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We are looking to get a pup sometime this upcoming winter 2012/2013 and came across the Canadian search and rescue site and thought this would be a perfect "job" for our new Dobermann puppy and were wondering if anyone else has gone this route we are also interested in getting into Schutzhund and were wondering if the pup can be in both. I have already contacted the clubs themselves and am just waiting to hear back.
 

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I know a few members here do SAR. It takes a lot of time and commitment, and is not something you can do casually.
 
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My SAR group absolutely does not allow a SAR dog do bite work.

Also, Ivan definitely does not handle the cold as well as a GSD or Lab, so I would keep that in mind.
 

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Hey can I get my reputation back now.....:p
I don't see where you lost it in the first place. :) Good call. What gave it away?
 
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SAR is expensive and time consuming but absolutely worth it if you have the drive and so does your pup! The SAR group I was with didn't like using schutzhund trained dogs... I'm not sure if that was just some silly rule or if there is actual merit there. It also depends on which rules your SAR group follows... for example, disaster dogs stay with the subject and bark for their handler, so schutzhund based training might be helpful. My group trained the dogs to find the subject, come back to the handler, alert, run back to the subject, come back to the handler, alert, and so on and so forth until the handler is almost standing on top of the subject. I think some schutzhund training would conflict with this method.... You can start playing SAR games though :)

This was the game that my SAR group used:
Runaways or Three Trees
You (the handler) and the pup stand back while a friend runs and hides behind a tree. In the beginning, the pup watches the person go hide. You give the pup your search command and let them go "find" the person hiding behind the tree. When the pup goes in the first time, call him/her back to you and make them sit, speak (whatever alert you want) then tell them to "show you" and have them run back to the subject where they are then rewarded with a favorite toy or really special treat. My group's leader recommended the treat and toy be really special and only be used with SAR training to make it extra fun.
Now you and the pup go back to the start, while you are walking or running back, have the person quickly move and hide behind another tree (one that is close by but not the same tree). Send your pup again and most likely the pup will go to the first tree. Watch to see whether your pup sniffs the ground or the air. This will help you determine which discipline you will go. Ground sniffers are trailing dogs and usually work on a line. Air sniffers (most dobes I know) will usually end up working off leash doing area work.
So it's the same routine with this tree. Let your pup go in, find the person, come back to you, alert, show you and treat/ game!
Then one more final tree :)
Usually you only want to do three trees, no more. You don't want to burn your pup out and want them to absorb the training exercise.
Before you do this, you want your pup to know basic obedience. Especially sit and come. I had to work Doc on a long line at first cause he was DISTRACTO-MATIC, lol.
To make the game really interesting, you can have your subject run and make lots of noise when going to hide behind that first tree.
Also, be consistent with your pup's alert. A lot of handlers also teach their pup to tug on a toy that is attached to them. Some handlers just use the leash and wrap it around them. Doc's alert was to just sit right in front of me. Some handlers have their dog speak but sometimes they are so out of breath, all they can do is fling spit onto you, lolz....

This next game was recommended to me by the amazing Shirley Hammond!

Three people on a trail:
Get three of your bestest friends and take them out into the middle of nowhere... on a trail. Have them sit on the trail, each with a fun toy or treat. Go back, get your pup and either have your pup on a long line or off leash... the objective is to allow your pup to get used to finding people and to build up their confidence in approaching random people in the middle of nowhere. After your pup finds a person, they play or treat your pup then get up and join you on the rest of the hike. There is no alert and not much to this game but Shirley says it is a great training exercise for dobes, who train differently than German Shepherds, which is what most SAR training games are based off of.

Lastly, if your pup is really young, just start doing basic obedience (have an alert in mind) and have your pup start finding people around the house. Significant other, kids, the cat :)

SAR is a lot of fun!

Best of luck to you :)
 

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Also, Ivan definitely does not handle the cold as well as a GSD or Lab, so I would keep that in mind.
Absolutely something to consider! Doc did SAR work in sunny Los Angeles :) He had to where a reflective, cooling cape thing, lol. Opposite problem here.
 

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I read that thread too, but didn't notice anything until the possibility of multiple accounts was mentioned.
 
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