Before it became too hot and uncomfortable, I took Jochen back to our (ASSDA) training site to show him the changes that Peter and I had made on Saturday to the disaster site in preparation for the test.
I took him over the agility course, something he has always enjoyed and is very good at. So he can't complain that he 'only' gets long walks. As far as he is concerned, walks are super but WORK is even better.
Disaster search dogs have to be agile, mobile and steady on unstable terrain and for the dogs to learn this, an agility component is part of the Foundation Skills Assessment.
This agility is not to be confused with the sport of agility which is done at speed and on purpose-built obstacles. In our disaster world, and from a training perspective, the obstacles are open to our imagination and whatever material is available to us. As you can see, 44 gallon drums come in very handy. We change the set-up from time to time so that the dogs don't become blasé. Jochen loves going over them.
Disaster search dogs have to be able to climb upright ladders, as Jochen is doing here. Up and...
And then there are the horizontal ladders as in the two photos below. We have a 'starter' ladder that is much lower to the ground and the rungs are wider to help the young dog and/or the beginner to get used to the horizontal ladder.