Some of the FEMA folks buy labs with a good bit of training through Maranatha Farm Kennels. I think they go from basic foundation to fully trained. I think you can hand off a trained SAR dog like you can hand off a trained police dog but, then of course, you still have to bond and finish out the training. Obviously you are going to have to certify because I know of no certification test that is good for just the dog; it must be the dog and the handler.
I personally know some of the folks who have done this and they are good handlers, some highly respected and well known. The web page does not even list some of the folks I know who have done this. [maybe they would rather not this be known.......]
Maranatha Farm Kennels-Retriever Training | Labrador Pups | Hunt Gun Dog Training | Breeding | Grooming | Day Care
I am beginning to work with and will keep (providing the x-rays are clear) a nearly fully trained air scent dog handled by a former teammate; I have only worked with this dog in the past as a subject to be found. A new job, a move, and life intervened and she would rather the dog work than live the more sedate life of a pet left alone during work hours--I have not done much with her (I got pneumonia a few weeks ago) other than bonding and some basic obedience but last weekend I took her to team training and did a simple problem and she remembered everything, came to me
for the refind, and then wiggled and licked me like mad when we got back to the truck. i figure between my pneumonia and an upcoming heat for her, we should be able to get her ready by June. Basically, I need to learn the dog from the perspective of working her but I trained an air scent dog in the past (Cyra, who was ready to certify when we discovered severe dysplasia-and I washed her) and cadaver work (Grim, then Beau) is but another form of airscent work.
A former dog, Grim, was a demo dog for the guy who developed the K9-BSD. He had been trained on gunpowder and on pseudoscent corpse, so I had to "untrain" the gunpowder and just never trained with pseudo. Basically, I had a NAPWDA trainer evaluate him for me, then a USPCA trainer, took him, trained him (he had the foundations) and he was a great dog for me. My heart dog if there ever was one. VERY bonded to me actually within a week of owning him. The guy's other dog wanted to kill Grim and he felt the whole situation was entirely unsafe. [so Grim was, I guess, trained by me but it sure was easy]
Not training today
. Have learned the hard way Rest means rest. with sore ribs and a hacking cough ...... sigh..........
So, I guess I would say....I think it is fine to buy a trained dog but if you do you should be an experienced handler because you learn so much by training the dog.