This week, Rowan and I participated in the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) search and rescue (SAR) K9 certification for our team. Thankfully Rowan and I passed and are now a deployable SAR team!
This test was a grueling 3 days that exhausted both of us! Our test consists of 6 different areas, each with 2 training sources. Each team (one dog and one human handler) must pass each area to move on and the team can only have 1 missed training source. The 6 areas are:
The test also includes a modified double-blind as well as at least 1 blank area. The blank area ensures that the team not only can find source, but the team can decide when there is no source in the area. The modified double-blind shows that the team can work together alone. This also ensures there is no outside unintentional influence of the evaluator or other trainers watching.
I am so proud of my entire SAR team for doing so well this certification and for Rowan especially. This is a huge feat for a dog that isn't even 2 yet. I am so proud of him and cannot wait to see what he continues to achieve in the future.