We search with dogs in all kinds of environments, ranging from rural areas to rubble sites, on water and in the snow. And within almost all search disciplines a distinction is made between searching for the living or the deceased. The dog will search for anyone who is either lying or sitting in a certain area, without any prior source of scent (air scenting). When a dog has found someone, he will indicate this clearly to his handler. There are various methods of indication that can be chosen, and the decision on which method to use is usually dependent upon what goal one wishes to achieve with the dog and of course the individual aptitude of the dog.
Man trailing is a rather different kind of discipline. Here the dog is offered the scent of the missing person in advance. Based on this, the dog will follow a specific trail until he has found the person in question. This dog can be deployed in residential areas, city centres and other populated areas in order to track down people who might be in motion.
The various indication methods can be sub-divided into either barking, using a “bringsel” or “natural” indication.
Barking: When barking is used as the indication method, the dog – after having found somebody – will stay in the vicinity of this person and bark until the handler arrives.
Bringsel: Here the dog has a collar around his neck which has a “bringsel” attached to it. The dog has learnt to pick this up in his mouth as soon as he finds someone who is lying or sitting down. He will then return to his handler with the “bringsel” in his mouth. If the distance is far, the dog will repeat this action a number of times and will thus lead the handler to the missing person.
Natural indication: is where the handler uses a specific natural behaviour of the dog, which is then trained so that it becomes a repetitive response to finding a missing person. For example, the dog returns to the hander and touches his hand or jumps up. From this behaviour the handler will know that the dog has found someone and will follow the dog until they reach this person.
We make use of the natural behaviour and instincts of the dog and consider each dog to be a separate individual. All training is based on positive learning. We do not believe that the end justifies the means. We ensure that every training session is a positive experience for the dog by carefully observing his or her body language and reacting accordingly. By using a variety of new learning techniques we are able to guide each dog individually. And we are able to adapt these techniques as we go along to benefit each handler as well as the team as a whole. In this way the whole training process can be built upon and fine-tuned.
Our coaches at Oger SAR Dogs are extremely competent at being able to react and adapt to the individual development of the various dogs and their handlers and are continually using each other as mirrors, with the aim of creating a group of people who can inspire and bounce ideas off each other, thereby ensuring the team continues to function at the highest level.
By remaining critical at all times, ensuring that the methods used do not stagnate or become rusty and by being open to all opinions, insights and ideas, we can make sure we continue to grow. This means that our dogs will continue to grow too and will be able to fully express their passion when training in rural areas, on rubble, on water, in the snow or while wearing a harnass. This in turn leads to dogs who are trustworthy and stable, and who are more than willing to work hard to help familes be reunited with their loved ones. Obviously the dog is not aware of this, but their efforts are formidable!
We maintain a strict standard of certification. A qualified SAR dog team will be re-assessed every year. In this way we can keep a careful eye on the quality of the teams and can build upon maintaining a group of extremely motivated SAR dog teams.
At this moment we have 6 SAR dog teams qualified to search for missing people who are alive. One of these is also qualified to search for deceased persons. We are currently working hard to ensure that within the next 2 years we can strengthen our group to 7 teams trained in both disciplines.
3 of our qualified dogs are also being trained in man trailing.
We are always in need of “victims” for our training sessions. For this we make use of our own team members, but family, friends and acquaintances are always welcome and often help us. It is of vital importance that our dogs are offered a variety of victims to search for, in all shapes and sizes!
If our website has made you enthusiastic or just very curious about our work and our dogs, you are welcome to contact us or send us a mail if you would like to attend a training session, either to help or just to observe. You will be provided with a cup of coffee and a lunch box.
We ask a symbolic amount of 5 euros, for which you get to help us and make a contribution towards our good cause, and you get to spend a great day in the woods or at a rubble site, in the congenial company of our group and our wonderful dogs.
If you are a dog owner and are already training in SAR, you can spend the day training with us for an amount of 15 euros. Your training will be tailor-made to suit your requirements and the training format and the victims will follow your wishes as much as possible. And you can ask for our advice on specific points or problems that you have come across during your own training sessions.