SAR dog training refers to Search and Rescue dog training, dogs have extraordinary ability of hearing, night vision, and most important sense of smell.

Dogs are considered lifesavers in SAR in natural disasters or any other environment to find lost and injured people.

If you compare dogs and humans in terms of searching or locating people, A single dog is more than enough to compare to 15 to 25 people.

This unbelievable set of skills and reliability make them valuable assets for humans.

This article will introduce some tips and tricks of SAR dogs that will help your dog build trust and new craft.

History of search dog

The Latin word Canis means dogs, the history of the dog is much familiar to the wolf community.

The dogs are descendants of the grey wolves, their origin relates to the wolf community.

15000 years ago hunters bring up the dog as a pet for the first time.

It Is European people who came to know the use of dogs in search of people who lost in the wood, and after this people started to consider the dog as an important part of the rescue mission.

Their long duration with the human being leads them to adapt human behavior exclusively.

Dogs have an important role in human affairs like in hunting safety, tear the loads, comradeship military, and in many ways.

They are familiar to human beings, so that’s why they are called the best companions to human beings.

Their specialty of sense of smell makes them different from other animal and their different color, size, shape make their breed much larger.

History of search and rescue dog

Types of Search and Rescue Training

  • Cadaver Dog Training
  • Urban/ Disaster Dog Training
  • Tracking/ Trailing Rescue Training

Cadaver Dog Training

Cadaver dog training helps officers and police personnel to find buried or hidden humans in natural disasters or crime with the help of human scent.

This training is based on the natural desire for food searching, dogs are trained to find the humans take no notice of food.

Dogs are trained to recognize the smell and perform the task with incredible efficiency to find the Humans being.

A few controllers would rather that their dog does a bark alert at the sign of a dead body, others would rather that their dog will scratch at the dead body.

Every dog cannot become a rescue dog this needs a great physical ability and shape, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers are the most used dogs for this training.

Urban/ Disaster Dog Training

In a natural disaster like tornadoes, earthquakes, or other disasters (collapsed buildings and other structures), dogs are trained to find the missing or injured human beings in this environment.

They are trained to give bark alerts to their charge hand when finding some buried victim, a major goal in this environment is to search a maximum number of buried or injured people in the shortest amount of time.

It takes more than 600 hours of hard training for a dog to be ready for this field and Disaster dogs are skillful to perform in the hard situation which is created by natural disasters.

Tracking/ Trailing Rescue Training

search and rescue dog training

Dogs are naturally gifted with a great sense of smell with good motivation and training, dogs can easily find hidden things.

The sense of smell of a dog is 100,000,000 times more powerful than humans and a dog can sniff a drop of blood in 55 gallons of water.

Tracking training is commonly used by police to track criminal or buried human bodies but you can also train your dog for fun at your home.

You can start with your dog’s favorite toy and recall again and again, for example, a dog often plays with a ball, so you need to repeat the word ball.

Keep repeating this until your dog connects with the word ball and starts acknowledging this object call ball.

Now, you can hide this ball to anywhere one or two places at your home and give instructions to your dog “ Find it” or “Find now

Training Requirements 

SAR training takes time to train a dog, the training duration depends on the life expectancy of a dog.

 It’s not only the dog who requires some quality to get trained but the owner should also have the patience during the whole training

If you want to make your dog a SAR material then your dog must have these qualities if he does not have then you have to build them in your dog.

Patience: First it is up to you to keep patience during the training of your dog after that your dog must have this quality if he does not have then keep your training session short. 

A long-duration pet is not also a SAR material if he doesn’t have the potential and patience.


If you want to give your dog a new skill you must train your dog regularly.

It gives him perfection in training and leads him to become a pro in search and rescue because it takes a long time to be a pro in training requires an enormous amount of your time to spare for the training.

At first, you need to train your dog two or three days a week after some months passes of training it will go daily.

Discipline is compulsory while training your dog. So you need to keep consistent with the discipline to make your training effective and productive.  


Maybe it is not your pet dog for SAR training who is staying with you for the last five years, because only some specific breeds are compatible for the SAR training select a perfect match for SAR you have to examine the life expectancy of your dog.

The working life of a dog would be affected by training he should be a devotee for the SAR mission.

Local Workshops/Seminars

 Take participate in local training seminars would make your training enjoyable.

Local training seminar offers the different type of training like, advance SAR, finding lost victim, command system.

This will help your dog to get the new skill in training when you attend the seminar as a team with your dog.

Time freedom

SAR training is not just a piece of cake and not an exercise that you can perform in your free time.

It requires a lot of time, as often most of the searches run through the whole night and will continue for the next days, weeks, and months.

It may be midnight when you need to go out from your house to provide SAR service.

So you need time freedom from your family because some it’s the family who doesn’t support you to go out from the house in odd timing for training.

Financial Stand

SAR is not free training sometimes it is self-funded by the owner or maybe partially paid by the organizer.

It requires enough money to spend on training and many types of equipment that makes the training more enjoyable and interesting.

You should be financially able to purchase these types of equipment, equipments are like :

  • Pouch
  • Meals
  • Attire & Uniform
  • Tour Expenses
  • SAR Special Equipments
  • Dog Collars
  • Harness

Questions That People Ask : 

  • How can my dog become a search and rescue dog?
  • What is the best breed of dog for search and rescue?
  • Search and rescue dog training cost
  • Search and rescue dog training Courses
  • Best dogs for Search and rescue

Wilderness dog rescue and search training

These trained dogs find lost or missing people in the woods, a specific area assigns to dogs, and give them odor samples of a missing person.

One year of training is a must for these dogs twice in the week before this mission, for humans,

it’s very hard to find the missing person in the wild but dogs have excellent scenting ability and stamina makes it easy for them.

How can my dog become a search and rescue dog?

These dogs are normal before they become well-trained rescue dogs but they have the ability and urge to please their master.

The patience and months of hard work and most important dedication make them masters of this skill.

Let’s go with basic commands and training, you should teach your dog to sit down on command.

Your dog should not be allowed to bite any human if your dog/puppy does this say “NO” in a growling voice and give him a chewable toy.

It’s your responsibility to make your dog/puppy socialized, take your dog/puppy wherever you go, and let him meet other people, children, and dogs.

After every training session do not forget to give your dog a treat ( It could be anything, a toy or food, etc.)

What is the best breed of dog for search and rescue?

Golden Retrievers

Golden retrievers dogs have a good bond with their family and are also known as emotional and intelligent. They are highly trainable and know how to swim, this breed is the most adaptable in the world.


 Terriers breed dogs that are mostly small with short legs but these are active and energetic. Terriers are devoted and loyal dog who wants to involve in the family activity, they love to go for walks. Obedience and early socialization training help them control their excessive barking.


boxer breed for rearch and rescue

 Boxer dogs are a strong breed and named because of the habit of standing on the hind legs and start to fight with front claws. These are also known as hunting dogs, police dogs, guard dogs, these dogs are outstanding companions for humans.

German Shepherd

Study shows that German Shepherd is intelligent, loyal and energetic. Male or female is not preferences both are equally efficient in performing the task.

Conclusion: Search and rescue training is beneficial for your dog and the greatest chance of being found lost people in a natural disaster. You can train your dog at your home just for fun to find the lost things, it’s not an easy task to train your dog for SAR training but for fun, you can do this. Your dog will become more intelligent if you start SAR training.

Categories: Dog Training


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