viewpoint that seems pretty prevalent. I am VERY attached to my dog and a working partnership is deeper than any pet relationship I have ever had, but for the purposes of SAR he is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. If GPR or Side Scan is a better tool at a given time, I celebrate its use. It is not about the dog.

Ok. Advice stands. Get on a team without the dog and get involved and SEE if is for you. Teamwork is everything. That needs to click first...THEN...get the dog for this.

Nancy



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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Plenty of dogs have died in both missions and training-either being hit by cars or impaled on rebar, bitten by snakes, and serious injuries. I personally know several dogs who died due to SAR missions or had to be PTS due to serious injuries.

I know of some folks who have died; the most dangerous part of SAR for the people is driving to and from. Certainly some injuries as well. I have a 5" long plate in my own ankle.

Just sharing a viewpoint that seems pretty prevalent. I am VERY attached to my dog and a working partnership is deeper than any pet relationship I have ever had, but for the purposes of SAR he is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. If GPR or Side Scan is a better tool at a given time, I celebrate its use. It is not about the dog.

Ok. Advice stands. Get on a team without the dog and get involved and SEE if is for you. Teamwork is everything. That needs to click first...THEN...get the dog for this.
So he is as much as a GPR or side scan? It's worse to lose a breathing tool rather than a GPR, on these missions. I won't leave any mission without my dog. We both risks are lives simultaneously, we also are a team too. Along with our future team.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 01:00 PM
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Nancy isn't saying that dogs in SAR are expendable - she is saying that there are risks involved, and you need to be aware of those risks for you to make an informed decision about pursuing SAR training.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Plenty of dogs have died in both missions and training-either being hit by cars or impaled on rebar, bitten by snakes, and serious injuries. I personally know several dogs who died due to SAR missions or had to be PTS due to serious injuries.

I know of some folks who have died; the most dangerous part of SAR for the people is driving to and from. Certainly some injuries as well. I have a 5" long plate in my own ankle.

Just sharing a viewpoint that seems pretty prevalent. I am VERY attached to my dog and a working partnership is deeper than any pet relationship I have ever had, but for the purposes of SAR he is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. If GPR or Side Scan is a better tool at a given time, I celebrate its use. It is not about the dog.

Ok. Advice stands. Get on a team without the dog and get involved and SEE if is for you. Teamwork is everything. That needs to click first...THEN...get the dog for this.
So SAR can be dangerous for anyone. Important to be on guard 24/7 then, work as a team rather than solo. That way it's safer, plus we are better off that way. Teamwork is great thing!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2014, 03:40 PM
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I looked into SAR years back and decided against it because my job would not allow me the flexibility I felt was necessary in order for the group to invest their time and resources training me. If we go through all that work, I wanted to actually be available/on-call and I can't. The group I talked to does at least a year of training and initial certifications before you are allowed to start working with a dog, so most people that join and already have a dog won't be working that dog once they're ready.
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