I have been very interested in k-9 search and rescue, I have so many questions about how to get started etc... I would like to find one in my area but we do not have a large call volume for things like that. However I was wondering if it would be a good idea to locate one and see if they would allow me to volunteer with them and help our to make sure this is a path I truely wish to travel. Any advice on this would be helpful.


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Deb, joining an existing group in your area would be the best way to start. As I am sure you know, the time and dedication it takes to train a K9 partner is emense. I often tell people that are intersted that if they have children it is almost impossible to put in the time to train a quality search dog. If I can be of any assistance give me a shout.

This is our web sit www.deltak9academy.com. Contact my buddy Blake and let him know you want a tracking dog. I am in Iraq right now and will be back on Aug 1 to start training. I know for a fact you wont find any cheaper place.
I have been in emergency services for about 25 years, and recently we adopted a Redbone (or possibly a Redtick) Coonhound. He is currently 4 months old. I have noticed that he naturally likes to follow scents. I was wondering a few things, and thought that this group may be a good place to ask:

1) Are there some simple tests I can do at home to see if my dog has the aptitude to become a tracking or trailing (or possibly another discipline) dog, before I invest a lot of time and training?

2) Do I contact my local USAR Task Force for training, or is there somewhere else I should to go first?

3) What is involved in the training (time committment-wise)? I saw in the previous post about "immense" ... but realistically, on a weekly basis, how much training is involved?

My goal, if it is even possible, is to train my dog for tracking and/or trailing for searches, and possibly other disciplines if he is good at it. Eventually, I would like to either make it onto a USAR Task Force, or a local Sheriff Department as a reserve officer available for Search and Rescue.

Does any of this sound feasible, or is it pretty much a pipe dream? Any input would be appreciated.


Capt. Craig Prusansky, EMT-P
Palm Beach County (FL) Fire-Rescue


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