January 21st 2008 2:56 am
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Did you know that there are a lot of private owners of search and rescue dogs? Well there are. Many people find they need to do something during catastrophes and because they love dogs they decide to adopt and have a dog trained for search and rescue. If you are interested in adopting a search and rescue dog or just in knowing how to care for one you will want to read the below article.
Search and rescue dogs are very hard working heroes. They can work in earthquake aftermaths, hurricane rescues, and even as water rescue dogs. They are very loyal, lovable, and determined dogs. They also require special training, handling and care above other dogs. You will find that most often a search and rescue dog will go through training on a daily basis to make sure they have not forgotten any skills and to keep the dog’s minds active. In some cases new training is added. As a private owner of a search and rescue dog you have to keep them in tune. This means you need to go through the class with them, and provide as much support and skill to the session as they do. You should also know that a search and rescue dog usually thinks of the training and actual rescue situations as play. This means that if they aren’t having a little fun, and being useful they will want to quite- in other words it is too much like work.
There are certain dogs that work really well as search and rescue dogs. First the dog have to be a good tracker, hunter, hound, and good swimmers. Since dogs often have to smell for blood, or human scent they have to have great noses. This means that bloodhounds, Labradors, German shepherds, Old English sheepdogs, and St. Bernard’s are usually the best. Golden retrievers are also really great at working as search and rescue dogs. Keep in mind that the dog thinks it is a game; for the owners you have to be sure you can handle the issues you will be dealing with. Most people are great in rescue situations, but some individuals may have lasting problems of the death and destruction they have had to deal with. So it is not just find a dog to go with the owner, but making sure the owner can handle the job required as well.
Most of the time search and rescue handlers are volunteers, like the private dog owners we have been discussing. This means they show up when they can and must also be physically fit. They are going to be training with the dogs, working a lot of hours at a seen, and of course need to have a handle on rescue criteria for survival as well.
Training as mentioned above is very important. You can not just watch a video and say “I have a search and rescue dog.” In fact what you need is a training facility that will help you learn how to be a handler as well as how to train the dog. You must have certification as well as rescue equipment. Training will last for the dog’s lifetime in the service. This means that you must keep up with the training on a daily basis and be extremely committed. Search and rescue dogs are heroes and so are their handlers, but remember you should be fully prepared for the tasks at hand.
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