If you are interested in training a search dog, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can discuss the suitability of you and your dog for being accepted into our group. Please be aware there are minimum requirements for handlers as well as dogs and in fact the handler probably plays a bigger role than the dog, particularly in the beginning stages. The right type of dog, passion and hard work are the main pre requisites - so if that is you - contact us via our Facebook or Web page.
We have a set of operational standards for dog teams and all dogs are assessed bi-annually. To become operational the dogs undergo a rigorous assessment process and have to achieve the standards as set down in our Training Manual. If you are an aspiring handler you need to be prepared to put in many hours of your own time and it generally will take at least 2 years to be become an operational handler - however training a search dog is a hugely rewarding thing to do and we all love it so don't be put off - just be realistic!
Our dogs are trained to follow the trail of a missing person either by footstep tracking or following wind-blown scent or in most cases a combination of the two methods. Our dogs are scent specific in that they will only follow the scent of the person which has been given to them from an article of clothing or scent left behind on a car door for example. They will ignore all other scents. In the case of off lead area searching when there may be no scent article available then they will locate whoever is in the particular search area. There are a number of assessments each handler/dog team may undertake as the work through their training in readiness for operational status.
Several of our dogs are proficient in more than one discipline. They are able to track, do off leash area searches as well as work with cadaver scent and conduct water searches.
Each dog/handler team works through a training programme designed to give them the best possible chance of success in their chosen field and are constantly challenged in their training to strive for excellence. The Community deserves nothing less.
Frequently asked Questions/answers - we have put together FAQ Document which we hope may answer one of your many questions! Please see link below.
Q & A; Becoming a Support Member ( Press Link to open)
Q & A: Becoming a Search Dog Handler. (Press Link to open)