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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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first SAR seminar

I took my gsd pup who just turned a year old to a SAR seminar hosted by our local ground SAR group and taught by a central Ontario sar/police k9 certified handler. I am amazed at the ability of dogs to follow a track.
I attended a SAR seminar about five years ago run by a handler from the states and apparently SAR is very different between the two countries - who knew lol. The old seminar was based on air scenting, while this one was based on tracking.
The day started with the trainer holding the dogs while we laid a track and left a toy at the end of the track. I went back to my dog, pointed at the ground and said track and off she went! I couldn't believe it, she just got it. Each track was successful and by the end of the day she was doing aprox 100 meter tracks, on short grass, in the blazing sun, with high winds and following the track. The trainer and the host group were quite impressed with her. She never slowed down, she just kept working. I was very proud of my insanely busy little puppy We also did some article work which she picked up on quickly as well.
I'm joining the ground SAR ground group, could be interesting as I have no idea how to use coordinates but I guess I'll figure it out lol. I really look forward to continue tracking with her, hopefully our TD can be accomplished this fall. I know the likelihood of her actually being a certified SAR dog is not high, but we can train for it and if we get there, we get there.
All in all it was a fun, successful and proud day!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 08:22 PM
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Sounds like a good time. Be careful. SAR is addicting!!!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 10:19 PM
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Watch out. You may be hooked!

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 11:07 PM
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Hey Mikelia.

Glad you had fun and were inspired. Just a different way to think about this... I think it is pretty likely the dog can be certified, but remember this is a team effort. I think it is fair to say that usually, at least for first time SAR K9 teams, the human is the weak link. Can the human certify is the more interesting question. (BTW, I'm a first time SAR K9 handler and definitely the weak link). Your real test will be whether you choose to go the distance. And I encourage you and wish you well. Your dog probably has this down.

Also, tracking and air-scenting are two different disciplines in SAR. Pretty certain they do both disciplines in Canada as they do down here. On our teams in California and at the county level, we have tracking dog teams and air scenting teams. Those two don't seem to mix much, that is, I had to pick which one I would do. But many of our air scenting teams go on to be small source cadaver teams (HRD). Don't know about tracking dogs making that crossover.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 11:32 PM
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who is the trainer / certifier ?

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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The trainer was Susan Read, who is the only OPP/OSARVA certified handler in central Ontario. I really liked her, she knows her stuff. The one downside was that her training style if perfect for high caliber dogs, so some of the lower drive/energy dogs had a hard time. My dog did awesome, but I felt she pushed the dogs pretty hard for being first timers, and it showed it some of the other dogs confusion.
In Ontario it is extremely hard to get certified apparently. When I did the seminar five years ago we didn't continue because of how difficult it is. There are no groups around here that gather to train. I love everyone on this forums stories of all these dog/handler teams meeting up and doing searches. Here, that is non existent. The police dominate the SAR scene, and it is very hard for a civilian to pass evaluation and get called out. Don't quote me on this but it is something like in 20 years only 10 civilian dogs have been certified for SAR in Ontario. So I do believe that the chance of my dog being certified is next to none, but we can still train. I look forward to starting HRD detection this fall. And the training is perfect practise for our tracking dog titles I want to get.
If SAR is needed, the police are brought in and IF there is a civilian certified dog in the area that is needed, it will be called out, but they will use the police dogs first always. And the dogs must be certified through the police. There is no SAR group that can certify a dog. And in order to certify, they must track. Not trail, not air scent, but track. It makes it interesting when I read all the info on this forum and not much applies to us, but that's ok

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 11:42 AM
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You have a good grasp on the reality of SAR in Ontario and basically in Canada . The standards for training and certification are set by RCMP .
I have personally known the certifiers since the days of Boley, Carson, Bigley and the current person in charge.

You won't be called out . Chances for HR even less so.

"The one downside was that her training style if perfect for high caliber dogs, so some of the lower drive/energy dogs had a hard time"

Harsh as this may seem , this is necessary , cut the wheat from the chaff . This is not recreational for the dogs and not for the people . A low energy , low drive dog has no business being in a discipline which demands accuracy and speed and tenacious hunt and search drives .

Why not join Cross Country Tracking -- go through the titles TD TDX and then give the Urban Tracking a go .

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
Why not join Cross Country Tracking -- go through the titles TD TDX and then give the Urban Tracking a go .
That's our plan. The people that run the ground SAR group have two GSDs, each with its TD. The SAR training they do is perfect for tracking practise. They live not far from me and I hope we can meet to help each other out and lay tracks. They also practise HRD with the dogs, and I would love to learn more about that. I've done competitive scent work with my male, and it is similar concept, but much more tedious. I love tedious, meticulous training!

I understand the harshness, I just felt bad for the dogs who were not getting it, by the end of the day their handlers were a little let down. I guess I sit on the fence. The seminar was hosted by a SAR team, directed by a SAR handler who does call outs, training for SAR precision. Yet there is maybe a .1% chance of any of the dogs at the seminar becoming certified teams, so it was mostly just pet people out for a fun day with their dogs. I should just be thankful we had fun and my dog appeared to have what it takes, and obviously has the mentality to train further in tracking with

Carmen, I don't know if you'd remember, but, years ago you were on a email list called DDRGSD-L I think. There was a young girl on the list with two asl gsds? That's me

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Riot GSD - RN RA RE SD-S SD-A HIC CGN
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Last edited by Mikelia; 06-07-2015 at 04:32 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 04:53 PM
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probably do -- Hellwiggs --- they had Arbeiter's Canasta a coat , Persuasion daughter , originally owned by Ms Searle -- conditioned and handled in many a match and show by myself - later went back to Carol Wilson the breeder and I do believe this female went Select?
I had the sister to Canasta ---- total opposite -- in so many ways --

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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I do not know. Those dogs were before my time. My dogs were Survival dogs, but I don`t think I talked about their pedigrees on the ddr list. At this time, Hellwigg was in a break period and hadn't really shown dogs for many years. This would have been when I was fourteen years old or so, so maybe the year 2000?

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