Kamloops Search and Rescue welcomes new canine team member | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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Kamloops Search and Rescue welcomes new canine team member

Carole Capper and Ada with KSAR.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Carole Capper
September 29, 2020 - 3:16 PM

A Kamloops dog has passed the test she and her handler have been training for every day since she was seven weeks old.

Carole Capper and her three-year-old German shepherd cross Ada are the newest Kamloops Search and Rescue dog team after passing their wilderness search validation testing this past week.

"My experience with Ada has been very different than with a pet dog," Capper said. "It’s not just a dog walk, there’s a whole host of things that we have to do."

They began with regular obedience training, and practicing search strategy.

German shepherd cross Ada with KSAR.
German shepherd cross Ada with KSAR.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Carole Capper

"Part of that is learning how to communicate with your dog," she said. "Learning how your dog tells you that they are on scent, so looking for the body language."

This body language is called an indication, and dogs are trained to indicate when they have a scent, and again once they've found their quarry. 

Although Ada did train every day, it wasn't all just hard work.

"Play is a very big part of that training, and developing that bond between you and the dog is also part of that," Capper said. "There’s all sorts of things like play, engagement, impulse control, that help develop that dog, and help develop that partnership."

She said the better the bond between dog and handler, the better they work together down the road. 

"The human is the weakest link in the partnership," she said.

Carole Capper and Ada with KSAR.
Carole Capper and Ada with KSAR.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Carole Capper

"It’s usually us that mess up and not the dog. So our mantra is, trust your dog."

Capper and Ada were one of nearly 20 dog teams taking part in the B.C. Search Dog Association’s fall camp in Merritt this past week, during which RCMP Police Dog Services conducted validation testing for civilian search dog teams.

The pair join the ranks with two other validated dog teams on Kamloops Search and Rescue.

In addition to regularly working to maintain the wilderness search discipline, they will continue to working towards the tracking discipline, which will be required by the RCMP in the future in order to become validated.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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