Training a Search Dog is not an easy task nor can it be taken casually. It requires patience, consistency, commitment and dedication. It also requires many hours each week for the working lifetime of the dog.
Our members train twice a week, attend two full weekend seminars per year and participate in a yearly mock deployment that last from 3 to 4 days. In addition, our members spend countless personal hours to socialize their dogs, to educate them and to ensure proper behavior.
Our dogs are trained at the highest level of obedience and dexterity, a form of agility relevant to the work that we do. As an example, our dogs are expected to climb ladders and to walk on unstable or unpleasant surfaces.
Training a Search Dog is not limited to the teaching of the dog. It also requires teaching the Handler, and our members must pass a number of courses to ensure that not only will they work as efficiently as possible with their K-9 Partners, but they will work safely. Learning to recognize, mitigate and isolate danger is a big part of what we do.
Furthermore, CASDDA believes that for a search team to grow, a free flow of exchange of knowledge and experience between various Search and Rescue groups under the same methodology is absolutely necessary. To serve this purpose, our members receive the opportunity to attend training tours in other countries where they can work with their K-9 Partners, under the guidance of other trainers and under a variety of conditions foreign to what is known in Canada.
Being part of the IRO has been a tremendous help for CASDDA as it offers the opportunity to take part in many training seminars taught by some of the best SAR specialists in the world.