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MaggieDog

Search and Rescue

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I know this has been discussed some in the past and I know we have some active teams on the board, but the search function just won't give me what I want.

 

I'm going to be going to my first SAR practice tonight (sans dog) to see whether this might be something I want to try out with Ziva. I know it's a lot of work and a big comittment, but I'm looking for a challenge and I think the time may be right.

 

I'd love to get some input from SAR handlers who are active, retired, or in training about what it's like to be a team: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The more info I have, the better I can make this decision. :rolleyes:

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It can take alot of work and alot of money (gas!). Depending on where you are and what team you are with you could be called out quite frequently or very rarely. The team I'm on is a "very rarely" - twice in a year. In fact I've never been on an actual search. You could drive to a search just to find you are no longer needed. And a dog can go through it's entire career without ever making an actual find on a search. And people tend to get lost at night. So it can be alot of work without alot of reward for the human part off the team.

 

I like the team aspect, I like the idea of getting my dog to a high level of training, I like working with others are serious about SAR. I love doing things outdoors. I think SAR tends to become a lifestyle that either fits you or it doesn't. If you don't get the feeling within the first few trainings that "wow, this is great" than it probably isn't for you. But if you do get that feeling, you'll probably be hooked :rolleyes:

 

How tall is Ziva? Kipp is about 19" and I really wouldn't wan't a shorter dog - they still have the scenting ability, but it's alot harder for them to work through tall grass, underbrush, etc.

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Thanks for the input! I'm hearing similar things from others about time commitments/addictiveness - right now finances could be difficult, but as soon as DH gets a job, that should calm down and he should have one by the time we'd be "active" for sure. I also know the club tries to pick up some of the bigger expenses for their members (seminars, some equipment, etc.).

 

The group I'm looking at is pretty busy I think. The woman who I listened to this morning said her dog has been active for about a year and has been on something like 4 searches and the group's been called out on 10.

 

Z is 16", but very agile so I don't have too many concerns heightwise and her stamina is pretty high even being an apartment dog right now (thinks nothing of our 85 min hikes in 90* heat unless humidity is stifling, despite going on short walks during the week and staying in AC 23 hours a day). My biggest worry would be her running herself into the ground for love of the "job" and/or keeping up in a sector because she effectively has to move more to cover the same area. I do know a doxie is on another team nearby (NC I think), so it sounds like she should fit in somewhere lol.

 

Keep the input coming - I'm sure I'll learn a lot tonight, but knowledge is power. :rolleyes:

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I'm going to get addicted to this....3.5 hours of bugs, heat, humidity, brambles, and hiking through brush or hiding in it and I'm still totally psyched. No matter how Z tests, I'll be helping the team in some form or another. This rocks!

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I'm going to get addicted to this....3.5 hours of bugs, heat, humidity, brambles, and hiking through brush or hiding in it and I'm still totally psyched. No matter how Z tests, I'll be helping the team in some form or another. This rocks!

 

:rolleyes: The first time I went to a training it was in an old abandoned office building that was soon to be demolished. It was in the middle of winter - freezing and dark. All I could think was "this is pretty cool!"

 

The problem with the height is searching through something like tall grass - the dog is not able to catch the scent if really well if they can't get their head up where the air flow is moving it. I've heard about using breeds like doxies and that is totally impractical for wilderness SAR IMO. With the size of the dog and the length of the legs they just aren't practical to cover the terrain needed to be a highly useful asset to the team.

 

But if you've found a good team to be on and they think that Z would be well suited then it certainly sounds like she's got the drive to do the job.

 

What team is it, if you don't mind me asking?

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We're odd ducks aren't we?! :rolleyes: I was thrilled I got to sit in a tree for a good 20 mins. :D

 

Thanks for the heads up on the height issue - she will be the smallest dog on the team if she gets past the eval stage. (I think the dachsie just did urban searches or something.)

 

We're going to be training with Foothills SAR (Upstate SC area). They're a relatively new team and most of their deployable dogs have been certified for a year or two now. In the last two years they have been called out for 14 searches and are now working with Greenville, SC County for searches as well, so that number is expected to rise. The team has dogs doing both trailing and air scenting work with live targets and some work with human remains as well.

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