Training K9s for SAR
K9s needs many skills to qualify as a search and rescue dog, regardless of their specialty. We focus a lot of our dog training on the following skills:
- A "final" trained-behavior: called an Indication / Alert that communicates the location of the target odor/scent.
Training a search and rescue dog takes a large time commitment, for both the Handler and the dog. Often, Handlers learn by making mistakes, and get better with each dog. Our dogs perform countless repetitions of trained behaviors under as many scenarios as we can expose them to, building the confidence and independence they need to search effectively.
Each dog is unique in its temperament and experiences. By using the natural drives in each dog, we shape behaviors using rewards or play and possession of toys. Some of our dogs’ rewards:
- Tennis balls
- Balls on strings
- Soft frisbees