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Discussion Starter #1
I am feeling a little frustrated.

Hunter and I do obedience and IPO competitively/regularly. I would really, really love to be an ACTIVE SAR team in Ontario - but no matter how many e-mails I send, I just can't get in contact with anyone. I am feeling pretty frustrated.

Would love to use Hunter's exceptional working abilities to help the community, and help him grow and mature as a working dog.

Any advice? BLAH! Very frustrating.. Ontario is a dog sport/job wasteland.
 

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Well, my experience with most SAR teams is slow answers to emails. If you found an actual contact you may want to call if it is not "the" emergency number. Figure most SAR folks (at least here) work full time jobs AND do SAR and do other things....

It could also be about what is in your emails. Are you talking about what a great dog you have or that YOU want to serve the community. Most SAR teams view the dog as a tool and it is the people they are more interested in. That is because they want someone who will stay on and get another dog or find a way to support the team in other ways if the dog is not suitable.
 

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It could also be about what is in your emails. Are you talking about what a great dog you have or that YOU want to serve the community. Most SAR teams view the dog as a tool and it is the people they are more interested in. That is because they want someone who will stay on and get another dog or find a way to support the team in other ways if the dog is not suitable.
Nope, I am just saying I am interested in getting involved actively as a SAR team with my young male.
 

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I had the most luck finding a local (well, a few hours drive) SAR team at a pet expo, they had a booth setup and were willing to talk for a while. After we talked I had to give up on it because of my job (there's no way I could have the freedom I'd need, and would not be able to afford the equipment/training). The team I chatted with was not interested in my dog at all (which was fine since this was before I got Nikon and Coke is no SAR prospect), they explained the training and certifications I'd have to do without a dog that would have probably taken me two years.
 

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We tell prospects they may spend between $3000 and $5000 a year. (A lot of that in fuel) Have to have a boss who will let them take off as needed on short notice [we expect 50% attendance on search calls] and do allow the other coursework concurrently with training a dog but it is a lot easier to knock it all out first...and of course a supportive family as this stuff is hard on families. Not sure why folks like to go missing on Christmas Eve or Thanksgiving [or whenever the heck Boxing day is] or the day after your New Years party.

The first team I joined took about 6 months of phone calls and emails to connect for a training. The second was about 3 months. I usually check our email box about once a month but we get a lot of spam so if it has no title, or something that sounds like spam out it goes.
 

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chances are that your dog won't be accepted . No bite training . You have to join a group , I can get you names to contact . The training will be done to RCMP standards , and certification will come from the OPP .
But first you have to show your dedication , and develop skills, and demonstrate that you can work with a group . No dog. Just you , a map, a grid , and lots and lots of time . Go wherever they instruct you to go , and do not miss a day . Training can be 3 times a week . I know one very eager , dedicated person who was eliminated because he missed one training session after having participated in many capacities for over a year .
SAR is not a sport or hobby to while away the time.
The dog has to have exceptional finding / search skills and will be tested rigorously -- in all conditions , all temperatures - snow storm , rain, high wind, urban, rural , multi surface . A far cry from schutzhund step to step if that is what you are familiar with.

SAR does not care " help him grow and mature as a working dog" It is not to help your dog .

If you are serious I will get a number for you and PM you with it .
 

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also if they select you, it is you that is important and then the dog is chosen for you , meaning , be prepared to wash out dogs and keep on going till you have a suitable canine team member .
 

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chances are that your dog won't be accepted . No bite training . You have to join a group , I can get you names to contact . The training will be done to RCMP standards , and certification will come from the OPP .
But first you have to show your dedication , and develop skills, and demonstrate that you can work with a group . No dog. Just you , a map, a grid , and lots and lots of time . Go wherever they instruct you to go , and do not miss a day . Training can be 3 times a week . I know one very eager , dedicated person who was eliminated because he missed one training session after having participated in many capacities for over a year .
SAR is not a sport or hobby to while away the time.
The dog has to have exceptional finding / search skills and will be tested rigorously -- in all conditions , all temperatures - snow storm , rain, high wind, urban, rural , multi surface . A far cry from schutzhund step to step if that is what you are familiar with.

