German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have been doing lots of research for my new pup. Lots of information on Show vs. Working lines. Lots of info on how to train and live with a WLGSD going into bitework. I have scoured the internet, Leerburg, Michael Ellis, Bow wow flix. I have watched training video's and read lots of books. There seems to be a plethora of information concerning the pitfalls and tips involved in training a pup for IPO, PPD.

Do you guys have any things that should be done or avoided in training a WLGSD for SAR? What problems might creep up if training is avoided? What are some pitfalls of older SAR dogs that can be avoided in pup training? What are the top 2 or 3 things that should be focused on during the first year?

I assume that the biggest mistake one can make is too not socialize early and regularly. I also assume that the greatest obstacle for an adult male WLGSD will be aggression toward strangers and/dog dogs; that training and socialization early and regularly are going to be key components in creating a well behaved SAR dog.

Are my assumptions wrong? Are there other things that absolutely must begin in the first year to increase the odds of success?

Any insight would be helpful.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,483 Posts
Don't think socialization means puppy play class! It means meeting the world head on.

Hunt drive and fearless. I will second, third, and fourth that.

Get that pup offlead in the woods ASAP and expose it to lots and lots of farm critters etc. so that wildlife is bo-ring! Do the world, open stairs, traffic etc. The world is good. We were offlead in the woods before the immunizations were done. It is that important for a dog who is going to work offlead. Crittering is a big problem. Cut it off BEFORE it develops into a problem. I drove every week to a farm the first few months and sat in a chicken and goat yard and just made sure I was the most interesting thing in that yard.

--I had the benefit of my former partner, Grim, who knew exactly how far he could go offlead in the woods and did a better job helping me teach Beau than I could. At 10 weeks Beau would hang close and Grim gave him the confidence to range out. He learned a lot from Grim. Ask someone on the team if you and they can go on offlead woods walks with your pup if you don't have a great adult to help teach them.

Do not make the dog 'dog focused'. With Beau I only exposed him to stable known adults as a puppy and it paid off. He has perfect dog manners and is certainly interested in other dogs but not overly so [no issues with social graces or offlead control].......I will never never again do "puppy play times" with a working prospect...it was a mistake I made with two other dogs which I think let, in part, to dog aggressive behavior.

Be on a team before you get the pup so folks can help you along the way. No point getting one for SAR and expecting doors will be opened because you have a great dog. The "great dog" is the easy part...it is the prospecive team member where things fall apart.

Acclimitazation. Get the dog used to staying outside during the day if possible or minimizing use of HVAC at your home at the very least. Pups well, they don't regulate as well as adults but when the pup is older it needs to be used to heat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
gack- deleted my post -- here we go again -- yes , no dog parks, no puppy play

get them into environments where there is big wide and open and environments where you feel closed in.

here is one link with some good diagrams -- provided by a Canadian group working under certification (yearly) and standards set by RCMP K9 Search and Rescue, Newfoundland & Labrador --

and SARDAA - Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta

the one thing you do not want to do is to train the dog using classic obedience where there is a right and wrong answer --- MOTIVATE , let the dog be comfortable making decisions on its own. People often have impatients and they jump in to "help" the dog . The dog will come to depend on this help. Sit back , be quiet , let the dog work it out . If you cut it short the dog will have a time sense of when he no longer has to look . Later on when you have a hidden victim that person should not prematurely stand up (when he sees or hears the dog) nor call to him to guide him in - once again the dog will depend on that . Won't work if the person is unconscious.

Lots of environmental exposure . Find games . NOT schutzhund tracking style . Speed and accuracy are vital . Foot to foot not natural .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
Hunt drive is not play ball drive. You want and need endurance and persistence and focus. There are lots of dogs that will put on the brakes and refuse to enter brush , tall grass , corn field , dark building etc.

Work in ALL weather . Put the dog outside to get used to this . Work randomly at all hours , so no routine.

I was very fond of Larry Bigely who had several of my dogs in his OPP unit where long distance tracking was a necessity as part of the function and location of this unit.
actually here is one of my dogs Tazer "big-head" brother to my Sabrina , the sable GSD on the right Law Enforcement Officers And K9's

He would come down and lay these long tracks along country roads, across fields , across the creeks , into a cow field . One thing he taught was to teach indications away from the tracking. One dog in particular "Derrick" who was a LETS Felony One tracker at 6 months of age , was of particular interest to him. This dog was a rocket in tracking , fast and accurate . Loved the track so much his indications got skimpy. Sure they were indications but he wanted to be on the move to keep looking. So we came up with a solution. Indications only. In a school yard , items, small . Dog found , did his look look there it is and wanted to move on . uh uh . Strong indication , solid down first . The track was his motivation. He got it down pat .

