Search and rescue dog training colorado springs

Search and rescue dogs in colorado springs The oldest Search Dog certification agency in Colorado, SARDOC began in 1983 to meet a growing need for highly qualified dog teams to aid in searches for missing people.

Snow rescue dog

Search and rescue in avalanches is one of unusual disciplines in first aid, where the assistance of the dog should be immediate.

SARDOC has some of the highest Search Dog Certification Standards in the nation. We certify dogs in Air Scent, Trailing, Water Search, Avalanche, and Human Remains Detection. All of our handlers are volunteers and we never charge for our services.

We are an equal opportunity employer-we accept Labs, Border Collies, Shepherds, and mutts! As long as a dog and handler have the right qualities to become a certified SAR team, they are welcome in SARDOC.

SARDOC members and their canine partners are also happy to do free demonstrations for schools and any other organization that might request one.

For general information or information about joining SARDOC, please contact: [email protected]

Search and rescue dog training colorado springs
Search and rescue dog training colorado springs

His exceptional sense of smell, his speed and his tenacity placed him at the head of the expedition. Teams Act at the same time, but dogs have priority to work on the avalanche.

Why are dogs used? The time factor is essential in the help of the rescue on the mountain, since more is quickly explore the avalanche, is more likely for rescuers to find buried people. Here is where the role of the dog becomes very important, since their work is equal to or superior in quality, as well as exploring the ground more quickly. An exhaustive search done by twenty patrolmen in skiing, require 20 hours for results to 100%, while working two-hour dog gets the same result.

The tracking dog

Tracking consists of the search for individuals, from more or less numerous olfactory signs (traces, objects, tracks, etc). The mission should allow, either discover one or more persons, to detect any type of object, material lost or hidden either on track or in the immediate vicinity or simply indicate the direction taken by the person you are looking for.

At all times, the body of an individual continually emits fine odorous molecules detectable by the dog. The work facing a dog consists of a set of factors: specific odors (individual, group, of species); the chemical odor (skin, fat, clothing); ruptures of the terrain (trampled plants, bacteria, etc); different media (forest, Prairie, alfalfa, culture, etc.) and atmospheric conditions.

Due to the complexity of tracking, required specific training that not all dogs are suitable, so it is essential to select previously to dogs with desired characteristics such as:olfactory abilities, ability of concentration, which is essential to not distract themselves with strange odors or the environment (care and precision tracking); dynamism, strength, tenacity and finally courage and disregard for the shooting.

The pioneers in this field were the Swiss, since they were already working with dogs in avalanches in snow, Urs Ochsenbein in 1972 development the Swiss method, followed by the Germans and French large coaches of teams

Search dog

The search is a specialty which aims to find a missing persons and as such is in the same category as the tracking. However, arises in a different way: not shown the dog any object reference or no starting zone. The dog is left free without any kind of belt. Their job is to search a particular smell in a defined area, as it is done on the search in rubble or avalanches.

The water rescue dog

As in all disciplines of rescue, the dog plays an essential role as auxiliary of the preserver, thanks to their physical capacities and their determination. The Newfoundland is the race favorite for the rescue at sea and the water since it has many qualities that can be used:

  • Strength: You can move to several people or a pot of several tons
  • Resistance: You can swim for hours and long distances
  • Resistance to cold: which makes it immediately operational, contrary to the five minutes that a diver needs to be equipped with
  • Calm: Never lost his serenity, tends to reassure the castaways
  • Tenacity: He will never abandon his mission
  • Immediate availability: does not require any equipment

Puppies purchased for the water rescue are recruited based on its powerful vitality and its strong muscular structure, making parents radiological routine examinations in regards to hip dysplasia.

The debris search dog

The role of search in rubble dog is not limited to major earthquakes. They can intervene in the case of buildings, after a fire, collapse in a place of work or a mine, in train or plane disasters landslides.

It was during the second world war in Britain, after the attacks, in which dogs were used for the first time to find people buried under the rubble. Training centres were established in the United States, Germany and Switzerland in early 1954.

Swiss dogs were the first to be internationally famous, after the earthquake in Friuli, Italy, in 1976. In that event, 12 dogs were used and 42 survivors were found. together with 510 bodies.

As with any work involving a dog and a human being, requires a close complicity between the master and his dog. The coach who leads the search, must know it very well, be able to figure it out in the rubble, that is, be on the lookout for all their reactions. As for the dog, in the same way, trust perfectly his master to follow him everywhere, regardless of the difficulties in the field.

Such a degree of Association requires long preparation. Dogs used for the search in rubble must have a good sense of smell, a quiet and balanced character with great energy. They must be sociable with humans and other dogs, as there are often several of them in the areas of search. A taste for the game is essential to learning. Most commonly used breeds are breeds of Shepherd dogs, mostly German and Belgian.

How to train search and rescue dog

Everyone emits microscopic particles that carry human scent. These particles are airborne and can carry the scent to a considerable distance. A search and rescue dog is trained to locate the scent and help coaches find people who are lost or missing.


  1. it should be prepared because it takes a long time. To train a dog for search and rescue or SAR, you must be committed. The course covers an average 2 to 4 sessions a week for an entire year.
  2. you have to choose a dog who is in good physical condition and have a calm temperament. Most of the people prefer to train a puppy, but can also be done with one greater dog.
  3. socialize the dog with different people and animals. A good search and rescue dog must be socialized with people of both sexes and of all ages, as well as with other dogs and other animals.
  4. to familiarize the dog with various environments. You have to get used to noises of the traffic, the crowds, boats, helicopters and different land.
  5. teach the dog to find people playing hide and seek in the House. Hide and let you find it. When it does it will reward him with praise and a candy. Search for increasingly difficult caches.
  6. train with different smells. Teach the dog to find its owner by the smell. Make the game of hide and seek outside the House and increasing whenever they make the distance between the two.
  7. use other people to make the role of lost victim and use old tracks to help you hone your skills.
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