Last weekend Küster and I found ourselves in Kenosha, Wisconsin. What were we doing in Kenosha one might ask? Well, we were assisting the Search Dog Organization of North America (SDONA).
SDONA was asked to travel to Kensosha,WI and speak with a new K9 Search and Rescue team. So, the instructors and helpers headed up north from their respective areas to run the SAR Dog Basics class. This class offers details from what to look for when picking a working dog to the disciplines that we work. We also discuss reward systems and many other topics which are brought up from those in attendance.
Küster and I went up in the role of helpers. We ran a few demos for the attendees to see a recall/ re-find. That is our trained final response. After that I helped attendees.
One reason I enjoy working with SDONA is because of their mission statement. It is a like minded philosophy to my team and my training with Küster.
“–to develop and nurture a program grounded in science-based functional training where K9 handlers and their dogs can train, test, and challenge themselves to the highest level possible.”
That being said I’ll offer up this example of training your dog to the highest level possible. While I was running one of the demos, the head instructor, Mr. Dotson, says to me, “Did you see what your boy did on the re-find?” I could only offer up a happy, “he found the victim.” After a brief discussion about the demo Mr. Dotson proceeded to talk about our re-find and then noted that Küster had looked back at me slowing his return back to the victim. We quickly went over how we would go about making an adjustment in training so that Küster would not look back. I then asked for a couple volunteers from the Wisconsin team to meet me a little early to run some drills the next morning. That’s just one example of how training never stops.
All in all I believe it was a very beneficial weekend for both the instructors and attendees. Hopefully, the new team will take what they learned to heart.