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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you know, my rescue pomeranian Louie is a registered therapy dog who is, now retired. (Louie also has limp since yesterday morning and cannot put any pressure on his leg, vet appointment for tomorrow morning, there was no trama to it so can't be a break, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers!). He is old, his medical conditions have certainly worsened over the past year and he has helped the community with over three hundred visits to several nursing homes as well as the children's hospital.


With Louie being retired as a community volunteer, I would like to now pass on his legacy with Apollo, my doberman. But instead of therapy work, I'd like to instead this time potentially get him evaluated for SAR work. I have always admired people with SAR dogs and the work they do with their dogs...examples-9-11 and one that hits home, the Worcester fire tragedy here in Worcester MA six years ago. I bought a doberman magazine and was amazed to find an article in there regarding the fire that took the lives of six firefighters....five of those SAR dogs were dobermans.

Apollo has a great drive for smelling things out and can find a treat anywhere in the house as well as a bone that one of my other dogs try to hide. My question is, does anyone on this board have experience with SAR work? Any input would be great.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okie-dobie said:
I hope Louie is o.k. keep us posted.
Thanks Okie. We took him to the vet, x-rayed his whole leg including his foot and there are no fractures and no sign of bone cancer (whew!). He might have an issue with a ligament but we cannot tell without putting him under anesthesia to do the thorough exam which he can't due to his laryngeal paralysis, he might not make it out of anesthesia (he almost died at the pound when he was neutered for this same reason. But, it will heal by itself if that's the case and he's not on Metacam and will be resting until he's better.

I was hoping others here have info regarding SAR dogs or had one themselves, I guess not? :(

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6,744 Posts

I think that would be really neat to do also! If I were you I would start out here

Here is an article from their website. Good Luck :)

Thinking about becoming a SAR K9 handler?

Most volunteers join an existing group, who will evaluate the dog and handler, and then help the
handler and dog with their search and rescue training. If you are interested in finding a team in
the area, we recommend the following website: This website allows a
user to search by state. You can do generic internet searches for your state name and search
dog . Many teams have internet sites which allow you to contact them for more information, as
well as give you an overview of what their team requirements may be. You can also try
contacting local law enforcement, fire departments or rescue squads to find out if there are local
units in your area.

Keep in mind that working a search and rescue dog is a large commitment. Training usually
takes 1.5 2 years, and must continue for the entire operational life of the dog.

NASAR Training:
NASAR offers a variety of training for search and rescue personnel. Most of the training is
personnel related, such as Introduction to Search and Rescue, Fundamentals of Search and
Rescue and Managing the Lost Person Incident. These courses will help a handler understand
and work within a search scene, and will help with other skills necessary to a handler, such as
navigation and planning.

NASAR does not currently offer training courses specifically for training a search and rescue
canine. NASAR does offer personnel and canine sessions as part of its yearly conference.
Information on the upcoming conference can be found elsewhere on this site.

NASAR Certification(s):
NASAR offers a variety of certifications for both search and rescue personnel and search and
rescue dog handlers. An example of personnel certifications include NASAR s SARTECH (I, II,
and III) program. NASAR also offers certifications for dog handlers in its K9 SARTECH (II,
III) program, it s K9 HRD (land, water) program, its K9 DISASTER program and it s soon to be
implemented K9 AVALANCHE program. The NASAR site has a list of currently scheduled
evaluations. For more information on K9 certifications, please contact the Eastern or Western
Field Projects Coordinators.

Additional websites for information:

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665 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you SO MUCH for all of that info, I greatly appreciate it and will keep you posted of anything we do as far as potentially progress into training with SAR work. :)

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1,772 Posts
I had always thought of doing Raven in SAR work but with her Possible bleeding problems we just did not want to chance it.. I can let her smell any person and take her way as they go and hide.. bring her back and she can find them.. She love playing Hide and Seek!! Good Luck!!
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