Central Okanagan SAR Dog Chase Sharpens His Sniffer During Training – Keremeos Review


Search and rescue teams from across British Columbia gathered in Kelowna this past weekend for search and rescue canine training.

Central Okanagan search and rescue dog Chase helped improve his skills with handler and volunteer Terry Downs.

“Last year we had 106 calls and about 20% of them are appropriate for Chase,” Downs said. “Where it excels is missing or lost. So, discouraged, demented, wandering Alzheimer’s patients, as well as the missing.

Chase with SAR dogs from Osoyoos/Oliver, Whistler and Cranbrook spent Sunday practicing tracking on the roads.

“There is a science and an art,” Downs noted. “Sometimes people cross a road naturally, sometimes they turn 90 degrees, sometimes they back up. So what we do is we teach the dog and also the handler how to read the dog, how to tell if that person has crossed or how to tell if he has turned left or right, or even backed up in high.”

Chase has participated in 20 tasks in 2021 with many successes.

“Like anyone who has a skill, it’s a perishable skill. We have to maintain the skills we have,” Downs said of the training, commenting on how one dog in the group was certified for eight years. “All dogs that are certified in the province by RCMP Dog Services must be certified every 12 months. We make sure they maintain their skills, keep them fresh, healthy and at the same time, as this is a national search and rescue canine standard, it’s the same all over the world. country.

The handlers also own it and foot the bill for training and travel across the province, an estimated cost of $10,000 per year.

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