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Southport Offshore Rescue Trust
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust is an independent charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the Southport coast  

News : K9 Training Update

It has been some time since I have written an update, but this does not mean that we have not been busy.

We went up to a training day in the Borrowdale valley in November with SARDALAKES.  Everything went well apart from the rain, but that does not bother William, the wetter and colder the better, so that he does not get to hot.  I was told that William was coming along well and I was given lots of tips and good advice, this should help us both to improve our technique.

Training with SARDALAKES last November

Some other important issues are that K9 2000 have sponsored William, this has allowed us to go along to the training classes at Long Acers Riding School in Lydiate, and then after the dog class has finished, we use the area to do our search training.  This has been a priceless asset because there is a lot of dog and human foot scent which could distract William, however this means that he has to concentrate on the job in hand.

I also made the hard decision to have him neutered, after a lot of thought and sleepless nights prior to the operation, all went well.  Now he is a lot happier in himself and is not distracted by the ladies all the time, his training has been more focused. 

We also have another dog joining the team, crew member, Shaun Rimmer has a border collie called “Ruby”, and she has started her training.  From the start she has shown a good strong obsession for dog toys, a good bark and is progressing very well.  Ruby is developing the idea that bodies have toys and she will bark when she finds them, also that she can play with their toys, these are important steps in the dogs development.  Hopefully she is going to be every bit as good as William and an asset to the search team.  She is still in the first stages of her training, but will soon be moving onto harder finds with more distractions involved.

A recent search training exercise was at night in an area of dense woodland of approximately 25 acres.  William had to work hard for 40 minutes before he had his first find. This boosted in my confidence in him and showed me that he is staying focused, even if he does not have a find in the early stages of the search.  He slept well that night!

Joanne Pritchard (Cheshire SAR dog training co-ordinator) and “Lowland Search Dog Hasty” Kim, with William and me.

Congratulations to Joanne Pritchard for recently grading Kim “Lowland Search Dog Hasty”.  Our training with Cheshire Search and Rescue dog team has been put on hold because of problems with insurance, but hopefully this will be overcome soon, as these weekly training classes have been very important to William and Ruby’s progression. 

SARDALakes “Body” Margaret O’kane who moved to the area recently, has been in touch with me and has offered to be a “body” for William.  As our training in Cheshire is on hold for the time being, I have started training with Margaret on a weekly basis, her 13 years experience of training with SARDAlakes is priceless.

William and the crew undertook a night foot search in the sand dunes on behalf of Merseyside Police, we were looking for a missing 84 year old lady thought to be in the sand dunes at Ainsdale.  Although we didn’t find her, the search was called off by the police and the lady was found safe and well the next day in grounds near to her home.

Neil Rothwell (Coxswain, Chairman, but most of all William’s Dad)


Additional information: SAR K9

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