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I'Leighton vom Valkyre
Cadaver 1 Certified (13 months of age) [True North Search Dogs in MT]
Cadaver 2 Certified (16 months of age) [Tri-State standards]
On Shore Water Search Certified (16 months of age) [Tri-State standards]
Land Cadaver Certified [IPWDA]
Open Water Certified [Tri-State standard]
Whelped 4/28/2015

 


Ibo an der langen Furt "a" normal
Police Service Dog K9 Bodie
Sacramento PD [Retired]

V-Vulkan vom Stadtfeld SchH 3, KKL-1, "a"

V-Aron von den Diebeskämpen SchH 3

V-Aly vom Vordersteinwald SchH3, FH2, KKL-1 [BSP]
Gimmy vom Siegener Krönchen SchH3, KKL2

V-Hera vom Stadtfeld SchH 3

V-Boomer vom Emsbogen SchH3, IPO3, FH, KKL-1
V-Yane vom Stadtfeld SchH1, KKL-1

G-Gaya an der langen Furt SchH 2, KKL, "a" normal

V-Orry von den Wannaer Höhen SchH 3 [SG-BSP]

SG-Iwo von der Heidestrasse SchH3, IPO3, FH1, KKL-1 [BSP]
SG-Wespe von den Wannaer Höhen SchH 3, KKL-1

Dana an der langen Furt SchH 3

V-Dino vom Eisengriff SchH3, IPO3, FH2, KKL-1
G-Jessy vom Rockland SchH3, KKL-2

Brixi v. Valkyre SAR OFA

Diego-Armando von der Roggenstrasse SchH 3, "a" normal [USCA 2009 Nationals]

V-Kiron vom Hause Santiages SchH 3 [V-LGA]

Ferro vom Schloss Tirol SchH3, KKL-2
Biene vom Ziegenhainer Tal SchH2, KKL-2

Eyla von der Paarquelle SchH3, IP3, FH2 [3x BSP(SG)]

SG-Quincy vom Waldwinkel SchH3, IPO3, FH2, KKL-1 [BSP, WUSV]
Candy vom Haus Hartmann SchH3

Prada vom Valkyre SAR OFA

SG-1 Phoenix vom Valkyre BH, CD, SAR

V-1 Jago vom Valkyre SchH3, KKL-1 Lbz, OFA
Ultra vom Valkyre SchH2, KKL-1

V-Zoe v. Bramberg,SchH 1

V-1 Pan v.d. Jahnhöhe SchH3, KKL-1, Lbz [V-45 BSZS]
V-Elfe v. Bramberg SchH2, KKL-1, Lbz

We are still in the process of building this page for Leighton. Below is a bit of her history along with a description of her first SAR Certification



Leighton vom Valkyre was added to our canine family in July of 2015. She is the fledgling replacement for our current search dog, Jetta, who turns 11 this year. Many know that Mary, my wife, named this dog in honor of 4-yr old Leighton McComb who sadly was lost in the 2015 Wimberley, Texas Memorial Day floods. Both Leighton McComb and 6-year-old William Charba’s bodies have yet to be recovered from some 50-miles of the flood swept Blanco River.
 
Mary started Leighton’s training as soon as the 8-week old pup came to our Texas home. She, like her mom Brixi and grandmother Prada, is a bright, quick learning puppy. She is eager to please and anxious to explore and learn new tasks. Her basic cadaver training indication was developed very quickly in the months that followed.
 
I continued Mary’s techniques to finish Leighton’s indication training in preparation for the Tri-State testing that is annually held, ironically, every Memorial Day in West Yellowstone, Montana.
 
Here are the details of Leighton’s Cadaver Level 1 certification test:
The standards for this cadaver test consist of a search area that is 2-acres in size in a moderate terrain environment. Adding to the difficulty was Leighton’s limited exposure to the different climate and vegetation of Montana as compared to the Hill Country in Texas. Squirrel nests and porcupine dens added to the scent distractions. Other hazards include black and grizzly bears and bison with their newborn calves. Canine handlers are normally equipped with bear-spray and side-arm handguns just in case of an escalated encounter.
 
Leighton’s search area was rectangular in shape with a long side of 300 feet paralleling a dirt road that ran east to west. The early morning breeze was from the west and the temperatures were in the mid to high fifties.
 
We use real human remains for sources on all testing areas. The material is largely donated by various supporters of search and rescue, from diabetic amputations, to deceased members of the search community. The sources are treated with respect and gently placed in hiding both on the surface and buried under the soil. Several false holes are also dug to make sure the dog will not falsely alert on a fresh hole or just disturbed earth.
 
Leighton’s indication upon finding the sources is to quietly lay down staring at the source and wait for my arrival and subsequent reward, which is a planet dog ball on a rope. She is passionate about playing tug with the ball/rope combination as well as chasing the toy and retrieving it when it is thrown.
 
After reviewing the testing standards with the two evaluators, Larry Heigh of True North Search Dogs in Helena, MT and Dave Forker of Snake River Search Dogs in Idaho, I started Leighton at the east side of the search area.
 
Leighton was wearing a bright orange search dog vest, which made it easier to follow her silhouette as she darted into the thick growth of tall pine trees. She quickly covered the east boundary and began homing on scent from the first item hidden from her. There was a short delay as she checked out a fallen log, home to some squirrels, but without my prompting left the critters and continued to the west in the direction of her hidden target. Suddenly she turned an abrupt 90-degrees into an open area between a dense growth of pine trees. Her nose crisscrossed the bare forest floor and settled on an inconspicuous spot. The spot, to me, looked as a normal blanket of tree needles and duff in the middle of the forest floor; but to Leighton it smelled like success. With a light paw sweep she cleared some pine needles then promptly laid down facing the spot staring with intense focus. I called to the two evaluators that Leighton was indicating on buried human remains. They both smiled and told me to “reward your dog”. Leighton and I played tug with her reward toy for a bit at this area in the forest before I asked for her toy and said: “You ready to go back to work? There is more!”
 
Leighton leaped up and proceeded to head westward further into the forest of trees in search of her next hidden find. Her ranging is so distant and her crisscrossing pattern very precise so that she quickly took us to the west boundary where she narrowed her nose’s focus to a large downed tree trunk slowing rotting on the forest floor. She next poked her head into the cracked remains of the fallen tree and promptly laid down while still intensely focusing on the log, or what ever was hidden in the center.
 
I called to Larry and Dave that again, my dog is indicating on hidden human remains in the log’s interior. They immediately told me to reward my dog and added congratulations on passing her Level 1 Cadaver test. Although we were allotted 1 hour for this test, Leighton completed her certification in less than 15 minutes.
 
We did not have enough testing space in the busy weekend to attempt her Level 2 Cadaver test, which has multiple search areas with unknown number of source hides and the possibility of a blank search area. But we did run her through the portion of the level two tests that requires a search canine to correctly identify all the human bones scattered in an area of undisturbed animal bones. She easily identified 4 human bones, a spinal vertebrate, a femur, a rib and an ulna without falsely indicating on the other animal bones scattered in the area.
 
Proud to have a new addition to our personal search family, Leighton will remain in Montana to continue her training for Cadaver Level 2 and assist as needed as the newest canine member of True North Search Dogs. We now begin the next chapter in 4-generations of Valkyre kennel’s search dogs starting with Phoenix vom Valkyre and now including the retired Sacramento PD Canine, Bodie.
 
Dave Lehman
1-June 2016

 

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