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I want to start working with my dog in sar just for fun. I’d like to just have a family member of mine go some where in the park and have my dog look for them.
If I want to work towards this would I start with tracking? I’ve seen videos with stomping out a square in the grass and then making a track or should I do something else? I’m just kind of wondering where I should start for this
 

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I’m not sure “SAR” and “just for fun” go hand in hand, lol. I think you’re just thinking of general nose work, which can start out just as hide and seek in the house and then taking it into the yard or somewhere safe off leash.

The scent pads are for tracking, and generally for IGP style tracking where dedication to the track and moving methodically are far more important for points than they are for practicality.

I would just start teaching your dog hide and seek in the house and asking her to find treats you hide in a room if you’re thinking of doing fun games.
 
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SAR is not something that is a "fun" activity or training regime,.....it is a serious, time intensive, lifestyle and should never be confused with games or a recreational pasttime. I have quite a few people with my pups who are SAR handlers and there is no real relationship between finding family members and the actual demands of SAR.

If you want to do something working with the dog's hunt drives or scenting ability, look into one of the scent or nosework activities....even these are very time and resource intensive. One of mine is at the Elite level of Nosework, another dog who is a multi certified narcotics dogs/champion FH dog does not do the nosework competitions due to different styles of training and handling that could cause conflicts in the dog's real work.

Have fun with your puppy!

Lee
 

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Does time and distance allow for you to attend a local IGP Club? Use keyword searches of IPO (former name) as well. Most club level training is affordable and you will most likely meet people who will show you how to set a track and get you going.

You're playing hide and seek, which is fun, with your dog. Personally I'd rather do nosework and trailing with my dog hobby wise, but I barely have time for IGP style tracking and I was told by people who know Nosework and SAR type stuff it is a much much larger time and $$ commitment.
 

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I do hobby "SAR" type work. Look for a Man-trailing club. Our instructor is a retired dog handler who does still keep up on the latest techniques for real SAR work and some of our members are interested in getting certified. Others of us doing it for the fun of solving puzzles with our dogs and hanging out with other dog people.

We started out with IPO tracking when my big-boy was working toward his BH. Aside from when we started trailing (hey, human, where are the articles I should have found by now....oh cool, the article is another human!) It hasn't seemed to be a problem with our dogs. IPO/ IGP nosework is very controlled so perhaps the structure of it might help you dog. Hard to say.
 

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I do hobby "SAR" type work. Look for a Man-trailing club.
I love this idea. I haven't heard of this type of club. Great suggestion!

For the OP: I also do a lot of nose dependent work with my dog. We started with schutzhund style tracking. I have been told by multiple sources that this style of track gives the dog a great foundation. We also do family member hide and seek, find it games with his favored toys and with the snow on the ground now, we do some light game/man tracking in the woods near our house.

I feel that my dog enjoys the toy find it games the most. He doesn't get as stressed as with family member hide and seek and his reward for find it is to play with his toy.
 

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I found tracking to be the most enjoyable part of the sport. Especially as we progressed. I would get up early in the morning and lay tracks then go to work. We would run the tracks as late as dark sometimes. I kept a crayon and marking pad with me all the time. Sometimes I would plan tracks for the nex5 days. Each track had difficulties to work out. We did obedience in between and protection in the evenings under the lights we had. Tracks varied from rock hard ground to plush grass.
to go ahead a little you have to really understand the competition level too. There is not much room for handler help errors and you don’t want to put points against your game. The dog needs to be nearly perfect every time so there is a little room for the judge to make his check marks. Just look at protection. You can only lose 20 points. So the dog has to be capable on a given day of nearly perfect score. There is no room for a miscue on your part , so you need to practice perfect handler routines right from the start. . You only have a few points to cost you a DNQ . Let alonE the level of enthusiasm the dog needs to show.so you need training and practice yourself. For example throwing dumbbells. Incorrectly done can lead the dog off course and miss a retrieve. You have to watch what the thing does when it hits the ground. You can’t help or hinder this so try different ways. Learn to start the tracks correctly our you can put the dog at disadvantage. We used different ways with the law enforcement dogs but that’s another story. Directing the dog in the blind search is another area you can cost your performance. Points more training for you to learn. There is a lo5 for you to learn as well as the dog.
 

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Does time and distance allow for you to attend a local IGP Club? Use keyword searches of IPO (former name) as well. Most club level training is affordable and you will most likely meet people who will show you how to set a track and get you going.

You're playing hide and seek, which is fun, with your dog. Personally I'd rather do nosework and trailing with my dog hobby wise, but I barely have time for IGP style tracking and I was told by people who know Nosework and SAR type stuff it is a much much larger time and $$ commitment.
I
SAR is not something that is a "fun" activity or training regime,.....it is a serious, time intensive, lifestyle and should never be confused with games or a recreational pasttime. I have quite a few people with my pups who are SAR handlers and there is no real relationship between finding family members and the actual demands of SAR.

If you want to do something working with the dog's hunt drives or scenting ability, look into one of the scent or nosework activities....even these are very time and resource intensive. One of mine is at the Elite level of Nosework, another dog who is a multi certified narcotics dogs/champion FH dog does not do the nosework competitions due to different styles of training and handling that could cause conflicts in the dog's real work.

