These are my stories as a volunteer member of the Sheriff's Search & Rescue team in Coconino County, Arizona. I'll share what it's like to go from a beginner with a lot to learn to an experienced and, hopefully, valuable member of the team, as well as the missions, trainings, and other activities along the way.
About Coconino County
About Coconino County
Encompassing 18,661 square miles, Coconino County, Arizona, is the second largest county in the U.S. but one of the least populated. Our county includes Grand Canyon National Park, the Navajo, Havasupai, Hualapai and Hopi Indian Reservations, and the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Elevations range from 2,000 feet above sea level along the Colorado River to 12,633 feet at the summit of Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff.
April 20, 2010
A New Generation of Nepali SAR Dogs
(If you can't view the embedded videos here, I've added direct YouTube links below each.)
Shyauli Bazaar in Lamjung at the Middim Khola River is one of the most beautiful places in Nepal. Here, you'll see HRDSN's newest litter of SAR dogs-to-be.
Meet Hunter, a SAR dog donated to HRDSN by Lynn Martin from Oregon. Lynn teaches at the Dog Obedience Academy. Here's Hunter demonstrating his man-trailing skills after just a few lessons.
See a bit of the daily "shaping" training at Shyauli Bazaar. "The shaping or fine-tuning of the dogs' performance has to be done step by step. With the help of the clicker training method and voice commands in Nepalese language, the dogs learn to negotiate obstacles of different kinds and shapes. This is preparation for entering and searching collapsed buildings for disaster victims."
And here is Dunston, reporting his find to his handler and leading him back to the subject. "Rückverweisen" is German for "search, find, report back and then lead your handler to the subject." The way Dunston communicates a find is jumping up and placing his paws on the chest of his handler. This method is taught step by step with clicker training and small treats and is used with dogs who do not like to bark at a discovered person. Dunston was never a barker, and since he is an excellent air-scenting dog, he was trained to do his reporting (or alerting) in this manner.
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