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About the Authors
Ruud Haak was born 1947 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. At the age of thirteen, he was training police dogs at his uncle’s security dog training center, and when he was fifteen, he worked after school with his patrol dog (which he trained himself) in the harbor of Amsterdam. Later on he started training his dogs in Schutzhund and I.P.O., and successfully bred and showed German Shepherds and Saint Bernards.
He worked as a social therapist in a government clinic for criminal psychopaths, and from his studies in psychology, developed an interest in dog behavior and training methods for nose-work, especially for the tracking dog (Fährtenhund) and the search and rescue dog.
In the 1970s, Ruud and his wife Dr. Resi Gerritsen, a psychologist and jurist, attended many courses and symposia for Schutzhund, tracking dog and SAR dog training with their German Shepherds in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. In 1979, they started the Dutch Rescue Dog Organization (RHH) in the Netherlands. With that unit, they attended many operations after earthquakes, gas explosions, and, of course, searching for lost people in large wooded or wilderness areas.
In 1990, Ruud and Resi moved to Austria, where they were asked by the Austrian Red Cross to select and train operational rescue and avalanche dogs. They lived for three years at a height of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) in the Alps and worked with their dogs in many avalanche search missions.
With their Austrian colleagues, Ruud and Resi developed a new method for training search and rescue dogs. This way of training had good results after the earthquake in Armenia (1988), the two major earthquakes in Turkey (1999), and the big earthquakes in Algeria and Iran (2003).
Now Ruud and Resi live in the vicinity of Vienna, Austria. They are training directors and international judges for the International Red Cross Federation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Rescue Dog Organisation (IRO) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
Ruud and Resi also demonstrated that their unique training methods were successful at the Austrian, Czech, Hungarian and world championships for search and rescue dogs, where both were several times the leading champions. At the world championship in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the authors and their team became the 1999 world champions.
Resi and Ruud hold symposia and master classes on their training methods all over the world. In addition, they have written seven books describing their methods:
• K9 Professional Tracking: A Complete Manual for Theory and Training
• K9 Schutzhund Training: A Manual for Tracking, Obedience and Protection
• K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs
• K9 Complete Care: A Manual for Physically and Mentally Healthy Working Dogs
• K9 Working Breeds: Characteristics and Capabilities
• K9 Behavior Basics: A Manual for Proven Success in Operational Service Dog Training (with co-author Simon Prins)
• K9 Fraud! Fraudulent Handling of Police Search Dogs
and Ruud Haak also wrote
• K9 Suspect Discrimination: Training and Practicing Scent Identification Line-Ups (with co-author Dr. Adee Schoon)
All eight books are available from Brush Education (www.brusheducation.ca).
Ruud Haak is the author of at least thirty dog books in Dutch and German, and since 1979 he has been the editor-in-chief of the biggest Dutch dog magazine, Onze Hond (Our Dog). More recently, he trained drug and explosive detector dogs for the Dutch police and the Royal Dutch Air Force. He is also a visiting lecturer at the Dutch, German, and Austrian police dog schools.
At the moment Ruud and Resi are still successfully training their dogs for search and rescue, tracking, Schutzhund, and protection work.
You can contact the authors by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Figure 15.1 Ruud Haak with Tessa v. Sulieseraad (a German Shepherd Dog) and Halusetha’s Be Speedy (a Malinois).
Figure 15.2 Dr. Resi Gerritsen with Google van het Eldenseveld (a Malinois).