It has been a little more than eight weeks since Radar became the newest addition to the local search and rescue team in December of last year. At the time, Radar was just seven weeks old and gaining his bearings, however; now, he is in the middle of his first round of training.
According to David Woods, Radar, now 15 weeks old, has been actively participating in obedience training and more. “Radar is a Belgian Malinois and his breed is commonly used by police, search and rescue and military organizations due to the characteristics the dog possess,” Woods said. “He was handpicked for the team because of his tracking ability.”
Radar is presently doing routine training with David Mckown, owner of Angel K-9 solution in Cherokee Village. “David isn’t charging us anything to do this. He wants to help support the community and ensure Radar will be an asset during search and rescue efforts,” Woods said.
Although he may still be just a puppy, Radar is absorbing his training by leaps and bounds and Woods said, if everything goes according to plan, Radar will be ready for action in March. “I am also a state-certified trainer and in early February, I will begin scent training with him. He stays with Dave Gruger who is his handler. If everything keeps going like it is, he will be ready for action in March,” Woods said. “His obedience training is coming along very well and he is very friendly.”
Woods said Radar’s training will be solely focused on search and rescue efforts. “He will not be trained in attack or anything like that. If we’re out searching and we come across an elderly person in the woods, a child or anyone we are looking for, he will find them, be there to comfort them, and sit with them and play.”
Woods said the search and rescue team would like to thank the donors and all others in the community who came together to make the dream of having a search and rescue dog locally possible. “We want everyone to know we appreciate what they’ve done and if you need us, we want you to call us,” Woods said
.Pictured are Radar with his handler Dave Gruger at the the recent grand opening of the Sharp County Detention Center held Jan. 8.