Thursday, January 31, 2008

Search and Rescue Munsterlanders

FoxTal is proud to have two of our Small Munsterlanders involved in Search and Rescue.  Catja vom Foxtal, owned by Wendy Wied, has an airscenting certification through NASAR.  We know that the qualities that make the SM an exceptional versatile gun dog are the same things we look for in Search and Rescue.  Desire, high retrieve/prey drive, a terrific nose.  What was interesting is that, unless things have changed, the SMCNA will not grant permission for a dog to be bred who is certified in SAR; they must compete in NAVHDA specifically.  Clearly, this would be contrary to working in the SAR field, and teaching the dog that finding people is rewarding, as opposed to birds.  That means that a person who is interested in the Small Munsterlander for SAR must find a breeder who does not require the NAVHDA testing and understands the type of foundation a puppy should receive in order to maximize their abilities.

My puppy foundation is the same for all, whether they are gun dogs or not, with one exception.  That is, once I make my selection of the SAR puppy prospect, and after seeing their natural reaction to birds, that puppy does not work with birds again.  Instead, I cultivate a bark, pursuit and tug play.  All the puppies experience climbing under and over obstacles and working on unstable footings, as this is good confidence building for any dog.

The latest addition to the SAR mission is Der Spartacus "Sparti" vom Foxtal, owned by Christopher Bichsel.  They are part of Northwest Disaster Search Dogs in Washington state.  We are very proud of them and look forward to hearing of their many successes over the years.  Enjoy this video of their training:!3C9698DD57D57D7C!284.entry