Hi from another South Aussie

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Introduce yourself, your dog (if you have one) and your team. Let us know a little about your experience, what you do, where you do it, Maybe add a photo or two too!

Hi from another South Aussie

Postby Andrew & Bundy » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:05 am

Hi,
My name is Andrew and I'm a part of James team, The South Australian State Emergency Service (SES) Dog operations. I have been training my Australian Kelpie/German Sheppard X "Bundy" in SAR air scenting since March last year. We have been on two operational search's.
Prior to getting involved in K9 SAR my experience was with the Royal Society for the Blind (RSB) guide dog service as a volunteer and helped to raise and train a number of guide dogs. Funny thing is the first guide dog I raised "Nancy", a black female Lab actually graduated and worked for a short period as a guide dog but had to be retired early as she was pulling excessively in the harness. The good news for us is that she is now housed by me and is training in our programme (and doing magnificently). On that subject I know it is quite common for trainee guide dogs that don't make it as GD's go on to become SAR dogs, is anyone aware of a dog that has actually graduated and worked as a GD and then gone on to work as a SAR dog?
Our team had a significant change recently and we now have two streams in SES dog ops. We have air scenting area or wilderness search dogs with 5 dog teams based in Adelaide and 3 in the Riverland. Our new Buddies came to us from a non government organization and specialize in USAR. They have 7 dogs and the team leader is very experienced in K9 SAR. He is an accredited K9 USAR assessor and also has a background in area search.
I am looking forward to read about peoples experiences, sharing ours and gaining knowledge from this forum.
Cheers
Andrew
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Re: Hi from another South Aussie

Postby Georgie&Dexter » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:01 am

Hi Andrew and Bundy! [biggrin]
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Re: Hi from another South Aussie

Postby Judith » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:02 am

Hi Andrew and welcome!

Nice to have you on board. We used to have a couple of Kelpies on our team. A kelpie cross GSD sounds interesting!
One of our former members had an ex-guide dog who qualified as an operational SAR dog (with his original puppy walker!) before he sadly passed away, far too young, from an aggressive lymphoma. So yes, it can be done! Good luck with Nancy

Do you have a team Facebook and twitter page? If so we'll give you a like/follow!

Judith
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Re: Hi from another South Aussie

Postby Andrew & Bundy » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:29 pm

Thanks for your replies G&D and Judith,
At the moment we don't have a Facebook page but we are working on making it happen, we need approval to get one going as we are regulated by a govt dept and don't know what its like in The UK but here that means lots of red tape, but you guys will be the first to know once it happens.
Sad to hear the guide dog you guys had passed away before his time.
Something we have found with Nancy "The Night Ninja" is she will work for any handler unlike the rest of our dogs. We think it is because she is accustomed to working for different handlers as this was what she was exposed to in her former career as a trainee then working GD.
Will be interested to hear any feed back on experiences from taking a dog from guiding to SAR, I love the irony that most of her traits that I had to discourage as a trainee GD, I now encourage in her training as a SAR dog and no prizes for guessing which has been easier for me and which career she is enjoying most.
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Re: Hi from another South Aussie

Postby SallyM47 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:38 pm

Hello Andrew and Bundy

It's interesting to read how things work abroad - thanks for the Intro.

Our dogs are all our family pets and live at home with us - my son and I were co-training ours, which I qualified in December, but she sadly died in July, aged 7. We are now on the search for a new dog so it's quite exciting after all the sadness.

Most of our handlers have one dog in training but there are some with 2, and one of our already-qualified dogs is currently training 2 new handlers, so it CAN be done the other way around!!

I look forward to reading more about your exploits in the coming months - welcome to the Forum!

Sally
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