Training For A Search And Rescue

“Ready to go to work? Check.” It might be a little
wet outside… “Go find.” But for this group, the training must go on. And today’s
trainees. “Raven is a black lab. She’s 22-months old. I’ve had her since she was 9-weeks old.” “Karma is a golden retriever. She’s, uh, 11-years old. She’s been working since she was 8 weeks old.” “So the
first thing we’re gonna do is lay a trail and why don’t we go across the
pedestrian bridge, here, and go into the housing area.” If you haven’t guessed, this group of volunteers are part of the
San Diego County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Canine unit. “The canine unit provides
their own dog. They’re responsible for taking care of their dog. And we train
the dogs to do this. There’s quite an extensive certification process before a
dog has a badge and can go out on a mission.” Today they’re training in an
urban environment. “We had a tracking problem and we had an area problem.” A
tracking exercise consists of a volunteer walking a route that a tracking
dog will have to sniff out to find them. “Sometimes we don’t mark them. This case
it was it was marked. And then I introduced a scent article to her from
the last spot where she was seen. I tell her to go find and she trails that
specific scent to the subject. And when she finds him, she gets the reward.” Natural Sound And an area search puts the four-legged tracker to the test, searching a wide area for a human scent. “The first thing is we give her the command to go look for the person.”
“Go find!” Natural Sound “Every handler has their own phrase, but
that’s the the on-switch for Karma.” Natural Sound “One wilderness area that would take an hour
and a half for three searchers, she can clear in about ten minutes.” Natural Sound The canine unit trains about every weekend
to keep their sniffing and searching skills in shape.” “Would you call it a success? Yeah, I mean good training. I mean you know it’s sometimes it’s tough you think she’s on scent and
whether the scent got blown down or she just missed it it’s hard to say.” “For a
dog the positive reinforcement is what makes for a successful search dog.” “This
is my volunteer job, but I have a real passion for it and I can hardly wait til
it’s the only thing I can focus on.” “This is just something I enjoy doing and I’ve
wanted to find something that I could help out volunteer wise and I came
across this and loved it ever since.” And if you ever need search-and-rescue. “Don’t
hesitate to call. “There’s no cost to the individual for us to come out and help.
And again, not only canines, but we have a whole team of search-and-rescue ready to
deploy and help somebody if they need us.” Natural Sound

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