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Characteristics of a SAR Dog



excerpted from K9 SUSPECT DISCRIMINATION  by Adee Schoon and Ruud Haak, Detselig Enterprises LTD, Alberta, Canada 2002 p. 85-86  MENTAL QUALITIES:

* placid composure:  self-confident, stable, not nervous or afraid

* temperament: lively, interested

* willing to work: willingness to continue even if there is no immediate reward

* intelligence: particularly the ability to quickly learn to respond to a cue

* good searching drive:  natural ability to use the nose to find objects

* not too high prey drive: if the dog defends his reward too strongly, he will be focused on the reward too much and this will prevent him from searching well

* high bring drive:  by retrieving his reward to his handler, the dog shares it with him and this is good for the team

* ability to cope with mistakes:  if corrected ( a verbal correction should be sufficient), the dog should remain composed, willing to work, and not lose its search and bring drive.  Dogs that cannot cope quickly with being corrected are very difficult to work with.

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