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Sophie's First SAR Aptitude Test

Sophie's First SAR Aptitude Test

Desiree's Response about Sophie

Sophie the 4 month old purebred ridgeback puppy.


<  4 month old Sophie with Desiree's husband. © photo by Desiree

Desiree: Interestingly enough, before getting Sophie I had considered a Ridgeback (which my husband vetoed) and had done some research. Then I saw Sophie when I was volunteering at the shelter and brought her home without a second thought. But the info I received BEFORE I got her and the info I received AFTER were very, very different. It is safe to say that, despite my efforts to educate myself, I did not know what I was getting into. I have a lot of experience with dogs and have dealt with difficult dogs before, and so everything I read about them tending to be independent and needing an experienced owner didn't really concern me.

Now I know exactly what they meant by those vague phrases. I'd have gotten Sophie anyway, but some specific examples of the kind of behavior to expect would have been truly helpful when she was little. I could have planned her training better and known much more where I needed to place a little extra emphasis. And I wouldn't have experienced that shocked, confused, and frustrated stage (that you also mentioned going through) when she proved to me more impossible to train than I had expected.


SAR Aptitude Test: At the age of 13 months, Sophie had her first evaluations to continue training as a SAR (Search And Rescue) dog. They were not evaulating current training levels (thank God) just search aptitude, motivation, and temperament. Mainly, the testing was to tell us if the dog we had looked promising or if we needed to consider a different dog.

It was so typical...we got there and the first thing that happened is Sophie refused to get out of the car. I hauled her out and she acted like a goose for most of the time...afraid of everyone (even though she managed to dredge up the courage to bug them for treats once she realized they had them), and very disobedient. It was absolutely embarrassing. She ran off and I had to go get her because she wouldn't come, she wouldn't heel, and she was so sluggish on the rest of her obedience commands that I think everyone assumed she didn't know them. The evaluator was not impressed.

Introduction Read This BEFORE Getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback.                                            A thumbnail photo showing Sophie the 11 month old Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. Sophie's First SAR Aptitude Test

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Playing the search dog, Ebbey has a leading role in the eerie action thriller Search Dog's Raven. Her character is paramount, because the key to unlocking the film's unique twist turns out to be the 'Search Dog's...Raven.

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