Thursday, March 23, 2017

SWSD Videos

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For experienced teams, we try to train on as many different situations as possible. Here, Richard and Mandy work a problem where the subject was picked up in a car in the middle of the trail, then dropped off a short distance later. The other dogs who worked this trail had different reactions than Mandy. Mandy seems to slow down a bit and smell the flowers a little longer in the car portion, but works through it, with a little help from Richard. (Click on the pictures to see the videos.)
I was explaining to some trailing handlers how we work area search dogs crosswind, because this is more efficient than working up and down wind - just as my dog, Cielo, lifted his head and raced toward the subject. Perfect timing! Thanks, subject Janet, and videographer Pete.
Our initial certification for Basic Disaster includes an area of rubble that is considered inaccessable by the handler. Janet's dog, Annabelle, makes the difficult seem easy, with her ample supply of natural ability, which does not take away from Janet's abilities as a trainer. Betcha can't watch this video without smiling!
We also train as first responders to local disasters and part of that training is a semi-annual recertification. Here are Jan and Couper, taking their re-cert in difficult conditions. When Couper does not show any particual interest in the area, Jan realizes she needs to get him downwind of all parts of the rubble pile, and directs him around the back side. When they get back on the pile, Couper whines, but does not give a full alert, and Jan correctly picks the location of the victim.
Here are Bev and Nikki, illustrating fine technique in a busy area with many distractions.
Here're Pete and Buck (Buck's the dog,) a recently certified area search team. And you thought Huskies couldn't do SAR!
And now, here's Truckee, making the difficult look easy, and Eric, making the easy look difficult (just kidding, Eric.) Seriously, it is hard, sometimes, to read a high-energy dog like Truckee.
Our families are an important and well-appreciated part of the SWSD support structure. In this video, Eric's whole family is participating in the mock search excersize and even Jim's and Jan's visiting grandsons, Nick and Josh play a valuable role as subjects.
  

Video Help

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To watch these videos, you need Windows Media Player, which you can download from here. If you are using a Mac, you can download an add-on that will allow you to watch them in Quicktime here. These are all large files, so if you don't have high-speed access to the Internet, you'll need to be patient.

Technical stuff

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The videos with the moving camera were shot with the Steadicam Merlin supporting the camcorder.

This device allows videographers to shoot smooth video, even though the camera is moving. This takes lots of practice, though, and you might notice that we're just learning in the videos.

The camcorder used was the Sony HDR-HC1.

This is a high-definition camcorder and when seen on a high-definition TV, the video is awesome. For the Web, though, we have to compress it so much that it looses quality. Still, it's better than regular camcorders produce, and when used with the Merlin, in the hands of a good videographer, after being post-processed by a skilled editor, the results are excellent.

The videos were all captured in high-def and edited with Adobe Premier Pro 2.0, which is part of the Adobe Video Bundle, which Adobe has generously donated to non-profit organizations like ours, through TechSoup.org.
  
Copyright 2016 Southwest Search Dogs, Inc