My name is Sinead Crimmins, I am from Co. Clare. In 2001 I decided to get my first dog, a working dog to train to do something worth while like voluntary work. Search and Rescue seemed to be the obvious choice.
One thing led to another and after many phone calls I finally tracked down Don Murphy from SARDA Ireland. I contacted Don and he invited me to Cork to see how the dogs work. After the demonstration I was sure this was the line of voluntary work I wanted to do with my dog.
I got BEN in August 2001.I started basic training for a few months leading up to his second birthday. Initially, we had to teach Ben to indicate or bark on command.
Since then, he has learned that people hide and he has to find them and when he does, they will play with him and give him a treat. A typical characteristic of Labs is their love for food so I train Ben with food rather than a toy. Now, Ben knows when his jacket is put on the there is someone in the area that is hiding with a treat for him and he will find them, indicate when he finds them and I will follow him to that location where he will be rewarded for the find.
Ben seems to love this game and as long as he does, we will continue to work hard at becoming a voluntary Search and Rescue Dog Team.
The help and guidance we have received to date from everyone is what makes our endeavours possible… Thank you to family, friends and everyone in SARDA Ireland for their guidance and support! I will keep you updated on our progress regularly.