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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking quite a lot lately about joining a Search and Rescue team. It's always been something that I've wanted to pursue but I'm just now getting settled in life enough to be able to commit the necessary time to it. I'm trying to figure out where to start? I've done a lot of research and know that I will need to get myself properly trained before I can become a K9 handler. I am comfortable handling and training working line dogs as I currently have working line GSD/Mal that will be turning 12 next month and a cowbred Black Mouth Cur, out of activeworking parents, that is 14 months.

But I'm wondering, with all of the different organizations out there, how do I choose which to join?

Also, I know I need to wait to get a dog to train until after I have finished my training and gained sufficient field experience, but when the time comes, how do I choose which breed to use? Obviously my preference leans more toward shepherds(GSD, Mal, Dutch, etc.).

Any advice is welcome as I do not personally know anyone who is involved in Search and Rescue. I'm also open to PMs if you're not comfortable posting that much information publicly.
 

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Wherever you're at, contact local SAR groups and ask them these questions! I have a friend, who I'd k own for some time, and he mentioned one day being called up to go help search for a missing child in a town an hour or so away...I had no idea that he was involved in SAR before that! Anyway, local folks that are involved will be your best source of info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wherever you're at, contact local SAR groups and ask them these questions! I have a friend, who I'd k own for some time, and he mentioned one day being called up to go help search for a missing child in a town an hour or so away...I had no idea that he was involved in SAR before that! Anyway, local folks that are involved will be your best source of info!
I will definitely be contacting the local groups and asking them these questions. 🙂 I'm just curious as to other peoples experiences starting out and any advice they might pass along. I'm sure every group is likely to be a bit biased toward themselves.
 

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Start by visiting your County SAR team. There is a lot of ground searcher, handler training to complete before you start training a young dog! You mentioned time, don't forget $. I'd find a County team that has a K9 unit, hopefully they're a competent unit with good dogs. Find out their primary calls for service, wilderness area, trailing, human remains and choose a discipline that gets requests. No point in investing so much time and resources if you don't get to search. Area search is much easier to train than trailing; human remains is nose work in smaller areas and stinky! Don't know that I'd want a GSD over 65 lbs for area search; border collies do well in that discipline so do Mals that have hunt drive. GSD's are great trailing and human remains dogs.
 

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I am late to the party... But the advice offered already is good.. check your local teams.. and no, you don't need a dog at first... in fact, it is easier for you to get all your prerequisites out of the way without a dog 😊
 
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