by jillmissal on 24 August 2018 - 00:08
I have been a SAR handler for 20 years and am just getting into competitive obedience and conformation showing, cuz it's fun! SAR training seems very easy compared to some of this stuff :)
I have one dog doing SAR (young dog in training, not validated) and one dog doing detection (narcotics). I am reluctant to seek a Utility title on either dog because of that scent discrimination task in which the dog has to choose the article touched by the handler. This seems counter-indicated to a dog trained to search for any human scent (SAR) and for dog trained for narcotics detection. On one hand I don't have much doubt that the context of the exercise would help avoid any confusion, but on the other hand I don't want to muddy the waters.
Have any SAR or detection handlers taken their dogs through Utility? Did any problems in their actual work result? Do you advise against it? Interested in opinions. I'm inclined to just stop at CDX for these two because of the potential issues, but perhaps I'm making too much of it.
by Koots on 24 August 2018 - 01:08
by astrovan2487 on 24 August 2018 - 04:08
I would not take a beginner dog and try to train Tracking and Detection at the same time, I'm sure it can be done but I personally wouldn't do it. Keep us updated on how it goes whatever direction you take
by jillmissal on 24 August 2018 - 17:08
by Hundmutter on 25 August 2018 - 06:08
Jill, quite a lot of Police dogs here in the UK track / search properties for narcotics&weapons&money; some of those also do general duties, which include tracking humans (suspects, lost, etc). There is also at least one dog which is currently both a drugs dog and specialist cadaver dog. Some dogs are GSD or similar; some are gundog type (spaniels, labradors etc). I believe the training methods used by various geographical Police Services rely on two things: one, gradually 'layering up' the items searched for; and two, washing out dogs which prove unsuccessful in any of the target areas. Whether they continue using such a failed dog in those areas for which it DOES show aptitude, or just for general duties (crowd control etc in the case of the GSDs) varies from area to area. Hope this info helps some ? At least it shows that SOME dogs have multiple capacities.
by jillmissal on 25 August 2018 - 18:08
by Hundmutter on 26 August 2018 - 06:08
Probably you are right, it comes from clubs being run by the inexperienced, making rules to cover their own inadequacies.
The only way I can see to break through that is for someone (you ?) to prove it can be done; and then take over helping to run the club.
I'll try to find out more info about the attitude to this issue among UK SAR people.
by jillmissal on 27 August 2018 - 17:08
I notice that rules/attitudes vary country by country, and even state by state/county by county in the USA. The overseeing agency/authority seems to be key in guiding those rules.
That said, I suppose I would not want a first-time dog handler (as in, first time handling a dog in any working venue) to be doing SAR and another scent-based activity. Too many possibilities for screw ups. Get one dog validated in SAR, then start learning more about other types of work for the dog. Experience handlers are a different story.
by LKB123 on 28 August 2018 - 21:08
Don’t be scared come on in the water is fine. I do both. Currently working on my udx and otch and ipo1. If your dog has a good nose then you are set whether it is air scent or other. You should have no issues.
by ZweiGSD on 29 August 2018 - 00:08
Will you have to appear in court in regard to narcotics that your dog finds? If so, could training in Utility scent training be used to discredit the dog? If dog is certified, does certifying agency have a view on this?
Many police dogs are narcotics/cadaver/tracking/article search as well as bite trained. Those that I deal with are too busy training in the real world aspects to delve into competition. I'm sure it would be easy to do but I look at the legal/court aspects.
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