As I was initially going to fly into Geneva with Jochen, we were going to stay in a B & B as close to Les Epeisses as possible and spend our first weekend in Switzerland training at the disaster village. We were then going to make our way to Chur which is going to be our base.
As I was convinced to fly into Zurich instead, our first training session will now be at a site in Maiersboden.
The following week we will be travelling with a group of people to Austria near Kühtei for the four-day workshop held for those teams going for the operational test in October.
- Early September Jochen and I will be taking part in the search element of their versions of the FSA (Foundation Skills Assessment). We cannot do the whole test as it is held under the rules of their Canine Control Council and I am not a member.
- Some time later there will be a Suitability Test which we have also been invited to attend. The reasoning is to give me an opportunity to experience testing under their system and conditions in preparation for the operational test.
On the weekend of 21-23/9/2012, will be a REDOG deployment exercise for which a place has also been made available for Jochen and me. This event will be held at the Les Epeisses disaster village.
Various Training Venues
It was suggested that Jochen and I experience as many different training grounds dotted around Switzerland as I can manage and to therefore work with as many different REDOG groups as possible.
Training will be every Wednesday evening and on Saturdays and Sundays.
On non-training days I will be building up longer and longer walking tours with Jochen as fitness is one of the most important components of the preparation for this big test. Not only does the dog have to be willing to work, have a high search drive and a work ethic, it alone will not carry the dog through an eleven-search test. Fitness is one of the most important ingredients the dog must have to be able to do five 20-minute searches with only a 10-minute break between each search.
I have the intention of building up our hiking and trekking high into the Alps for up to 5 - 6 hours a day on the non-training days to develop Jochen's fitness level.
The operational test will be held at Les Epeisses on 26-27th October 2012.
Return to Australia
We will fly back to Australia on 31st October 2012.