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28.09.2015
For all the dog lovers out there it goes without saying that a new dog for the family should come from a shelter or breed rescue group. At the same time that a shelter or rescue group prepares a puppy or dog for adoption, they also try to find eligible adopters. 4) And finally, a commitment from the adopter to continue socialization and a willingness to take the pup to professional training. Just as rescue groups and animal shelters are fussy about who can adopt their puppies, potential adopters should be equally fussy as to whom they adopt a puppy from.
Also, the premises should be clean, and there should be appropriate toys and bedding with the puppies.
Visitors to a shelter should be greeted by a pleasant and knowledgeable staff member or volunteer. Once the shelter or rescue group passes your approval, a prospective adopter should look closely at the puppy he or she is interested in before making a final decision to adopt.
It may seem like a dog obsessively focused on play would make a poor working dog, but for search-and-rescue work, this is actually an ideal trait. Most SAR dogs live and train with their handler, and it takes about 600 hours of training for a dog to be field ready.
The general approach to training a dog for search and rescue is no different from training a dog to complete any other task. By this time, the dog is totally into the game, so the handler adds another complication: An assistant covers the handler with a few inches of snow. A SAR dog must have the confidence to perform tasks that are not part of his instinctive repetoire. A field-ready SAR dog can focus on the task at hand -- whatever his handler is commanding him to do -- no matter what. A SAR dog will walk across a rope bridge if need be, lowering his center of gravity to minimize the swaying. Is it possible to find a quality puppy to adopt at your local animal shelter or breed rescue group? Conventional wisdom says no, but representatives of both enterprises say that’s not always the case. Still, the availability of puppies at a shelter or breed rescue group may depend on what breed is involved. In any case, breed rescue groups and animal shelters have identical missions: To match homeless dogs with people who will love them and give them permanent homes. Generally, all adoptable dogs that come to a shelter are given health examinations and any immunizations needed, and may be spayed or neutered.
Breed rescue groups focus on serving one breed or mixes in which that single breed predominates. People who are not ready for dalmatian training often give up these dogs to a rescue; you can see their photos on special websites.


While the shelter works with all breeds that are dropped off, rescue groups work with one specific breed. Both types of organizations place advertisements on the Internet and in local newspapers that describe available animals.
Many facilities have very strict guidelines and restrictions on who gets one of their puppies. For example, at a shelter, there should be co-housing: puppies housed with other puppies for critical socialization to dogs. There should be some sort of program or schedule for getting the puppies out of the kennel to interact with people and see different sights and sounds. Both shelters and rescue groups should be able to provide information on why the puppy was brought to a shelter or into rescue, confirmation that the puppy has received all immunizations, and information on other resources such as owner counseling or dog training. A puppy that shows signs of illness or poor care such as excessive amount of fleas as an example should be avoided.
A dog that will chase a tennis ball for hours would probably walk through 10 feet of snow, over a mountain and down a rocky embankment that makes his paws bleed to find it -- and get someone to throw it for him again.
SAR training assures that a dog can complete these tasks in all conditions, regardless of weather or distractions.
Sometimes, SAR associations adopt dogs from shelters for the specific purpose of training them for search and rescue, and they'll train at a special facility and then be paired with a handler. The first step is to figure out which reward the dog will work for, and always immediately reward the dog when he does the right thing. Dogs have a natural inclination to locate scents -- SAR training involves letting a dog know which scent you'd like her to locate and where this scent might be. The handler digs a hole in the snow, and a second person holds the dog while the handler makes a big show of running away and jumping into the hole. The dog maintains vigilance and dedication to the search through all types of weather conditions and navigates treacherous terrain without losing confidence. Barking can also be a problem, yet it can be solved by carefully making the dog aware that constant barking is no good. It is famous for the wonderful ability to learn tricks quickly and perform them on public for the pride of the owner. Some of these puppies come from backyard breeders or from people who find themselves saddled with oops! Many shelters also perform special tests to determine what type of temperament a dog has, and some offer training programs to help increase a dog’s chances of being adopted.
Volunteers for these groups identify dogs in need, take them into their own homes for foster care, attend to their medical needs, and provide remedial training to help the dogs become more adoptable. For example, if a dog’s time is running out at an animal shelter, staff workers there might contact a rescue group and ask if that group can provide foster care for the dog. The dogs that are rescued usually sent to their owners and if they cannot be sent back to the owners they are given to other people that like to have the animal of this very breed.


Both strive to prepare their animals as best possible to be adoptable (training, care, health). The dog should have no diarrhea on his rear and hind legs, no discharge, and you want a puppy who shows an interest in you and is at least somewhat active. In a real avalanche search, distractions are everywhere, and the dog must be able to focus on the search despite the chaos around her.
In the case of avalanche finds, dogs usually dig at the area where they detect human scent. This level of concentration is not about taking work seriously -- it's about taking play seriously. For example, one pup named Tiger was dropped off at a local San Diego shelter when he was just 12 weeks old and is still waiting to be adopted. In another group located in New York, there have only been three litters of puppies of the nearly 800 dogs that have been placed.
Some have a policy of euthanizing dogs who are not claimed or adopted after a certain period of time; others will keep adoptable dogs indefinitely. Such cooperation literally can be a lifesaver for a dog who needs a little more time to find a forever home. Potential SAR dogs should also be obedient and attentive, have a friendly temperament (they're going to be working closely with strangers and other dogs in a search situation) and possess a strong desire to please. In the course of training, you associate that reward with each thing you want the dog to do -- in this case, locate human scent and alert you to it in a uniform way. If a reward immediately follows a correct alert (meaning the dog is digging in the right place), the dog will continue to alert in that manner. The training starts out with very simple tasks and gets progressively more complex as the dog completes each level. Then the assistant holds the dog for 10 seconds, then a minute, then five minutes, and so on. In this way, the dog discovers that people can be under the snow and that human scent emanating from snow means that digging in that spot will reveal a person who might play with her. Each time the dog finds the handler (which is pretty easy, because she's watching while the handler hides in the same hole time after time), she gets her game of tug-of-war. Then, the handler and assistant change places, and the handler manages the dog while the assistant hides under the snow.
But a SAR dog who can't think for itself is useless -- air-scent dogs work off-leash, so the handler won't always be nearby to give commands. By this stage, the game is well established, and the dog knows what she needs to do to get her reward.



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