Archive for the Search and Rescue Category

How to Build a Rally Course

Posted in Search and Rescue on October 3, 2022 by rattlerjen

Building a rally obediece course correctly and efficiently is a skill that will serve you well as a rally obediece competitor. People who can build …

How to Build a Rally Course

New Puppy

Posted in Search and Rescue on September 20, 2016 by rattlerjen

Welcome to the pack Burya

I would like to introduce Burya to all of you. She is our new puppy and next search team member. Her name means tempest in Russian.

Burya is half Dutch shepherd and half Belgian malinois from Loganhaus. She is so tiny now. Watch her grow!

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this autumn – just leave the retractable leash at home!

Posted in Search and Rescue on October 22, 2015 by rattlerjen

Retractable leashes are best left for long distance training only. Leave them at home when going for a walk. Here is a wonderful article by Dr. Leslie Sinn DVM CPDT-KA

Leesburg Vet Blog

October seems to be a favorite month among many of us here at LVH. What’s not to love about the fall in Northern Virginia – a crisp nip in the air, the brilliant colors of changing foliage, pumpkin patches, and apple picking – it’s the perfect time to get out and explore Loudoun County with our family and furry friends. But before you head out, take a look at your canine companion’s leash. Are you using a retractable leash? Retractable leashes are made out of a thin nylon cord attached to a spring-loaded plastic handle.  They have the ability to extend 15–25 feet as your pet walks away from you; as your pet gets closer, the cord retracts into the handle.  Retractable leashes are popular with many dog owners because they allow pets more freedom to roam and explore on walks.  However, there are many drawbacks and even dangers to…

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Playing in the Snow

Posted in Dog diary, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , , , on February 13, 2014 by rattlerjen

Snow brings out my inner child

It snowed about 14 inches here at home in Northern Virginia.  I have two dogs and a hill in my back yard.  This of course calls for the implementation of a bad idea. Deja vu!

My dogs needed exercise

Molniya has a special pulling harness she has been taught to pull on and a bungee leash. She had tons of fun running down the hill. I had so much fun, this will likely be repeated again tomorrow morning!


Save a Hero’s Life

Posted in dog, life with a working dog, pets with tags , , on October 11, 2013 by rattlerjen

This dog can do anything!


Help him work again

Pyro is a dog on my Search and Rescue team that does it all.  He can climb anything, find anything, do pretty much anything. Right now he is need of some help.  For some unknown reason, he has developed an infection that is costing his wonderful handler a bit of cash and a ton of heartache.  She will do anything for this dog, and this dog will do anything for her. HIs handler/owner is broken to pieces over this boy and she will not give up.

Every tiny bit helps

Long time readers know I do not post about charities on this site. This dog is special. If you can only give a dollar, go for it. Nothing is too small.  If you cannot give a dime, spread this post around. Maybe someone you know can give something. Pyro has done so much to help humans. We can do something to help him. Find his story and Donate now at the link below.


Donate now through Go Fund Me

The Quickest and Most Effective Way to Train a Working Dog

Posted in dog training, Search and Rescue with tags , , on August 7, 2013 by rattlerjen

I think most trainers these days started out using the “old way” of training dogs. Times have been changing for the better. I thought about researching and writing about this subject myself. I then came across this article and decided they did a fine job already.  Let the comments fly.

Dogs used in service to help and even save peoples lives are being trained faster and more effectively these days.  Here is what a  bird dog trainer found out:

Shotgun Life – Expert Dog Trainer Robert Milner  <— Click Me I am a link!


The Possibility Dogs – Book Review

Posted in pets, Product Review, Search and Rescue with tags , on June 6, 2013 by rattlerjen

What a handful of “Unadoptables taught me about service, hope, and healing

By the author of “Scent of the Missing” – Susannah Charleson

In one word; Inspiring


I hit the follow Susannah on Facebook button soon after reading her first book about her journey through search in rescue and her search dog Puzzle.  I knew a bit about what her new book might hold. The book is not about search and rescue to which I am involved as a K9 handler. Would it have the same hold on me as her first book?

