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Im very interested in getting into Canine USAR and need some info on where I can get some training or organizations that offer training. I do not have a search dog yet but will be getting one very soon. Any info on what to look for would be great. I live in Chattanooga so info close by would be great.
 

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My suggestion is to first contact your local S&R group. You should be able to find out from your local law enforcement or fire department. Talk to them, attend some of their meetings and participate in a training drill to see first hand what goes into being part of a S&R team. See if it really something you want to get into, it is hard work to train and keep up that training for yourself and the dog.
As far as getting a dog real soon, again I would say that you need to hold off until you see what it takes. Most groups are very particular on picking out the pups that they will train to be rescue dogs. If you jump the gun and get a dog that they deem unsuitable for their training what will you do then?
Del
 

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Are you set on urban SAR? Finding a local team that does Wilderness the majority of the time would be much easier, IMO.
 

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DO NOT GET A DOG YET!

Get into a team first and figure out - Wilderness, USAR, SUSAR

Find the nearest FEMA unit (Tennessee Task Force 1) and check out the Tennessee Wilderness Groups if you are not sure. Get down all the other stuff and do a lot of training for a victim because you can learn a lot without the dog and many teams will not want to invest time in YOU until there are sure you are in it for the long haul.

So, my 2 cents.
 

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Good advice from everyone so far. Before you get a dog, find a team. Make sure the team has openings. I am not sure about TNTF-1, if they are accepting applications right now. But if not, get experience from a good Wilderness or SUSAR team that IS acceptng members. Go out and train with the team, be the victim, learn to play and absorb everything before even thinking about getting a dog. I know way to many people that got the dog first and it was not good for the work or they decided SAR was not for them.

SAR of any kind is not a hobby. Its a life style and it takes a lot of time and dedication and financial commitment.
 

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This was all great information. I was especially pleased to hear of the commitments it is to become a SAR handler/owner. We have a puppy that we would be interested in getting into the program. This winter, we are going through the Basic Puppy Training, and also the STAR Puppy Certification through AKC. I figured that this would be a great place to start. We have also contacted a few of the local SAR groups, and have gotten responses we have been looking for.

I give you luck on your search for finding a rescue group and dog. GSD are the best dogs ever. :)
 

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So glad you have had responses; there are some real nice folks in West VA doing SAR.
 
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