Search and Rescue Dogs

All About Search and Rescue Dogs

SAR dogs are some of the most incredible animals on Earth. These dogs have a strong drive to help people and they’re always ready to work. They’re also very smart, which makes them great candidates for search and rescue work. SAR dogs are an important part of many teams that save lives after disasters or when people go missing. While there are many different breeds of SAR dogs, their jobs stay the same: they sniff out clues about where someone might be and try to find them as soon as possible! The life-saving nature of this work is what makes it so rewarding for both handlers (humans) and canines (dogs).

Search and rescue dogs are specifically trained to locate lost people or animals.

Search and rescue dogs are specifically trained to locate lost people or animals. SAR dogs are trained to locate people in wilderness areas, or after an accident or natural disaster. They may also be used in low-visibility conditions, where a person can’t see their target but the dog can by scent alone. SAR dogs are also used to locate missing domestic pets who’ve escaped from home (or been stolen).

Search and rescue dog training typically lasts from six months up to three years—it varies depending on what they’re being trained for. The average cost of training is $5,000; however, this can vary widely depending on what type of search your dog will be doing and whether it’s just basic classes versus advanced training with specialized exercises such as avalanche searches or underwater searches if you live near water as I do!

Search and Rescue Dogs

A single SAR dog can search a lot of land in much less time than it would take a team of humans.

SAR dogs can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. For one thing, they don’t get tired as easily as humans do. They also have other senses that can help them track things down with greater speed and efficiency than people, like their heightened sense of smell.

SAR dogs are sweethearts!

SAR dogs are sweethearts! They’re always up for a new adventure, and will happily go along with whatever you need help with. As long as it involves some sort of physical activity or challenge, SAR dogs are always willing to lend a paw or two.

SAR dogs make great companions because they’re so affectionate—no matter how long you’ve been gone from home when you return your SAR dog will be happy to see you! These pups love nothing more than spending time with their owners, whether it be working or playing together (or both).

Training a SAR dog is challenging.

It’s important to understand that SAR dog training is a lot of work. The dogs have to be trained to track down people and search on their own, but they’ll also need to know how to act around victims and other first responders. In addition, the handler needs to be able to handle their canine partner properly when responding to an emergency with crowds around them.

The benefits of this type of training are numerous: the bond between dog and human can help both parties work better together during emergencies, which means faster response times for victims who need help quickly; handlers can learn valuable lessons from their canine partners about how best to approach certain situations; finally (and perhaps most importantly), knowing how your dog works will allow you both greater confidence when going out into the world together.

Search and Rescue Dogs

Useful traits for a potential SAR dog include play drive, toy drive, prey drive, and ball drive.

The traits necessary for a SAR dog are:

  • Play drive—the desire to play with other dogs. This is important because if you’re looking for a lost person, you’ll be working in groups of people and canines. The dogs need to get along well enough that they won’t fight or bite each other when they’re near one another.
  • Toy drive—the desire to retrieve toys on command. This is also important because you could use the toy as bait while trying to find someone who’s been missing for days! You don’t want them running away before you catch them!
  • Prey drive—the desire to chase and catch prey (also known as “chasing”). If your dog has prey drive, he’ll probably enjoy searching for lost people who are hiding in bushes or behind trees because it gives him an excuse to hunt down something new and exciting! Plus, if someone was hiding out somewhere nearby then we’d be able to ignore all those rules about not disturbing crime scenes too much so we could go find them faster.”

Every kind of dog can be useful for search and rescue but not every dog will have the right temperament.

While any dog can be useful for search and rescue, not every dog will have the right temperament. The most important thing to remember is that temperament is not breed-specific. It’s important to know that genetics play a role in shaping a dog’s personality, but they’re not everything. Temperament isn’t dependent on your pup’s age or gender either—so long as he has had good socialization with people and other dogs from a young age, you can rest assured that your puppy will be an excellent candidate for SAR work.

As far as size goes: You’ll often hear people say “smaller dogs are better at this job,” but we’re here to tell you that size doesn’t matter when it comes to SAR work! A six-pound Yorkie could just as easily find someone lost in the woods as her 200-pound counterpart, who may have more difficulty maneuvering through dense brush and over rocky terrain.

Labs, German shepherds, Australian shepherds, and border collies are all commonly used as search and rescue dogs.

Labs, German shepherds, Australian shepherds, and border collies are all commonly used as search and rescue dogs. The breed of the dog varies depending on what type of search is taking place. For example:

  • Labradors are great for water rescue because they have an instinct to retrieve objects that fall into the water.
  • German shepherds can run long distances at high speeds and have an amazing sense of smell that helps them track people who are lost or injured in rugged terrain.
  • Border collies make excellent tracking dogs because of their instincts to herd animals—they can follow a trail left by humans even when no other clues (such as footprints) remain behind!

There are different kinds of searches that require different kinds of dogs.

If a person is missing in the wilderness, their scent will be easier to track because they are not surrounded by other smells. This makes it easier for SAR dogs to find them. If a person is missing in an urban area, the dog may have more difficulty finding them because there are many different scents and smells around them, which can confuse the dog’s sense of smell.

Because search and Rescue dogs are trained differently depending on what type of search they will be used for, it’s important to know when your dog has been trained properly so that you know what kind of situations he can handle best without becoming confused or overwhelmed.

Each SAR dog has their unique skill set.

Some dogs are great at searching for missing persons, while others are better suited to finding lost pets. Some SAR dogs have excellent scent discrimination (the ability to distinguish between different scents), while others excel at tracking difficult trails or detecting faint scents in challenging conditions. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to SAR dogs, but there is an ideal match for most jobs!

A good SAR dog is one who always wants to work and never quits searching when the job gets tough or conditions change dramatically.

A good SAR dog is one who always wants to work and never quits searching when the job gets tough or conditions change dramatically. A good SAR dog will keep working for hours, days, and sometimes even weeks on end if need be. Being able to withstand extreme conditions and having a strong will is crucial when it comes to search and rescue missions because they can be very dangerous.


Though SAR dogs are trained to help in emergencies, many of them have other jobs as well. SAR dog training is a hobby for many people, and it’s a great way to get involved with your local community. If you think this sounds like something fun and interesting you could do with your dog, we encourage you to find out more about it by contacting a local SAR group today! You’ll learn new skills and make new friendships while doing important work that helps others—what could be better than that?