I believe everyone knows the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” So, when I slid the book out of the shipping envelope and saw a little white dog with a goofy grin, tilted head, and ridiculous half cocked bat ears, I thought, “This will be cute.” I also figured I could read a few chapters a day in between my busy schedule of studying, working, and training two search dogs.  I got absolutely nothing done for the past two days.

The  journey begins immersed in the confused gritty red-dust covered memories of a firefighter who survived a terrible accident. The imagery conjured a frantic feeling of desperation; a need to claw your way out of the hell that was laid before the mind’s eye.  Charleston gently leads you out into the comforting fresh air with the soft touch and sweet gaze of a little mixed dog. The firefighter’s wonderful, shelter rescued dog can predict his episodes of PTSD and stop them, waken him from nightmares and flashbacks, and lead him home. She is one of many amazing canines you will meet in this remarkable book.

The author skillfully braids the stories of others with her own experience raising and training her own service dogs. This book paints gorgeous pictures that will fill you with tears, laughter, anger, and heartwarming joy. Who can forget a dog named Juice Box that completely changed the life of a young teenager who couldn’t safely leave house without him?  How about a lab with a creaking tail? Or a tiny gray lilliputian with enormous ears rescued hours before he was to be euthanized? Charleson’s voice brought such vivid detail to the page, I felt as if the people and their service dogs were all very dear friends of mine.

This book is at my bedside table to read again, and again. Possibility Dogs indeed has a hold on me.

The book may be found on Amazon. Possibility Dogs by Susannah Charleson

Susannah does more than write a book about it.  She started her own organization to help those in need of a service dog!

The name:  Possibility Dogs

Susannah Charleson begun an organization to help match and train K9 partners for those in need of a service dog.  Her website says it best:

We identify, rescue, and train talented homeless dogs for psychiatric and utility service. We connect partners with a heart for rescue to service dogs that have love and skills to share. And we support that partnership for the long-term—through ongoing training, public education, and research

You may find out more at her website Possibility Dogs

See a great interview with Susannah and Jake Piper here: Susannah News Interview

Rovers on the Rubble

Posted in dog training, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , , on May 13, 2013 by rattlerjen

Today, our team trained on the urban search and rescue’s rubble pile.  I got some wonderful pictures of some of our fantastic pups braving the wreckage.

grummanrubble1 IMG_1689 IMG_1696 IMG_1742 IMG_1793 IMG_1841 IMG_1867 IMG_1915

When to Deploy Search and Rescue Canines

Posted in pets, Search and Rescue with tags , on January 19, 2013 by rattlerjen

I would like to give a shout out to a fantastic website I found today about how to deploy search and rescue dogs.  The website gives a wonderful description on the different kinds of search dogs and how they are best used in a search.

Find the fantastic posting here:

Scents Ability Search Dogs


Posted in dog training, pets, Search and Rescue with tags , on January 18, 2013 by rattlerjen

What a beautiful day it was at training.  The weatherman assured us it would be warm and sunny in the afternoon, but it turned out to be foggy all day. Spooky and gorgeous.

We started off with some obedience practice with all of the dogs.  I think Grom did a bang up job on his recall and his down stay.  I do have to admit that our heeling is abysmal.  No worries, I taught him to walk on the right side so now I can teach him a proper heel on the LEFT side using only shaping techniques.  Yay, a fun project!

Molniya, our new puppy is learning what search and rescue is all about.  She absolutely loves everyone and everything.  She also gets (squirrel!) distracted very easily and has yet to figure out what she is supposed to do when she is taken out of the car.  I love puppies they are so CUTE!  Our little girl is one quick study.  This is her second time out of the car at training today and she quickly gets in to the barking for her toy.  I think she is well on her way to getting the hang of this thing!  Good girl.

Here she is a few days before.  She spent probably five minutes sniffing around before she decided to get her brain in gear.  She finally gave me a nice bark and got some very nice play.  Then, a man started throwing a ball for his off leash dog in the park.  WHOA!  puppy brain distraction major event!  I needed to end on a good note with her attention on barking for the toy, not for the awesome free dog with the ball running around. So, I moved her to the other side of my car where she could not see the other dog and tried again.  SCORE!  What a good girl.

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