Update on the training progress of our Trainee DVSD Dog Sasha, and of course her handler Dave Marsh

As readers of our website are probably aware, Bolton MRT Team Training Officer and former SARDA Air Scenting Search Dog handler, (Also current NSARDA Secretary) Dave Marsh is training his dog Sasha to find people who have unfortunately drowned. (DVSD; Drowned Victim Search Dog)

Over the long weekend [Thursday to Saturday evening] Dave has been over in Northern Ireland with Sasha, accompanied by an ex-Police Dog Handler and his dog, who was also on the same course.

Based at the Tollymore Outdoor Centre near Newcastle, Northern Ireland, Dave and the ex-Police Dog Handler met up with Phillip Eichman from Berkshire and Course Leader Neil Powell.

The training involved locating shore based targets before transferring them across into Castlewellan Lake for water based searching.

Once in the boat, an area was indicated for the handler and dog to search with emphasis on how the dog reacted to the differing wind changes over the surface of the lake.

It was pleasing to record that both dogs located the targets [one at 50 metres off shore and approximately 15 metres deep and the other 150 metres out in approximately 20 metres of water].

Consolidation of the training stages took place over the week end, plus additional shoreline searches.

Dave’s thanks go to Neil Powell, John and Rodney [boat crew] who supported them over the weekend.

Dave is now looking forward to the next course early in Spring 2014, when it is hoped that Dave and Sasha will be at the pre-assessment stage.

Also, on Sunday, Dave met with Ken Sloan [a very experienced handler from Search and Rescue Dogs England] and journeyed across to Binbrook [Lincolnshire].

There they met with Hugh Donnelly who is also interested in training his present dog to search for drowned victims.

Hugh is ex Coast Guard and has also been a member of SARDA England, when he was involved in working his fully graded dog Tyke.

Please keep watching this space for updates regarding the progression of all.