Group Search And Rescue Dog Training Classes

Group Search And Rescue Dog Training Classes

Make The Most Of Your Dog's Natural Abilities!

Our Search and Rescue group classes at Highland Canine offer you the opportunity to harness your dog’s innate capabilities and utilize its incredible sense of smell. Irrespective of breed, age or size, virtually any dog has the potential to succeed in a search and rescue environment. Our Search and Rescue training classes offer an ideal combination of physical and mental stimulation for your dog.

There is a natural progression through our Search and Rescue classes, beginning with SAR I, moving to SAR II and then finishing with SAR III. Each program builds on the progress made in the previous class.

To find out when search and rescue dog training classes are being offered in your area, please look at our calendar.

Click to learn about each of our SAR classes...

Foundational SAR I

Introduction to Search and Rescue dog training

In the first of our foundational search and rescue dog training classes, you’ll learn the basics of odor theory and learn how dogs are able to find humans. You’ll understand the tools used in SAR handling and training, and begin to learn how to read your dog’s behavior.

In the early weeks of the class, you’ll start with hot trails; as the class progresses, you’ll move on to warm trails, building distance and duration. Along the way, you’ll gain confidence as a handler and begin to unlock the truly amazing capabilities of your dog – you’ll be amazed at how quickly they may be able to progress!

Our typical curriculum for the first of our search and rescue classes is as follows:

SAR I - Week 1

  • Introduction to how odor works
    • How does canine olfaction work?
    • The human odor profile and the unique odor ‘footprint’
    • How dogs find people

  • Tools used in K9 SAR training/handling

  • Food vs. toy motivation in trailing

  • Long line utilization & handler management

  • Different types of SAR

  • Introduction to reading your dog

  • Starting dogs on hot trails
sardogintraining

SAR I - Week 2

  • Recap of information in week 1

  • Hot trails (cont.)

  • Begin warm trails

SAR I - Week 3

  • Warm trails: building distance and duration (in the woods)

  • Building handler skills

  • Reading your dog

SAR I - Week 4

  • Warm trails: building distance and duration (in the woods)

  • Troubleshooting – motivation check and handler check
sar dog trailing

SAR I - Week 5

  • Warm trails: building distance and duration (in the woods)

  • Introduction to grass trails

SAR I - Week 6

  • Warm trails: building distance and duration (woods and grass)

  • Conclusion and preparation for SAR II

By the end of this class, dogs should be able to complete a 10-15 minute warm trail. Your dog will be ready to move on to SAR II!

Foundational SAR II

You and your dog will continue to progress in our second SAR program

In the second of our foundational search and rescue dog training classes, you’ll build on the progress you made in SAR I.

You’ll pick up where you left off with warm trails, and learn more about disaster SAR in urban environments. As the class progresses, you’ll eventually move to cold trails and discover the importance of training in different conditions. 

Our typical curriculum for the second of our search and rescue classes is as follows:

SAR II - Week 1

  • Warm trails (woods and grass)

  • Introduction to disaster search and rescue, and starting dogs on rubble – indications used, safety considerations and ways to start training for disaster SAR
disaster dog on rubble pile

SAR II - Week 2

  • Warm trails: introduce gravel and asphalt

  • Introduction to distractions

  • Practice in new location

SAR II - Week 3

  • Finish warm trails (20 min trail)

  • Introduction to cold trails

  • Start cold trails (woods)

SAR II - Week 4

  • Cold trails: increase distance and duration 

  • Troubleshooting
sar dog on asphalt

SAR II - Week 5

  • Cold trails: begin in short grass

  • Introduction to the importance of training in different conditions

SAR II - Week 6

  • Cold trails: 10-20 mins

  • Troubleshoot dog/handler skills

  • Conclusion and preparation for SAR III

By the end of this class, dogs should be able to complete a 10-20 minute cold trail. Your dog will be ready to move on to SAR III!

sar dog on water

Foundational SAR III

Challenge yourself - and your dog - in a variety of new environments

After completing SAR I and SAR II, you and your dog will be able to move on to SAR III. 

The goal of SAR III is to generalize your dog’s capabilities and become comfortable working in a variety of different settings.

In this class, you’ll visit a new location in your local area each week. covering a variety of search conditions – including (but not limited to):

  • Mountains
  • Urban
  • Rural flat (fields, woods, etc.)
  • Near bodies of water
  • State parks

You’ll also introduce your dog to cross-contamination, double finds and more extensive work on difficult surfaces such as asphalt.

By the end of SAR III, dogs should be able to consistently run 30+ minute aged cold trails which are at least 0.5 miles long with some turns. The dog will be able to work comfortably on different surfaces in contaminated environments.

Remember to check out our calendar to see when our SAR group classes are taking place in your area! You can also contact us for more information.