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Discussion Starter #1
Went to my 2nd SAR meeting last night and I really like the group, but I found out at the meeting that they do not allow dogs that have had any sort of training in bitework whether it's personal protection or IPO. :( I really wanted to at least try both SAR & IPO with my next dog. I didn't realize it was going to be an either or situation. Do other SAR groups have this policy as well?
 

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Our group does
 

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I think it is pretty common....insurance liability issues....I let a dog go to a co-owner...he was ready for his titles, I had put the BH on him....she did the Sch1, but then started working with a SAR trainer who made her choose between the two and she did SAR ....he is certified out the ears for SAR, but has never been on a real search to my knowledge....shame as he could have been a V KKL IPO3 dog and had alot of fun! So when you make your choice, make sure your group will actually go out and be utilized!

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My team definitely has call outs. They've had 3 since the last month's meeting. Guess I will have to think about it.
 

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My SAR group allows SchH titled dogs. BUT it's done on a "case by case" basis, all depending on the individual dog. I knew of a few more groups that does the same thing.

My wilderness dog is titled to a SchHII.
 

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Too late to edit, but I will add that we have since June been on 3 calls out, could have been more but I was not available to go. But we do get more call outs for HR searches than wilderness.
 

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Our group allows Sch dogs on a case by case basis. They would rather not, but there were two ex-K9 officers in the group who were some of the best SAR dogs I've ever seen, so they had a few more restrictions than the regular members, but it worked well.
 

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Interesting. I started a thread a few weeks ago about why some shelters/rescues have policies about dogs they adopt out not participating in bite sports.

I assumed it was for liability issues similar to the ones Wolfstraum mentioned. This is further confirmation of that.
 

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I should clarify that I was speaking of some shelters/rescues that I know of that specifically state that any dog adopted from their organization is contractually not permitted to take part in bite sport training.

I am NOT saying that they will not adopt out dogs they may know to have had that training in the past... assuming the dog passes the temperament tests they administer.
 

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I can understand why they wouldn't allow it.

If you think about it, in SchH, when they're running the blinds, when they find the helper, they have to aggressively bark/hold the helper in place, and if he makes an advance, they bite. (From my understanding, anyway).
I can see why SAR people wouldn't want this type of dog out looking for someone. Imagine that in a real life situation. SAR dog finds the person they're looking for, and the SchH training takes over their brain. They start the bark/hold, and if the person moves forward, the dog bites.... Obviously not every dog would do this, but I can definitely see the liability issue there.
 

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No you can have no prior bite work with a dog that does professional work as therapy that I know of, won't make to the first hospital . We all have good dogs but it is a "Rule". I work two kinds of dogs because of that rule!!
 

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I can understand why they wouldn't allow it.
If you think about it, in SchH, when they're running the blinds, when they find the helper, they have to aggressively bark/hold the helper in place, and if he makes an advance, they bite. (From my understanding, anyway).
I can see why SAR people wouldn't want this type of dog out looking for someone. Imagine that in a real life situation. SAR dog finds the person they're looking for, and the SchH training takes over their brain. They start the bark/hold, and if the person moves forward, the dog bites.... Obviously not every dog would do this, but I can definitely see the liability issue there.
My dogs indication is a stay and bark at the subject (more or less a SchH hold and bark) we have tested her every which way to make sure she does not bite the subject found (short of the subject being the aggressor with her) and she is rock solid. She stays and barks until I get there. That is why we test all the dogs on a case by case basis.

I think any time working with a dog to locate an unknown subject there is a libility issues there. Any dog can bite, put in the wrong situation. How about an agressive subject that comes after the dog? If we know up-front that that could be the case we can treat the search a little different, but most of the time we have limited information on who we are looking for and what their state of mind is.

Lots of variables when you are out there. We do want to stack the odds in our favor and make sure our dogs do not bite the subject (hence a lot of groups have the no bite-training rule), but anything can happen.
 

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I think someone in a thick jacket swinging a stick at your dog may be a fair (and realistic) test though....
 

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Perhaps. But we are entering a very slippery slope here. Then why would we stop there? Why just test the dogs with bite training? Why not test all SAR dogs like that? To guarantee that none of them would bite if put in that situation. In all honesty, I know quite a few SAR dogs that have not had any bite-training that would gladly engage in that situation.

 

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This is a good point.
 

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Isn't it all about insurance and liability...when a SAR team is called to service by the city/state whatever it may be they're technically working for the city/state. They certainly have the insurance to deal with some liability but a dog that has been taught to bite, and has bitten (be it a sleeve) a human, is a different animal in the eyes of the law. The dog has been shown that in some situations its alright to bite people...but a dog that hasn't been taught that doesn't really know that there are situations where its alright to bite.

In court...all a person would have to show is that the dog has been taught and has bit people and it would pretty much seal the deal for who ever is suing. You guys should look up what kind of questioning a K9 handler has to go through in court when their dog apprehends a subject or searches out drugs or any other type of evidence. That dog's entire training regimen and records come into question...the success rate during training, the types of training exercises, ect...

So the same types of stuff will be called into question if a SAR dog ever does something wrong. Then not only the team will be liable but also the agency that hired them.
 

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If someone sues us for finding their lost loved one alive, literally saving their life, (even if they got bit by a dog, by the subject attacking/provoking the dog), then there is something wrong with this world and it will be time for me to quit SAR work.
 

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Melgar v Greene. 2010 4th Circuit Court of Appeals


Gaithersburg MD. (right up the street from you) Drunk kid probably would have died if the police dog had not found him...unfortunately he was under a bush, out of sight, and the dog bit his leg.
 
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