I'm still interested in SAR. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still interested in SAR.

I'm going to be going to a Tech. college for EMT-B certification..

Just wondering if anyone is in the NE FL area, that would be willing to bring me in under their wing, or paw, and help get Kwai and myself training for S.A.R. I'm interested in Cadaver work as well, it goes hand in hand with S.A.R.

She will be 4yrs old this month.

And I KNOW she's got it in her. She will work for half an hour trying to find something I've hidden, I've even gone as far as hiding it in the engine compartment of my truck, mailbox, and trees, she still finds it. Cross Weave search pattern, she's awesome!

I just need a bit of help, and I work best with someone else. I'm open minded, but most likely will train MY way, if I feel Kwai responds better to it.

The only issue is money for me....

Any ideas, tips, and people to contact would be great!!

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 09:45 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

I don't know how far you are willing to travel, but Alachua County has a search and rescue team that meets in Gainesville, near the airport. I was participating, but because of my schedule had to drop out for a while. It is completely free, but because in order for your dog to be certified, you have to be SARTECH certified, you would have to attend both the people training and the dog training, until you have your certification, then you can skip out on the people training, and just focus on dog training. they meet a few times a month on the weekends.

they have a yahoo group called "alachua sar" you can join for more info.

ADCH Mikko (USDAA) SCH-B; (NADAC) EAC, EJC, TN-E, TG-E, VerO; (AKC) NAJ, CGC; (NACSW) NW1 - 9 year old GSD

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

Thanks!

I sent them an e-mail to see what all they knew about the NE area.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 10:36 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

There are a few in the Tallahasse area who would probably give you some input and evaluate your pup for you. May well be worth the drive. You can check the NASAR website and see if there are other registered units in your area.

Sharon, Mom to
SAR GSD's
Lexi CGC (Cert. area search)
Neko CGC (Cert. HRD)
Justice CGC (trailing),
BOLO, Bloodhound CGC(trailing)
Titan, Shilo Shepherd (beginning area search)
Kibby(Rodie mix)
Lil Bear and Izzy and Louie(Pom's)
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 11:11 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

You should not train your dog for both live find and human remains detection. One or the other. I certify a team in the Orlando area if you decide on HRD work. As far as training your dog your way,you might want to learn from others who have been doing this a while before making a decision . What are you hiding for your dog to find?

Renee Utley
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-01-2008, 11:31 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

I am a member of a search and rescue team in south Georgia, just north of Florida. My 17-month-old GSD is just about ready to certify in HRD. In reading your post, the only thing that worries me about trying to get heavily involved with SAR is the age of your dog. Usually, handlers try to certify dogs at a fairly early age (between 6 months and 2 years) so that they can get many working years out of that dog. If you start a dog at 4 years, you will most likely only get a couple of good, solid working years out of that dog before she retires. If you're truly wanting to get seriously involved with a SAR team, you might consider working with a younger dog. If you are set on using your dog, just know that you may work for one to two years to certify her only to get one to two years of heavy duty work out of her. I also agree with Renee that, for your first dog, it is better to focus on one discipline (HRD or live find, not both). Good luck!

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-02-2008, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

Thanks for the input!

Kwai is only a 50lb shepherd, American line I believe.

She has matured quite a bit in the past few years.

I still think she'd be a good 'practice' dog for me at the least.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-04-2008, 10:48 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

1st I have seen older dogs who are able to be trained and have certified but they are few and far between. We have a 9 year old who was started out on area search at 4 and is still hard at work. However he was partnered with an experienced handler and was well breed, high drive and brain hungry before he was started.

