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Elke & Jochen's Swiss Adventure is Over !

After 3 months of training and learning in Switzerland for Elke Effler and her search and rescue GSD Jochen, the 2 day test arrived on Oct 26/27. After 7 searches - 4 in the afternoon and 3 during the night, at the half way point of the test, vets declared Jochen unfit to continue the test. A dogs welfare always comes first, and they retired from the test. Elke's blog detailing their quest to become fully accredited as an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team can be read here  Elke details their final test and all that happened. In it, Elke asks herself:

In answering that question, I need to remind myself and you, the reader, what this project was all about.
1. To train with my dog in Switzerland
2. To gather knowledge that will improve me as a handler, instructor and assessor in canine USAR search and pass this knowledge on to those wishing to learn from this new knowledge.
3. To participate in the toughest canine USAR test
4. To put to a serious test our training in Australia and see if Jochen and I can swim at the top level
4. To showcase Australian German Shepherd Dog breeding
I wonder if the reader thinks that Jochen and I have fulfilled that mission?

Elke is proud of herself and Jochen for all they've achieved - and so are we. The GSDCV congratulates Elke & Jochen on their quest. In true Aussie spirit - you've gotta give things a go !!! No doubt it was worth it!!. We look forward to hearing more on their return to Austraila shortly.

What is this challenge?
The challenge is for the Australian canine USAR team, German Shepherd Dog, Jochen and his handler, Elke Effler,  qualified to the highest level in Australia, to qualify at the highest level in the canine USAR world globally -  the Swiss REDOG Operational Test.

What is a canine USAR team?
It is a dog and handler trained to an accepted standard to search for persons buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings due to earthquakes, explosions and the like - Urban Search & Rescue or USAR. The most recent such disasters were the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan last year, 2011. Qualified canine USAR teams can also be deployed after cyclones - Cyclone Yasi, and landslides such as Threadbo.