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Testimonials from Clients

I am the Secretary of the BC (British Columbia) Search Dog Association. I have an RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) validated dog for Search and Rescue. My dog is validated in both profiles of Searching and Tracking, for which she is tested annually by the RCMP. This could not have been achieved so readily without the expert teaching and guidance of Dale Stavroff.

I have taken Dale¹s Level One Obedience Dog Training course, as well as have had my dog spend 20 weeks of tracking training with Dale. This course has changed my ideas on how dogs learn, work expectations from the animal, and helped to produce a happy, driven, mischievous, problem-solving dog. Using Dale¹s methods has created a solid obedience dog, which is the foundation for all other activities that Rhime is called upon to do in her working life.

Rhime has gone on to achieve a CKC CD (Canadian Kennel Club Companion Dog) in her first three trials, with 2 High In Trials and missed a 3rd High In Trial with a score of 197 (of a possible 200). She also has a CKC Working Certificate, as well as being validated with the RCMP for the past 3 years.

A working dog's life is relatively short. The first dog I trained for Search and Rescue was four years old by the time I finally was able to validate her. By using classical conditioning and some positive methods of reinforcement, I somehow managed to validate. By going through Dale¹s program and guidance and having a serious plan developed right from 7 weeks old, I validated Rhime when she was 26 months old. While I have continued to work and train Rhime she has proven to be calm, confident, and always ready and willing to work.

Rhime¹s dedication to the track and tracking has received high praise from the RCMP. The tracking test for Search and Rescue is what the RCMP calls a Level One test. However, once the testing Dog Master followed behind Rhime on their own higher level tests of Level Two and Level Three, there is no doubt that Rhime is able to work human scent.


She has little difficulty moving from low scent areas (such as pavement, gravel school playgrounds or gravel roads) into areas of higher scent (such as the thick salal, salmon berries, and devils club that we encounter on the West Coast of British Columbia). Her scent discrimination whilst tracking enables her to maintain a track that has been highly contaminated by cross tracks of people and other animals, domestic and wild. It gives me great confidence as a handler that Rhime is working human scent and not distracted by other scents. It is a joy to work behind Rhime.

Since the job I have chosen for Rhime is to look for missing people, I require a solid, reliable, animal. There are many people counting on Rhime and I to clear areas, giving a reliable indication of whether a subject is in the area or not. Since many of our searches are at night, I need Rhime to understand my verbal signals and I also need to know what her alerts are indicating. All of which have required on-going constant teaching, training and reinforcements, since Rhime was 7 weeks old to today.

Without Dale¹s Level One Training Course, guidance, support, and tracking work that Dale has done, I would not have such a reliable dog that understands how to learn. It has not only helped to produce a great dog, but I have grown into a much better handler and trainer. Dale's constant challenging of me and my old-wives-tales training ideas, has helped to establish a fair and honest relationship with my dog, one in which Rhime will trust me, thus allowing Rhime to achieve even more.

I have a very happy, driven, dedicated working dog, who is calm, patient, has a sense of self and can solve problems that arise from searching for lost, missing and hurt people. Because of Rhime's confidence, she easily adapts to new situations and noises. She is able to be transported in a variety of vehicles, including, all sizes and types of boats, helicopters, ATV¹s, motorcycles, excavators, and even on the back of a horse.

I would like to add my high praise to Dale Stavroff¹s method of training a working dog. It has been invaluable for my dog and me.

Thanks Dale, it has been worth every idea-crushing minute.

Georgia Combes
Powell River, British Columbia