I think search work is exciting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Great thread! I'm just starting to work with a SAR group, and I've been extremely fortunate they have accepted me so quickly. I would reiterate the recommendation to get involved with a group BEFORE you get a dog. It is very helpful and you will gain a much more realistic understanding of the time commitment required to perform SAR work.

Good luck!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Carmen,

I decided on the GS breed b/c I wanted a working dog instead of lap dog. I guess the reputation of an all-around breed sold me.

Then I started doing research and quickly realized there was a difference between show and working lines; I obviously wanted the working line.

I checked around for breeders in my area (Memphis, TN) and used some info/recommendations on this forum to narrow my search to 3 breeders in middle TN.

I called and talked to each breeder, visited their websites and finally chose Happy Valley Kennels because:

1. Krista took a tremendous amount of time with me and answered all my questions; which the others would not do
2. Krista only has a few dogs that are her personal dog and has intimate knowledge as an owner/handler
3. Krista lives with her dogs. Her sire, Berlin, lives in the house with her and her kids; He's part of her family. That is exactly what I want.

4. Her dogs are titled, have good hips, and have come from Working blood lines.

I don't know much about pedigrees and have no idea if the pup I am getting has an outstanding or mediocre pedigree, but I have great confidence in his sire and dam as well as Krista's reputation.

That is how I chose my pup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Carmen, I have another amateur SAR question. The pup you mentioned in post #6 concerning indications. I assume he is an air scent dog and not a trailing dog?

Also, Is it true that both air scent and trailing dogs also indicate while searching for someone? Is this always true? Is this standard of trailing and air scent dogs? What exactly are they indicating - anything with human odor or are they discriminating scent and only indicating certain items?

thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,483 Posts
Are you affiliated with a SAR team already? Some teams have a year or two wait to bring in a dog so you may want to consider that. It is good the breeder has placed SAR dogs. Have you talked with the handlers who own the dogs she has placed. Are those dogs operational and certified. Helpful and nice is good but the proof is in the pudding.

I think Carmen was talking about article indications for a tracking dog. Not all SAR dogs do article work.....down in the states you are more likely to find a trailing dog than a tracking dog due to the conditions in which you are deployed and articles are just as often "not" taught but the flankers are clue concious. I can't answer for her though but that was my read on it.

Not sure what you mean about *indicating* on the subject. You can tell when they are on scent by learning to read the dog and learn to differentiate when they are on animal scent vs human scent (I could even see the difference betwen predator and prey scent) ..........Offlead dogs are trained to indicate to the handler that they have made a find either by barking, or returning and giving a trained behavior and taking the handler back to the person etc.

Trailing dogs who follow the scent trail deposited on the ground are scent specific and locate the scent on the article given to them. This may not actually be right on the footfall path as it can drift and be blown about.

Tracking dogs (like police tracking dogs) often follow the freshest path with no scent article and once they are on a track they discriminate. The pure tracking dog is following the footfall path unrelated to the scent of the tracklayer but there is most assuredly some overlap between tracking and trailing

Air scent dogs are following airborne scent carried from a point source constantly generating odor...the human. And may or may not use a scent article depending on the training. All of our team dogs work with a scent article but are trained to work without one in the event it became necessary.

I work a cadaver dog. Cadaver work is a variation on air scent only a new dimension is added because underground can move scent all kinds of strange ways with groundwater movement and scent may be generated for years not hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I love the use of the term "FEARLESS". Would you say this could also be described as confident or strong-nerved?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,483 Posts
YES it is terribly important for a sar dog to have food nerve
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,988 Posts
I got my SAR dog back in Germany, when we still lived there. From day one I started socializing her. Not puppy play but exposure. Exposure to he public. I took her to Malls, train rides, bus rides, taxi rides, fairs and markets.

I posted tons of off leash walks and hike videos on here. I think there was only one time when I had to put them on leash.

That being said, it is much easier to get a dog ready in Germany than it is here.

Also, as for hunt drive, this is Hunt Drive:

 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top