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Just introducing myself in the SAR forum as I anticipate seeking your help from time to time. I live near Truckee, CA in the mountains and decided I wanted to do SAR work. Long ago I had a GSD and then 2 Aussies in-between. Now that life sort of affords me the time to do SAR training, long story, I went a got myself a Dutch Shepherd. Not that I am brave, or particularly skilled, but that I am stubborn and when I get an idea I kind of hold on to it and make it happen. So here I am with Tygo, now 8 months old and what a ride its been. Really, I think the best thing that happened is that he is from a breeder that is very thoughtful about early socialization so he is definitely environmentally stable. He does have the proverbial "off button" but doesn't use it much. We started working with the local CARDA (California Rescue Dog Association) at 10 weeks old. As of last week I just got my two sponsors who will see me through to "mission ready" and I am so excited, thankful, and honored to have two of the best most seasoned and grounded people in this area.

At 8 months Tygo shows lots of potential and has a great work ethic. He is head strong and I am learning a lot about training a dog with drive, intelligence as well as a bit of an edge if corrected to assertively (I can say more about that later).

Anyway, I look forward to some good discussions.
 

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Oh and photos

Just some pics. Not an easy dog to photograph.
 

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It will be exciting to watch your progress. There is a lot of experience in CARDA. We did have someone come to our team with a dog that was training in California but not certified and one HUGE gap in his training was muck and water; we have a lot of it but there was hardly any where he lived and the dog really had a hard time with creeks, streams, and ponds and even swamp goo. Given the resources you have for training, I doubt you will need a lot of help here but some of us are glad to bounce things off of.

She is a lovely dog!
The other advice I have is follow your mentors. The biggest mistake I have made and seen made early on is reading the internet and changing things around on the dog (like changing the trained indication several times), and forgetting that a behavior only persists if it is rewarded (like the intermediate steps in a recall sequence)
 

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Thanks for your kind words Nancy.
An now especially with the drought we are having there really won't be swamp and goo! Could you Easterners please give us our moisture back? ;-)
 

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Gladly... take it! :p But awesome and welcome! I met a Dutch in Africa when I was deployed.. he was awesome! I have been intrigued by them ever since!

I'm curious about CARDA, doesn't sound like any of the teams we have here. I don't have sponsors, etc.. just meet up and train, pay for your cert when ready. Is it just a member group where they pay for your trainings until cert, do you have to may a membership, etc. I'm from Cali, so I'm particularly curious.

I'm excited to here about progress!
 

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The way I understand it is that CARDA is the largest search dog organization in CA. You pay an annual membership fee and then you can go to any training in the state. Many of the counties have relationships with CARDA and the mission ready teams are called up by the county EMS to help when needed. The training is at least 3 months as a pre-apprentice, then you need two sponsors who will oversea training to mission ready certification (have been told for my first dog it will be close to 2 years). They guide your training. My two are insistent that I have laser focus on the first certifications that are needed. They also are insistent on fitness and professionalism. At this time, assuming the board approves it in March, I become an apprentice. There are lots of handler skills (navigation, helicopter loading, crime scene, first aid, etc) and dog skills (obedience, agility, etc) that need sign-off a long the way. The first certification must be wilderness air scenting (actually I think you can do tracking as an alternative) which includes alerting on cadaver tissue. After that you can certify in C1 which is small source cadaver work, avalanche etc. all having different requirements but only after your preliminary mission ready certification.

Will definitely be an adventure.

Alternatively I think some counties have there own process and don't use CARDA specifically and there is another organization called WOOF that I think is similar to CARDA.
 

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That's pretty awesome. I am glad I know about this now.. if I ever move back to Cali I will have to look into that. Though I know I won't be in FL for ever, military has a way of relocating you rather frequently, ha. I am sure I'll be bacl on here looking for a group when I move again.

Are you doing this on a part time or a full time basis?
 

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One of our former teammates was certified CARDA and had her first find In California. She had trained with us through college then joined the USAF and was moved to CA for basic training.

We saw her go from being a little 17 year old student to being a dog handler and now an RN who has served in a hospital in Afghanistan. She is now serving in England and on a team there.
 

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One of our former teammates was certified CARDA and had her first find In California. She had trained with us through college then joined the USAF and was moved to CA for basic training.

We saw her go from being a little 17 year old student to being a dog handler and now an RN who has served in a hospital in Afghanistan. She is now serving in England and on a team there.
That's so awesome! Is she still serving? and does she still do SAR work?
 

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She is - I think she is hooked for life.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So wish I could have started this as a younger person. While I still feel young in my head, I'm well in to middle age. Freaky to say that!
 

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I was as well when I started. I waited till my kids were in high school once the older one got old enough to cart her sister around :)

There was not a lot of SAR going on when I was younger but when my kids were little I got interested because I was doing sport tracking (something I could do on the weekends as a break from the kids (stay at home mome)) and met some SAR folks then met them again at a demo they did at my younger daughter's preschool. We talked about time and money commitments and I knew then I would have to wait. ....
 

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I didn't actually mean to get into it the way I did. I'm in the military and when I was in Germany I got deployed.. Titan was a year old and a friend of mine watched him for me. She was doing light SAR training with her lab and brought titan along.. he apparently did so well she begged me to keep coming. I talked with the German trainers and they encouraged it. When I move to FL I searched for MONTHS for a good team and stumbled upon this one.. and they have brought me further than I ever thought I'd go.. very thankful I continued it and plan on certifying!

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Beautiful dog! I have to date only met one Dutchie working in SAR, so it will be fun to follow your journey!

I have always been a German Shepherd girl, and my current wilderness trained dog is a GSD, but I will confess that my up and coming USAR dog (that will also be trained for wilderness) is a Malinois. Having lots of fun with her but so different from any GSD I have ever worked with.
 

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Welcome! We have a Dutchie on our team and she is like bottled lightning, wow is she smart too. Your boy is very handsome. I have a feeling we might be at around the same milestones with our pups. Richter is 1 but only started when he was 6 months (team policy). So any questions feel free to pm me.
 

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Thank you Richter21!
We are working on adding in an alert/indication now. Also getting him exposed to cadaver sources. I train once a week with the teams and then try to do stuff on my own during the week. I'm not going to call Tygo "bottled lightening", tho I love the term. For a Dutch, I think he has a good off button, but I can tell that he loves a job.

We should become "apprentices" next month when Tygo turns 9 months we can start getting our sign offs, all 10,000 of them. ;-)

Best to everyone.
 

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Good luck DutchKarin!

Nice looking dark brindle.

I appreciate what you guys do.
 
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