SAR does not care " help him grow and mature as a working dog" It is not to help your dog .

If you are serious I will get a number for you and PM you with it .
The bold part above is how I feel. Schutzhund is a hobby for me and my dogs. I train actively and participate in trials, but I am not serving the community. SAR is an active working job for these dogs and is full-time, not just a fun sport.
 

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One person here in Ontario wanted Zefra for SAR, as you are aware Angel.

I myself, view SAR as a "job", not a hobby. I do not have the time nor the commitment to take this on. My passion lies elsewhere (schH).

I think SAR is a unique venue that only a selected group of people have the passion for. I am thankful they do of course, but I think you really need to be committed to this venue if your going to do it.

I have a contact to give you if you want it. You know who it is I am sure, but I have her number if you want it.
 

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In Ontario no dog is allowed with bite training , no schutzhund . Sport and work are such a different approach . The raising and training are different . The dog needs to think things out independantly not just follow orders .
 

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Carmen - my dog was evaluated less than 2 months ago and was asked to join training. I can send you the evaluators name and the person who wanted to train them with their team if you like. I will not post it here though.

Also, they knew she did schH.
 

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I love when people pretend they know me and make assumptions about me. It's really great.
 

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I don't really see anyone making assumptions about you? But anyhoo.

SAR people are finnicky. One little thing (or lack of one little thing) in your email can make them disregard you.

I know on my own team, this type of feel would have been an automatic "not interested": Would love to use Hunter's exceptional working abilities to help the community, and help him grow and mature as a working dog.

Not making any assumptions, but if you at all focus on your dog and not what YOU can bring and why YOU want to be on a team they could be feeling like you have a nice dog you want to get into SAR, not you are a handler desperate to do SAR who happens to have a dog who can do the job...or, for that matter....I wouldn't even mention your dog in your initial email since by the time you're on a team and they have you trained to the point where they think you're ready to work a dog they might say Hunter is too old to start.....although every team is different in these requirements.

Regarding the bitework issue...I'm sure Canada is no different than the US. It really varies from team to team. I wouldn't be surprised if the second team does allow it since they have a dog on the team who trained with the US Military who was washed from the progam because of an impacted tooth (and bitework is the only thing I can imagine would matter if he had in impacted tooth).
 

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I love when people pretend they know me and make assumptions about me. It's really great.
I don't really see that is the case in this thread but people on SAR teams can and do make assumptions based on what they see in emails or hear in person.

Assumptions based on years of screening applicants and seeing who does and who does not pan out...and some of the "obstacles" are because those are things that cause people to opt out.

So it is not fair, and people intentionally try to be open minded but we all see the world through different glasses no matter what we do.
 

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I don't really see anyone making assumptions about you? But anyhoo.

SAR people are finnicky. One little thing (or lack of one little thing) in your email can make them disregard you.

I know on my own team, this type of feel would have been an automatic "not interested": Would love to use Hunter's exceptional working abilities to help the community, and help him grow and mature as a working dog.

Not making any assumptions, but if you at all focus on your dog and not what YOU can bring and why YOU want to be on a team they could be feeling like you have a nice dog you want to get into SAR, not you are a handler desperate to do SAR who happens to have a dog who can do the job...or, for that matter....I wouldn't even mention your dog in your initial email since by the time you're on a team and they have you trained to the point where they think you're ready to work a dog they might say Hunter is too old to start.....although every team is different in these requirements.

