CVSRT Trainee search dog 'Orion'

16 Jul 2017

WARNING: CUTENESS ALERT
Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) are very happy to announce that a new addition will start training very shortly in the hope of eventually joining the team!!

11weeks old Springer Spaniel ‘Orion’ with his owner and handler CVSRT Gary Smith from Todmorden, have dived straight into training which is expected to take approximately 2years to achieve the standard set by the Search and Rescue Dog Association. The pup has three distinct markings on his back that look similar to the stars in the constellation of ‘Orion’s Belt’. Orion is also known as ‘The Hunter’ in Greek mythology, so it seemed an appropriate name to choose for a search dog.

Gary joined CVSRT in 2015 and has been very actively involved with the development of our current search dogs by regularly volunteering as a ‘dogsbody’ for training, and also assisting as a navigator for our search dog handlers when they are deployed on callouts. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘dogsbodies’ are highly valued people in the development of a search dog. These volunteers go out on the hill in all weather conditions to hide for the dogs to find on training exercises and assessments courses. They are essential and help to hone the dogs’ senses.

Search dogs have been a part of CVSRT since 1977. Over the years there have been 15 dogs and 10 handlers assisting the team on searches. The dogs are trained to 'Air Scent' so, as a general rule, they do not track the missing person, but react to wind borne human scent. A search dog can cover large areas of ground, including difficult terrain and woodland in the search and is very sensitive to any human scent it finds. It will immediately follow a scent to its source. It will then ‘indicate’ to its handler, usually by barking, to let them know it’s made a 'find'. It is not unusual for a dog to pick up a scent from a missing person, 500metres or more away.

If you would like to follow Orion’s development and training, he has his own Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/redtagspan/

To do something amazing and volunteer as a dogsbody please email: secretary@cvsrt.org.uk

To find out more about CVSRT Search Dogs please visit: http://www.cvsrt.org.uk/the-team/cvsrt-search-dogs

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© 2014 Calendar photography by Hanners www.hanrahanphotography.co.uk
© 2015 All other photography remains the property of Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team.