Search and Rescue Dog Training
Search and Rescue is an extremely beneficial service that thousands of civilians and first responders provide worldwide. When searching for missing people, well-trained K9 teams are often the first on-site. With their highly refined olfactory systems, stamina and ability to navigate difficult terrain, SAR K9s make an incredibly valuable tool in the process of effectively locating lost or trapped individuals. SAR K9s are specifically trained to locate people while ignoring irrelevant stimuli, and are often faster than ground pounding or alternative methods of search and rescue.
Search dogs have been used for hundreds of years on water, land and snow to find lost people, wounded soldiers and buried victims as quickly as possible. By harnessing the natural hunting abilities of dogs and channeling them into search work, we can create a reliable, effective partner who saves lives and helps bring the missing home.
There are a variety of K9 SAR disciplines which handler-dog teams can choose to train in, and each of them serves a very specific purpose. Since search work can be incredibly demanding, it is imperative to select the correct dog for the specific role which they will be taking part in. Once a well-suited dog is selected, they can quickly become effective at their job with the right training. If a handler already has a dog they would like to train for search work, an evaluation will be necessary to determine that dog’s job suitability, in addition to determining if there is a specific discipline which that dog will likely excel at. By choosing the discipline best suited to their dog, a handler can maximize the chance that their K9 will be effective and enthusiastic when training and working, hopefully for years to come.
We offer comprehensive training programs for a variety of K9 specific search and rescue disciplines. These programs are specific to new, green and experienced handlers and are tailored to your training and deployment goals. We understand that every search dog is different, so our programs are also customized to provide the most effective possible training for your dog. We strive to create confident, meticulous search dogs who are able to enthusiastically work through distractions, environmental contamination and difficult terrain. Whether your goal is to certify with a specific organization or to resolve workability concerns in your certified dog, Synapse Canine’s Search and Rescue K9 programs have you covered.
Live Find Trailing
Beginner: We offer a comprehensive live find trailing program aimed at new and beginner level handlers who are just getting started in trailing, or who are starting a new dog. This course contains knowledge related work specific to understanding odor dynamics in a variety of environments, as well as the basics of canine olfaction and understanding the science behind how dogs find people. We will cover motivator testing and utilization, as well as equipment, safety and handler skills specific to running an on-lead trailing dog. This program also contains environmental stability work, basic level proofing and an introduction to successfully working contamination. By the end of this program, your dog will be able to run trails in a variety of environments aged at least 45 minutes. These trails will be at least 0.5 miles long with turns and variable terrain types.
Intermediate: Our Intermediate level trailing program will introduce running successful trails in environments containing intermediate level distractors and multiple sources of human contamination. We will introduce working through animal distractors – both wild and domestic – and will teach you and your dog how to successfully run trails in urban environments. This program will expand on the skills learned in our Beginner trailing course, in addition to introducing several new ones such as physical conditioning and stabilization work involving obstacles. We will build on the skills required for good handling, in addition to introducing off lead trailing for individuals who are interested. By this program’s conclusion, your dog will be able to conduct a successful trail aged up to two hours which is at least 1 mile long through contamination and in a variety of environments.
Advanced: Our advanced trailing program is aimed at handlers who have successfully completed our previous two courses or whose dogs are nearing certification readiness. This course will prepare handlers for the certification standards specific to whichever organization they have chosen to certify with. Our Advanced trailing program will work dogs up to running 6+ hour aged trails which are between 1-2 miles long in a variety of environments. We will also ensure that dog-handler teams are able to successfully run cold trails in heavily contaminated urban environments up to 0.5-1 miles in length.
At Synapse Canine, we have the education and experience to bring out the best in your dog.
If you have dog training goals, we want to help you achieve them!
Live Find Wilderness Area Search
Beginner: Our Beginner live find area search program is aimed at new and beginner level handlers who are just getting started in area search, or who are starting a new dog. This course contains knowledge related work specific to understanding odor dynamics in a variety of environments, as well as the basics of canine olfaction and understanding the science behind how dogs find people. We will cover motivator testing and utilization, as well as equipment, safety, building an indication or re-find if desired by the handler, and effective handler skills specific to running an off-lead area search dog. This program also contains environmental stability work, basic level proofing to odors commonly confronted in area search work and techniques for deploying an area search dog specific to different types of environments. By this program’s conclusion, your dog will be able to successfully locate one stationary subject within a 20 acre area.
Intermediate: Our intermediate live find area search program will introduce expanding the variety of environment and terrain types which a dog can successfully search, including navigating difficult areas, obstacles and night searches effectively and safely. In this program, we will cover the development of a solid long distance recall, an emergency down and directional training if desired by the handler. We will also build on effective handler skills in area search work and search strategy. By the end of this program, your dog will be able to successfully locate two stationary subjects within a 40-60 search area.
Advanced: Our Advanced live find area search program is aimed at preparing a dog-handler team for certification. Handlers must have chosen a certifying body prior to entering this program. Our Advanced area search program will also introduce short distance scent discriminating area searches if desired by the handler. In this program, any specialized skills that a dog-handler team requires to be effective in their deployment settings but has not been taught in a previous program can be included.
We offer skill specific training for FEMA or Urban Disaster dog-handler teams. This includes skills such as building a solid bark alert, navigating complex obstacles, stability work, directionals training, environmental confidence building, physical conditioning work aimed at effectively navigating unstable surfaces, locating and indicating inaccessible live finds, FEMA specific obedience skills and more. Due to an absence of appropriate resources, we are not currently offering comprehensive urban disaster training containing full rubble piles.
Active Search Dog Program
This program combines search and rescue K9 training experience with behavioral expertise. The Active Search Dog Program is developed specifically for certified search dog – handler team who are actively deploying, but are looking to optimize their effectiveness or troubleshoot specific concerns. Whether your dog seems to be losing motivation, is getting distracted during deployments, has developed an environmental sensitivity trigger, or is demonstrating any other concerning behaviors during trainings or deployments, this program is aimed at diagnosing and resolving these issues to ensure that your dog is as effective as possible when working. If you are a handler looking to take your K9 to the next level, looking to expand your K9’s training repertoire or add new behaviors to their search work, this program will ensure that you reach your goals!
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Schedule your Search and Rescue training with Synapse Canine today.
Search and rescue efforts often mean the difference between life and death. We take our SAR K9 training programs very seriously, tailoring them specifically for the needs of both dog and handler.
Whether you are a new handler just starting out or an operational SAR personnel, our programs can help you optimize your performance in the field. Search and Rescue is all about team work, so we focus on building the skills of both dog and handler. With an emphasis on developing solid communication channels and behavioral expectations, our SAR programs will help you get the most out of your training so you can execute when it really counts.
Contact us today to ask about our programs or to book an appointment.