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Discussion Starter #1
Hi experienced SAR people!

I would like to ask you how you start imprinting your new puppy you get with Search and Rescue in mind. How much obedience do you do? Do you take your pup to puppy kindergarten classes? Do you discourage biting and jumping or just ignore and redirect this behaviour? Any information will be very much appreciated!!!

I want to add that I did find a K9 group and started volunteering for training every week. Also I start SAR academy classes next months.
 

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-PK yes
-Redirect biting, you may use it later for a tug
-Obedience - motivational - manners - stay away from heeling or antyhing formal

Best thing you can do
-socialization - socialzation-socialization
-getting dog familar with woods
-expose to lots of new experiences

Sar acadamy?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nancy, thank you for your response! So I can teach him to sit and walk on a loose leash? I know that socializing is a must and I will be working on it from day one.

I still have to wait for my puppy for almost two months but I want to be prepared. This will be my first working puppy so I'm a bit nervous and afraid to kill that drive :).

Well, 'sar academy' is just a name for required classes for all new people that want to join our County Search and Rescue. It's 40 hours of beginning training. K9 team has its own requirements and certifications needed. It's pretty overwhelming for me right now and I'm trying to sort things out a little bit.
 

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Congratulations!!

My first advice alays is to get involved in SAR BEFORE to get a puppy, and I'm very happy you are already in that way. There is very little I could add to Nancy advices, one thing could be to imprint as much self-confidence as possible, informal agility is a good way to. I'm not referring to the pup to do jumps or the classic obstacles, but to let him to learn that he's capable to go inside, below and over everything he finds and even when you are there to offer help and support he has to get over the obstacles by himself. This isalready part of the socialization process, remember he'll be exposed to things than the average pet'd not. Other advice is to build up is prey drive to his full potential, not different than the work you'd do with a young SchH prospect. High drive dogs always make things a lot easier.
 

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Good you get off the ground running.

Don't rush to train the puppy these months of building confidence and drive (yes - and sometimes the ball drive is not right away and sometimes you really have the chase drive but not the retrieve drive (but you can build retrieve if the puppy chases) - glad LicanAntai brought that up! Drive builidng.

I am sure the team will have suggestions for each team has their own way they want you to train the dog. Many ways to skin a cat. Just do what they tell you if they are a good team! Everybody loves a puppy!

Rolled up handtowels make great baby puppy tugs but not to hard on the puppy teeth when they are teething. Anything you do bite and tug wise for schtuzhund will work for SAR.
 

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So tell us about Yana!
 

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You have already received some great advise here, so I will just add my 2 cents and forgive if it was said above and I am repeating but I am tired so here goes.

You and your new pup are entering a wonderful exciting field of team work that will frustrate the **** out of you, make you laugh, make you cry and give you the most wonderful high you have ever experienced when it all comes together (and it will) There are many, many wonderful handlers out there and they all have something to share. They say that when you get 3 SAR handlers together, the only thing you will get two of them to agree on is that the 3rd handler is wrong!! Learn from everyone, never stop learning, whether the other handler you are watching is experienced or a newby they will show you something that you can learn from. Then don't be afraid to put your own spin on it. Every dog and every handler is different and the relationship between them is different. Take from all, put it in a mixing bowl with a healthy dose of your and your dogs personality and mix it up. Congratulations on the beginning of your wonderful journey in the fantastic world of SAR k9 handler.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you LicanAntai, Nancy and Sharon for your advice and for being so encouraging! I wish I joined the group earlier but year ago I was still unpacking boxes from our move here and had no idea about things around here.

Sharon, you are so right that handlers disagree on ways of training, I've already noticed that
I try to go to every training I can and observe and ask questions, and people are very nice. The only thing is that there is only one handler with a German shepherd in training and that's it. The majority of dogs are labs, there is a spaniel and australian shepherd as well. I was just thinking that GSD is not a lab but I'm sure the principles of training are the same.

Ok, so first of all I'll concentrate on socializing, confidence and drive building. I've never done SchH either but I will look into that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: Nancy JSo tell us about Yana!
Yana is my first dog, she's on my avatar and she's a little over one year old American showline. I wanted to work with her but unfortunately, she lacks all drives and isn't social :(.

So I'm going with pure DDR puppy right now. I haven't come up with a name for him yet but there is a list of those I like on my refrigerator
 

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I love DDR dogs however, in my experience with one, they are very slow to mature! Mentally I mean. Axel was almost 3 years old before I finally liked him lol
He was very hard to train, for me, until he matured a little. With my previous dog, I was trialing him (Achielles) when he was a year and a half old! With Axel, I didn't trial him until he was 5 years old


The DDR dogs IMO are beautiful, but can be slow to mature and harder to work with... just in my experience... but maybe I got a knuckle head
lol I have heard others say similar things about DDR dogs.

Good luck!
 

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Originally Posted By: GSD07
Ok, so first of all I'll concentrate on socializing, confidence and drive building. I've never done SchH either but I will look into that.
I would not DO schutzhund - just the early stages of puppy rearing are similar and you can use some of the drive buidling techniques from it.

I think a number of DDR (of course what is DDR anymore!?!) dogs are doing very well in SAR. I have a Czech dog in Grim and I am absolutely delighted with him.
 

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So, GSD07, you gotta name? Same for LicanAntai

As it was mentioned you will find many different opinions. There are also regional flavors. Down here you will find mainly area search dogs cross trained in trailing and scent discriminating air scent. Washington State was the home place for ARDA - and there was different environment, different training, etc. - and the air scent dogs were non discriminatory so there may be a different mindset.