2nd Hrd (IMO) is one of the hardest disciplines to learn and succeed at. (I have trained all 3 of the common areas and have certified in 2 of 3 so have some experience in this area) I never ever recommend a green handler and green dog to start with this. HRD is not always an exact science, you must be experienced in reading the subtle changes in a dog when working scent before you can be successful in this area. Something as subtle as your k9 "tasting" the underside of leaves is a clue that you may be working an area that may contain or have contained source. I recommend green handlers to start learning to read their 1st k9 partner in either area search or trailing where the scent and body lanquage changes are usually much more defined. Your 4 year old may well succeed in either of these areas and prepare you for your first hrd k9 down the road. In my unit we actually strongly discourage green handlers from attempting HRD with their first k9.

3rd Good luck finding a unit, k9 handlers and instructors are usually wonderful people who love to teach and share their knowledge. Most of us are also very open to learning new techniques and ideas no matter the level of our current education and experience. Most of us have also spent years learning to do what we do with our partners. One word of caution, and I say this with no intention to offend at all just to advise, one thing that will turn most handlers and instructors off is the statement "I will train my own way, but I want your help" My thought to this (and I have heard it before) is if you know how to train your own way, why am I spending my valuable time training you? If you know how to train HRD or area search or trailing, why do you need a unit? I am still constantly learning, and watching and listening to other handlers and instructors and I think I always will be. Most experience handlers and instructors know that training is not written in stone for every dog nor for every handler. They know how to get the most out of dogs with very varied personalities, listen to them. I think you will find what you don't know about your dog ( and thought you did) is truely fascinating. That is one of the reasons I love training and working with my k9 partners, I never stop learning and they never stop surprising me. I wish you the best of luck finding a wonderful unit and steping to the next level with your k9.

Sorry this is long, just got on a roll.

Sharon, Mom to
SAR GSD's
Lexi CGC (Cert. area search)
Neko CGC (Cert. HRD)
Justice CGC (trailing),
BOLO, Bloodhound CGC(trailing)
Titan, Shilo Shepherd (beginning area search)
Kibby(Rodie mix)
Lil Bear and Izzy and Louie(Pom's)
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-04-2008, 11:34 PM
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

one thing that will turn most handlers and instructors off is the statement "I will train my own way, but I want your help" My thought to this (and I have heard it before) is if you know how to train your own way, why am I spending my valuable time training you? If you know how to train HRD or area search or trailing, why do you need a unit?

I agree. There are many wonderful people involved in SAR in this area, but I know of none who would want to work with someone who wants to be part of a team but will "train their way" if they don't like what's happening. Part of what makes a SAR team so strong is its ability to discuss and debate training ideas. If you're not willing to be a part of it, you don't need to be on a team.

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I'm still interested in SAR.

It's not that I KNOW how to train in these areas, but the rewards, length of training, etc. will have to be determined by my dog and I.

The obedience trainer I went through, wanted me to do certain things that go against ALL things I know and have learned about dogs, let alone their pack mentality.

He believed I should never let my dog on my bed, thought I should never let her win in a tug of war contest, that I should make her search her heart out and discipline her when she couldn't find hidden treats, and I KNEW these are all WRONG!

Your dog has to have the demeanor that she/he will win, and find it REGARDLESS of the situations. They need to have the reassurance that they will find it, or they will win a treat. Or if they pull their hardest and tug and thrash hard enough, they will win the tug toy to chew on for a bit.

It's confidence, I'm not going to train the confidence out of my dog. She needs it, she came to me unsure of anything, her self-confidence was nill, and now, she's goes outside on her own, her stay is longer when I'm out of sight, and her recall is unheard of!

She has been in the middle of a dogfight, (protecting herself I might add.) and I yelled a STOP, COME, she stopped, ran up to me, and sat down, which in turn I was able to remove the smaller dog from the area. She stayed where I told her, and was unharmed because of her confidence she had in me and herself.

So I guess I should come up with a better saying then I will train MY way. I will reinforce my way perhaps?

I'm open to ideas, but if it interferes with my dog being my friend, my family, and hinders our relationship.........


PS:

Thanks for all the help!!

When I start up my EMT program I'll ask around and see if I can get on board with a St.Augustine group or something.

Kwai has it in her, she's 50lbs she's small, she can do anything with the right training!

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