News & Articles

Can I Pet Your Dog?

This is the most frequent question we get and it highlights the difference between working dog and pet.

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Training the Avalanche Dog : The Older Dog

In the past installments all the aspects in the training of an avalanche dog team were examined from the selection process to the advanced courses. Every step is critical to the development of an efficient and timely resource for the rescue of avalanche victims. First time CARDA handlers mature greatly through this time although not as fast as their partner. All too soon the handler must adjust to the fact that their dog has become older and is starting to come to the end of their working life.

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The Instructors

Training an avalanche dogs requires a huge commitment from the handler who have to be dedicated, passionate as well as open-minded. They must be able to take direction and filter a vast amount of information into what is best for their dog. A lot is expected of CARDA members but there is one aspect that they cannot provide, guidance.

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The First Year

In the process of training an Avalanche Search Dog there is no stage as crucial or unique as the first year.

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After Validation

In the previous instalments the focus has been on the initial training and validation of the CARDA Search Dog Team. The students have spent the first two years committed to attaining this goal and making every effort in achieving it. The process is so intense that it is easy to forget the actual purpose which is to be an active and experienced team.

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The Advanced Course – Training for Reality

As the CARDA Handler evolves and gains experience after the first validation he or she become eligible for enrollment in the Advanced Course to attain “Senior Dog Handler” status. This is an invaluable opportunity to increase the required skills and to move out of the comfort zone of routine training.

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Bridging the Gap

Possibly the most misunderstood and problematic part of the process of training a CARDA dog team is what has become known as the “Gap”. This is the year between the first year puppy course and the second year validation. The handlers now have to bridge that gap by training to the validation standard.

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Being a CARDA Instructor

Being a CARDA (Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association) Instructor is a both a privilege and hard work. One of the most common questions that we field is "What does it take to  be a CARDA dog handler?".

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