When one thinks of the bulldog, the image that first comes to mind is probably that of the English Bulldog, with its squat build, round head and distinctive “face that only a mother could love.” But there is another kind of beloved breed of bulldog: bigger and more athletic, and ruggedly handsome where the English Bulldog is charmingly ugly. This is the American Bulldog, a breed that almost literally came back from the dead to become widely popular as both a working dog and a family pet.
A well trained SAR dog is a sight to behold. The dog can evenly maneuver the most difficult of terrain with the grace of a mountain goat all the while looking for a trapped or hidden human being. This type of work is often done on the fly, at the drop of the hat, with little advanced warning. It requires a talented dog and a special handler willing to invest the time and effort.
Tracking is a sport where the people take the passenger’s seat. The dog is in the lead and is able to confidently do what comes naturally to it, and we must learn to trust in this ability. For some people, trusting the dog and letting it lead are two of the hardest parts of beginning work in tracking.