Training - become a handler
To train a search dog takes about 3 years from new puppy to qualified Search Dog.
Most of our dog handlers are a Full Member of a Mountain Rescue Team. You may be able to qualify a Lowland Search Dog if you have the necessary navigational skills along with the right aptitude for training.
Once your application has been passed by the Committee you are required to body for six months. In this time you will be monitored to ensure that you have the time and the commitment needed to train a dog. The bodying period also allows you to experience what a real casualty may go through and also the way different dogs find you in relation to the wind and where you are hiding. This time is also for you to decide whether or not being a SARDA dog handler is for you.
If you successfully complete your bodying period you will become a Trainee handler and be invited to bring your dog along for an Acceptance and Stock Test. Once your dog has passed this it will be allowed to come to SARDA Wales training, then the work really begins !