Regarding the bitework issue...I'm sure Canada is no different than the US. It really varies from team to team. I wouldn't be surprised if the second team does allow it since they have a dog on the team who trained with the US Military who was washed from the progam because of an impacted tooth (and bitework is the only thing I can imagine would matter if he had in impacted tooth).
We both know how "finnicky" your team really was/is. ;)

Also, if I knew back then what I know now, I would have joined the Hampton K9 group from the very beginning and safed myself all that trouble.

Stick with Schutzhund. If they don't even send you an email "We are sorry but we have no space" it's not worth it to begin with. If you would like to do SAR, try to do the IRO RH instead.
 

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Mrs K, you had one bad experience and that is not a fair assesment of all the teams who bust their hump and loose their vacations to go after missing people.

A lot of times, a little discomfort in getting in is not about a "closed club" but about teams having preconceived notions based in experience on who does and does not "stick". Not intentional, most folks I know try to be openminded (well, we also have a no bitework policy) but no matter what we do, experience colors our perceptions. Mass generalization is a human trait. Every dogsport person who joins, then leaves a team because it is not living up to their "dog" expectations, reinforces the generalization.

Delays in getting in may be because it is more important to get that team who is nearing certification status finished so they can be a resource. New dogs need to be started when it is best for the team as the goal is to have operational dog teams up, running, and maintained.

If the passion is with finding people more than working the dogs, they are likely to stay and do whatever the team thinks is important because they also see the dog as one of many tools and the goal is to find the missing person. A lot of times we have a search and a perfectly good dog spends the whole night in the truck because we need to use the people in other ways.

The training part is great fun! Searching, not always, not by a longshot......I can't drive by a place where we went on a search without the whole thing "coming back" in my head. The hardest being the little three year old boy found in the river. We did a stress debriefing and all that but the tears still flow everytime I think about that one. On the other hand there is no joy deeper than what you feel when you hear "they found him" "and he's alive" , especially when it is a dog made the find (often it is a ground foot team without a dog-or even a last minute reverse 911 call response).

The IRO RH is a dogsport and not adopted over here by many teams (including FEMA I think) as a viable certification for any deployable dogs. I don't know if it is or is not in Canada. There is a lot good about it and I think it would be a feather in the cap of someone with an air scent dog (mainly for a non scent specific air scent dog, certainly not for a cadaver dog or a trailing dog-and the leadership of the IRO does not even really believe trailing "works" and push footstep tracking only)
 

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Another thing to think about is if you are willing to totally give up schh for sar....most teams won't let you do 2 things like that at once....
 

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A lot of times, a little discomfort in getting in is not about a "closed club" but about teams having preconceived notions based in experience on who does and does not "stick". Not intentional, most folks I know try to be openminded (well, we also have a no bitework policy) but no matter what we do, experience colors our perceptions.
This sounds a lot like SchH actually, at least when you are training with very small clubs that have very limited resources. I know in the past I've come off as not very helpful or communicative but what a lot of people don't realize is that for every 20 people that e-mail me (the club address) asking how to join, telling me their dog's life story, I get *maybe* two people that actually show up to observe training and would be lucky if one of those two came back a second time let alone make an effort to join. People bring up the 80/20 but in our case (and probably similar for SAR) it was more like 95/5....5% of the people usually taking up 95% of the time/resources getting them started and able to make the commitment. Unfortunately for newbies that really are committed it's often like swimming upstream but we were all there before and pushed through. I know some clubs are intentionally standoffish in order for newbies to have to prove themselves. I've never done SAR so I could just be blowing smoke but I wouldn't be surprised if it is similar and can certainly empathize.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I never got anywhere via e-mail but got the information and contacts I needed when I found the SAR team at a local event and showed up in person.
 

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Your obeservations are very much similar. Actually a lot of good folks come from EMS, Fire, LE, retired military because one big issue is the idea of chain of command seems foreign to many civilians....particularly younger ones.

Hunters are also great folks. They know the woods, how to multitask with reading sign, navigating, etc. One of our most recent members is a hunter and volunteer firefighter and he is jam up good.
 
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