To be part of a Canine Search Team, the dog and handler have to pass a certification test. In the United States, this test is administered by the Department of Homeland Security or FEMA. In some states, there is a state agency that administers the test and regulates the qualifications.
These dogs are bold. They are highly efficient at search and rescue; and they do the work in a fraction of the time that it would take humans to accomplish the same task. Each rescue scene is different. It is impossible to simulate all the variables to which the dog will be exposed. There will be different scents, different sight pictures, different ground and footing, different sounds… and, in each and every circumstance, the dogs are expected to perform and do the work for which they have been trained. It takes a very special dog – and one who’s courage and judgement may be the variables upon which someone’s life depends.
The handlers are wonderful – the dogs would not trust them otherwise. To learn more about search dogs, one site to visit is the Search Dog Foundation:
link: Search Dog Foundation
This is the Search Dog Foundation’s pledge: “We ensure lifetime care for every dog in our program: once rescued, these dogs will never need to be rescued again.”
I encourage you to bookmark the site and stop by once in a while. It is a place where amazing happens.