SAR requirements in WA - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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SAR requirements in WA

So on another site a malinois owner said their 7 month old mal, just passed his HRD test and can "go on any SAR mission" in Washington state. I asked what the certifying group was and they said there were none in WA just groups doing their own thing in terms of certifying. The test was 200 x 200 (feet?) and one HRD source.

This seemed lacking and concerning on so many levels, but I was wondering how K9 SAR was organized in WA. Who establishes the criteria for certification or mission ready status? How are dogs deployed on searches? By county only? Any regional or state organization that figure prominently?

I know that a veteran handler can do a lot with a talented 7 month old dog but ... really? In CA, the dog has to be a minimum of 12 months (CARDA and I believe WOOF). There are so many requirements of both dog and more importantly handler that 7 months seems way young. Not to mention the whole dog maturity issue. I know a veteran handler on their 4th dog certified the dog in a year. But they are now having a few issues cropping up at the 3 year mark. Dog's consistency is way off and they failed their recerts. Had another seasoned handler say that it is important to give the dog the opportunity to mature and not push too hard.

Just interested.

Karin
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 12:57 AM
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I know a lady in my area who does SAR. I think she has two blood hounds that are certified. I will pm you her name.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 08:20 AM
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Wow, that is disturbing. Beau was fully NAPWDA HRD certified at 15 months but I still chose not to work him on buried cases because I felt he needed more work (and that was where he got his one allowed miss).

A 7 month old dog and a very very simple test. Afraid I don't know the rules if any in Washington State. There is someone on the board who is in Washington; hope they speak up.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, Nancy. You have loads of experience and I know you could get a lot out of a talented 7 month old. But I also know that you are looking for a high level of performance and professionalism and wouldn't think of setting a 7 month old out in real search. Not to mention professionalism and liability and really risking the reputation of an entire SAR force.

We have my dog's 1/2 brother on our training team now. At 9 months he shows good talent but what a wild child he is . Will take a while for him to settle down. A 7 month mal... not even at the more complicated state of testosterone loading, I dunno. Also... I wonder about putting that pressure on a 7 month old.

I have my doubts on this story, especially can "go on any mission", part. The person reporting was the breeder so it is not a story out of the blue. I hope they can't really deploy this puppy no matter how great he is. But I'm pretty Green when it comes to all of this and have very little idea what happens in other states.

I thought there was someone on here from WA.

Hector3, thanks. I'm curious more than I gotta know at this point.

Karin
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Nancy, what is the youngest dog you have seen that is certified? I had heard in CARDA that there was a guy who lost his dog, got another one, worked his butt off and certified the dog at 9 months old but then CARDA changed the requirements to 12 months because so many eyebrows went up.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 03:43 PM
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I would consider myself average for a handler that has certified more than one dog on a serious team.

Average on our team starting from a puppy is 2 to 2.5 for the first dog and 12-18 months for the second though an adult dog with an experienced handler could go 6 months. Beau is one of the youngest dogs certified on our team but I know of dogs as young as a year. But even so, when they are deployed you have to take into account their level of maturity. That would include types of assignments, experienced flankers, etc.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 04:32 PM
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Forum member Hineni?? Was working toward different qualifications here in Washington. I didnt follow along too closely, but her work sounded far more involved than you could accomplish with a 7 month old pup.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 03:41 PM
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Point me in the right direction?????

I don't know if this is the right question to ask in this post, but I do live in WA (Port Orchard). Can someone tell me who I would get in touch with to point me in the right direction of getting info for SAR?

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 03:59 PM
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Can't believe I missed this thread!

OK, so WA is trying to set standards that are state wide but doesn't have it cemented and thus, mandatory, yet.. HOWEVER, most teams and definitely reputable ones, require Washington state core competency requirements to be completed for each volunteer. Now those requirements are just for the human (map, compass, first aid, cpr, and, wilderness survival etc etc).

Most teams require their dogs to be certified by reputable agencies (NASAR, NSDA, ASCT, NAPWDA, IWPDA, AWPDA, etc). These agencies tend to have a minimum age requirement for the health of the dog, of 12mos..honestly, only a few of those agencies I've found really expect the highest standards of those certified... But each team has the right to set their standards for mission ready status. Whether or not they will be used by the DEM, sheriff's, or whomever agency calls them out... That is another story.

My girl certified at a high level of trailing before she was a year and a half... We train ALOT, and she is one of those 'born mature' type..y boy, he just turned 2 and is gearing up for his trailing certification. Both are working on HRD, then area. His maturity level has come slowly.

I too believe deploying a 7mos old dog is scary and wrong... I'm less concerned in that it is for cadaver work as lives aren't really in danger, so to speak (possibly if used for clues on active murder case...) then if it were for area or trail work where lives were likely on the line... One source for certification?? Eeesh.. Not sure which 'team' this person is with but I am curious..
Scary..
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 04:02 PM
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Killerbee, do some searching on the internet for teams in your neck of the woods.. Get in contact with them and they will guide you through the process and expectations... While extremely rewarding and fun, it is arduous, demanding, expensive, and requires an enormous amount of commitment and time... If that is still sounding good, then by all means pursue it
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