With over 30 years of practice and experience, ASARD believes there are common training and team characteristics that make a successful mission-ready dog team.

We strongly encourage the following for those interested in training a search and rescue dog:

You should...

  • Choose a motivated, driven, and trainable dog

  • Know your puppy's history

  • Start training before one year of age

  • Read materials on training success

  • Build backcountry skills

ASARD does not accept...

  • Dogs trained in hunting activities

  • Dogs trained in bite work or aggression training

Common characteristics of successful, mission-ready search dogs include:

  • High motivation

  • Strong Drive

  • Physical and mental endurance

  • Easy to train

Searching for lost and missing people is about life and death. The people we search for deserve the very best resource we can provide -- a focused and committed dog trained for the sole purpose of finding lost and missing persons.


ASARD believes that the working dog breeds produce strong dogs for search.

ASARD has had successful mission-ready

dogs from many of the Retriever, Hound, Shepherd and Collie breeds.

A mission-ready search dog consistently and reliably communicates the location of human scent to its handler.


Training a search dog is a long journey and requires patience, perseverance, and


  • Handler must be competent in...

  • Map and compass, GPS, navigation skills

  • Wilderness first aid, dog first aid

  • Survival training

  • Aircraft and boating safety operations

  • Incident Command System training

A handler must be in good health, be physically fit and possess the proper equipment for searching.

Handlers spend hundreds of hours training their dogs and becoming proficient in a variety of search and rescue skills. ASARD provides organizational structures for handlers and their dogs to pursue search and rescue. Teams must be motivated and dedicated to ensure their own success.