The main thing is, if this is a good experienced team (and it sounds like you are starting on the right path) recognize that what others outside of the team suggest may not be "right" or "wrong" but it is better to follow one approach consistently** than to experiment based on a lot of seminars (seminars are good in many ways) or try to get too many answers on internet discussion boards.

** where you make changes is if something is just not working.

I don't agree with everything over in "Leerburgland "but I understand from some folks on my team his puppy DVD is good.
 

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Sorry about being too exhuberant - just so much for new stuff

MY main observation between GSDs and Labs:

GSDs tend to have more dog aggression, it does not help that many labs have absolutely NO concept of space or appropriate introductions with other dogs**. They also tend to have more aggression to strange humans. Proper training controls these things with a dog who has good nerve. I have seen the damage that freeplay dog park style can do at dog training. Dog is not working, it should be put up IMO.

Sometimes lab owners do not understand the "squirelly" periods some GSDs go through.

Labs tend to range further and get distracted more in that regard. You should have no problem with a GSD always knowing where you are and working relative to you. But too much obedience risks having the dog work too close to you. I know several labs that have been killed by cars, BTW, but no GSDs

Both breeds can and do run game if allowed. Very early socialization wtih farm animals and cats would be a real plus as well. It may help the dog from seeing them as prey animals

**it is like many of them are perpetual puppies.
 

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Name? Catalina


For what I've seen GSDs tend to be more serious about work than labs. With a lab is not always so easy to tell if it's already working or just playing (they have always the same silly happy face). With a GSD you can tell when it is actually searching and when it's smelling around.

I recognize all the virtues of a lab, but give me a WL GSD any day
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Achielles CDX, you are right about DDR slow maturing. But I love how they look, how sound they are and how balanced drive they have and I just cannot resist :).

Nancy, I absolutely will start with the appoach of the team and follow their directions. I am a beginner and I will listen to more experienced people. It's just I always like to see a bigger picture and learn about different approaches so I can catch the moment when things are not really working.

My experience with Yana, my fist dog, was a big lesson for me. A lesson in not trusting everybody who calles themselves a trainer around here and in being very discriminatory about the training advice given. I realized that I need to educate myself as much as possible so I will understand my dog and have an idea what I am trying to accomplish.

When you mention Leerburg DVD do you mean 'Building Drive and Focus' one or his '8 weeks' and 'Basic Obedience'? I watched the latter two and they are very, very basic common sense advice. I wonder if the first one is worth the money
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nancy and Catalina, thanks also for the info on Labs. It will be interesting for me to watch them working and see the differences with German shepherds since I've never really interacted with labs (I mean, at all).

We have 3 cats at home so I think it will help with puppy's learning to deal with smaller animals. Yana respects them very much after her nose was scratched couple times
How do you teach your dog not to chase rabbits?

Catalina, I don't speak Spanish (?) but from the words that do make sense to me your credentials are impressive!
 

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I would be interested in hearing what you see when you watch the labs work, vs the gsd.
I have to say at this point that I am not a lab fan, I love all dogs but labs are not one of my favorites to work with or around. I find myself for the first time disagreeing with Nancy about labs on only a few points. 1st the labs I have seen can be quite crate agressive and territorial, especially female labs, whereas most of the GSD handlers I know will NOT tolerate this behavior. I agree with the lack of social manners that most I have seen possess. Most shepherds I have worked around are more reserved, but not necc. agressive than the labs but each time I have seen any lab vs gsd agression I have witnessed was initiated by the labs. I agree that labs are much less reserved with humans than the GSD's. Watching a lab work is watching a very happy dog, but some are so spastic that its hard for even the handler to read the dog. A gsd is almost always readable, infact I have never yet met a GSD that I cannot read in either SAR work or any other behavioral conditioning I have been involved in.
Both the labs and GSD's that I have worked with will range beautifully, the difference for me is that (being a herding dog) the GSD returns to check on its "herd" being the handler and flankers whereas the Lab just goes and does not circle and return.
Other than these minor differences in observation Nancy is right on again with advise given, especially NOT to do any Schutzhund work with your puppy. There is a wonderful book "training in drive" that is a Sch book but will work at increasing drive and focus, but SAR units will not look kindly on any team doing any bite or personal protection work. While I know that a dog that has been trained to bite ONLY when commanded to is safe, but is not tolerated at this time in SAR. I cant wait to hear how your puppy is developing and hope you will share more as you learn.
 

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Originally Posted By: k9sarnekoWhile I know that a dog that has been trained to bite ONLY when commanded to is safe, but is not tolerated at this time in SAR.
There is a good reason why it is not allowed by most SAR units.

"Accidental bites have occurred with schutzhund dogs trained for rescue, where the stimulus of the emergency situation elicited biting a person at the scene."

This quote is from a paper written by Sandy Bryson:

The Effects of Genetic Selection and Experience on Police Dog Behavior
 

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Sharon

Is that the Gottfried Dildei book? The one that introduces two ball. That is all I have ever used.

I agree on your more accurate description of the difference in ranging. That is kind of what I was trying to say -- they keep that distance but always know where you are and work relative to you.

I am open minded on the schutzhund thing and have heard arguments both ways, but the bottom line to me is that if there is an accident with a bite trained dog the press would have a field day.
 

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thanks for the link Jonathan!!

Just now I'm writing an article about Temperament in the SAR Dog and it'll be very helpful
 
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