Ebook: Training The Disaster Search Dog

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Shirley Hammond
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Dogwise Ebooks
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Disaster Search Dog teams save lives!
Quick response to natural and man-made disasters can mean the difference between life and death for trapped victims. Highly trained Disaster Search Dog (DSD) teams are an increasingly important component in response efforts to save lives in the face of terrorist attacks, earthquakes and floods and training these teams has never been more important.

Whether you aspire to have your dog ready to help your community in case of a local disaster or you wish to select and train a dog to become part of a certified FEMA, DSD team, this is the first book written that tells you how to do it. Training the Disaster Search Dog describes the step-by-step training methods that human-dog teams use to locate victims in rubble and is based on the author's 28 years of field experience.

You will learn:
To teach DSD skills using positive training techniques.
How to build and train with the specialized equipment used in training.
How to prepare to pass the FEMA Type I and Type II DSD tests.
What it is like to be part of a disaster recovery effort.

Here is what other dog professionals have to say:
A great book! For anyone seriously interested in learning what it takes to train a Disaster Search Dog a book that I can refer to aspiring dog handlers. It guides you through selection of a perfect puppy through training a mission-ready disaster dog.
Anne McCurdy, Canine Training Director, FEMA Indiana Task Force 1, Lead Canine Evaluator for FEMA/DHS Canine Evaluations

Training the Disaster Search Dog takes a step-by-step approach in getting a dog ready for a deployment. It takes you through the training, the FEMA certification and the deployment processes. Shirley does not just tell you what to do; she explains the logic behind each skill the disaster search dog needs to know. Every person considering becoming a disaster search dog handler, or already is one, should read this book.
Debra Tosch, Executive Director National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

There are lots of skilled dog handlers throughout the world, but only a very limited number have the willingness, experience and skills to train others in the highly specialized field of disaster search. Shirley's book, Training the Disaster Search Dog, represents a landmark in the field and is a must for DSD handlers and agencies throughout the world.
Janelle Mackie, Coordinator of New Zealand Urban Search & Rescue Dogs

Author Shirley Hammond is known world-wide for her expertise in training DSD teams. She has dedicated years of her life to developing and using the training techniques she details in this book. Shirley has been a key member of the FEMA Task Force and has helped developed standards and testing techniques for DSD work both nationally and internationally. Currently she is giving seminars on Disaster Search Dog training and Human Remains Detection.

Click here to view an excerpt.

What reviewers are saying...

Shirley Hammond's extensive experience with both disaster dogs and the FEMA system make this book a must have for all those contemplating or actively training a dog to meet the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Search. In a clear step-by-step method, the author sets out the training required for the various elements of both the Basic and Advanced test, including agility, direction, and control, the bark alert, and the rubble pile search. The agility chapter discusses a variety of obstacles which will provide a realistic training for this difficult work... The chapter on direction and control describes the baseball diamond test used by FEMA... Great attention is paid to teaching the bark alert, which enable the dog to communicate a find even when out of the handler's sight. The methods described will thoroughly prepare the dog for both the bark barrel and the rubble tests. The chapters covering search training are certainly adequate for the FEMA test; however, there could have been additional instruction on this cost critical element. Although the training problems presented were a good beginning, advanced exercises lasting up to several hours each in varied environments would prepare dog/handler teams for a wide range of disaster scenarios, from rural tornadoes to urban terrorist attacks. While no book can completely replace working under the guidance of experienced handlers, those who read Training The Disaster Search Dog will have a real advantage in their preparation for both the FEMA test and disaster response. It will make an excellent addition to any search dog trainer's library. Alice Stanley, co-author of Search and Rescue Dogs: Training the K-9 Hero.

Shirley M. Hammond has more then 28 years of Search and Rescue experiences. She ahs trained and certified dogs in area search, cadaver, disaster, evidence, and water search. Hammond's experience makes her very qualified to write this book. As expected from her background, it is logically and methodically arranged. A brief perusal of the chapter titles shows this. It also reveals how the specialized scent work required of a Disaster Search Dog, or DSD, differs from the job performed by a tracking dog Hammond also describes the tests that a handler and dog team must pass to receive FEMA certification as well as several disasters that she and her dogs worked Training the Disaster Search Dog is interesting to read. It clearly sets out the skills necessary to perform an important job under difficult conditions and details the steps necessary to teach them to a dog. It also makes clear for the casual reader how critical the work is when people's lives are at risk, and the importance of teaching each step carefully and thoroughly Carol Pernicka is a professional librarian and tracking judge (TD, TDX, VST)

For novice handlers I would say this book is an absolute essential. I know it would have helped me get on the right track a lot faster and with less diversions along the way. For more advanced handlers, it reinforced a lot of what we do, and will make it a lot easier to explain ideas to others. It also gave us some exciting training ideas, set us some new challenges and enthused me to try some new ideas with my dogs Brenda Woolley NZ USAR Search Dog Handler