Canine Search Specialist

The Instructor-Led Training (ILT) component of the Canine Search Specialist course is designed to provide Urban Search and Rescue personnel with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to select, train, and work with current and future search canines. This course is appropriate for canine handlers that will work with either Live-Find (LF) or Human Remains Detection (HRD) canine during search and rescue operations as a part of Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) national response. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to successfully perform the position of Canine Search Specialist.
This course is 24 hours of face-to-face training. Prior to attending this face-to-face training course, students must successfully complete the Computer-Based Training (CBT) Canine Search Specialist course.

This class has both classroom and practical exercises. Please bring your K9 to class in order to participate in the practical exercises. Students without a K9 will be selected to operate as a Search Team Manager throughout the course. Shaded and cooled areas will be provided for K9s in the classroom and at 3 locations throughout the drill field. Please bring a crate for your K9. Crates can be left overnight.

Training Requirements of the K9:

  • Must have a solid independent indication as a response to a target odor
  • Must have a solid and reliable recall for safety
  • Must not be people or dog aggressive
  • *The dogs work off-leash with many people around and with other off-leash dogs. We won’t take the risk of a dog fight or dog bite. If we see behavior that is concerning we will discuss it with the handler and determine a plan for management which could include asking the K9 not to participate in the practical exercises.

    *Dogs are expected to be leashed when not working and we encourage you to crate your dog between exercises. Handlers are required to pick up after their dogs. Trash bags will be placed at all training sites.