Have fun with your puppy!

Lee
i have to strongly agree. Really good tracking takes a disproportionate amount of time. Yes the “fun” comes after a successful track. But to just engage in this just for fun walks all over tracking. You could train to have Rover find Johnny. In the woods but now you have turned a big dog loose in the woods to roam until he stumbles upon Johnny, but you have needlesly exposed your dog to the dangers of the loose dog not all dogs like each other so what if he runs into another big big dog that is not friendly and they get into a fight. ,Johnny may come running and now he gets hurt or you may also. OST parks and rec areas require dogs to be on leash. And under control. Some woods are home to big preadators. Most dogs won’t have anything to do with a bear But might run into a honey badger or bear cubs. If mom bear is aro7nd look out trouble is on the way. So bottom line get serious about tracking or forget it. There are competition scent work events. I’m not a fan of them but I suppose you could enjoy them. I did se one where the judge put an object in a box then the competitor had to find it. The lady happened to be a member of a local Ashutzhund club. Her dog simply followed the judg’s track on the carpet right to the box. The dog was SchiiiSchlll, FH. so probably couldn’t mis this one. LOL.

Yracking in my mind is hugely interesting even today 30 years later. It’s simply amazing what a dog can do if he puts his nose to it.
 

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Way back while I was doing Schutzhund tracking the OP question came up. Some time after we had our Schlll and TD titles I became involved with the K9 training. Tracking required certification for various “finds” the hard core nose dogs like mind were almost never fooled on tracks regardless of who or how the track was laid. Car tracks motor cycle bike and foot tracks just didn’t bother these dogs even hot pavement was in their world. Once they learned what you wanted....they wanted too! I don’t know how many bags of dog food we won. That was the standard bet. Once the dog picked up the track they just relentlessly
worked it. I often had my young kids run across the football field after practice. Give the dog a tee shirt to sniff and he would grind the start point and follow The track. The kids got a kick out of him finding them. A Perfect reward For both.
we don’t know just how the dog puts this together but the more they do it the better they get. SAR DOGS ARE MUCH THE SAME EXCEPT THEY ARE ALLOWED TO COMBINE IT WITH AIR SCENTING. SOME ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. it depends on how the tracks are presented and proper rewards. My opinion is that SAR dogs get fooled often and are unsuccessful in the search. But I don’t think they are as intensely trained as the sport dogs. I trained nearly evert day regardless of weather. laying a track in a downpour is not fun wadinG across a flooded road is not fun and dangerous. But that’s what conditions were for us. How my dog found some of the tracks I laid is beyond me. I had a hard time making my maps. Electronics were not available then. It was just hard nose desire to be as good as possible.
the bottom line is learn to understand tracking. The doges nose is still better than anything we have invented to replace it. It abou how well you present it to the dog and how well you can teach the dog to use his nose the way you want.
 

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Just for fun, this is what I've been doing with mine. My husband holds the dog and she watched me hide. He gives the command "search". She runs to me and gets crazy praise. Then my husband would have her smell one of my dirty socks and give the search command. Then she would find my husband and the trailing gets longer, longer time span (aging), different friends, etc. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but both of mine get sooo excited and LOVE to do it. I live in the middle of 1000's of acres of woods so we have lots of space to do this at home. I haven't gotten super serious with this and spent a bunch of money on electronics gear, but we have fun with a mantrailing app because you can see where the trail was laid and how the dog followed it. This was a little warm up we did one day when it was way too hot out, lol!


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I already posted a comment along this line.part of what you need is to figure out just how far you want to go in this sport. Its extremely tine consuming and quite expensive when you have to pay the protection helper or club costs. I don’t really have a handle on this now. when I went to Europe on business I was project mgr so I had control of the car. Needless to say i took advantage to go to every club and train8ng session I could find. the question in the back of my mind was how do the Europeans get so many titles on so many dogs.? It turns out that the sport dogs were trained almost every evening and weekend. It’s a way of life for them. Many ate at the club as food was much cheaper and beer flowed freely. LOL. They trained dogs until the trainer called dinner time then the dogs were put up in club kennels or the few that had vans or cars. Often they would be back in the morning with the kids or without.so there were countless hours of training and discussions. I don’t think I ever attended a “club meeting” I don’t know how club business was handled. Minimal at best it seemed. I saw few monetary exchanges except for dinners. Maybe they paid by mail. All the training was supervised by experienced people that had multiple titles on their dogs. Looking back by the time you worked your 3-4 dogs on the same exercises you got pretty good at the work and training seemed much easier over there. I had the privilege of following one of the helpers and I got to ask questions like I was trained to observe when being a helper it was very helpful to me at that time. The same with obedience and tracking.
when I came back I only changed a few things for the better. Being involved with sports from an early age I was guided in using what I had to the maximum all the time. This transferred over to engineering in my job. So the sport added to my abilities as trainer and competitor. Medical issues finally put a stop to all sports and makes this typing extremely hard.
over here most people just can’t devote the time and expense the sport requires. Be ready to work really hard and take a few hard knocks along the way.
 
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