If you are an aspiring handler, you will find sound advice on puppy selection and training tips, however if you wish to train a search dog, we highly recommend you find an operational handler in your region to talk to before getting a dog. You will also need to be prepared to spend many hours training as a volunteer and join your local SAR group.
If you are interested in training a search dog, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can discuss the suitability of you and your dog for being accepted on one of our training courses. Please be aware there are minimum requirements for handlers as well as dogs and in fact the handler probably plays a bigger role than the dog, particularly in the beginning stages. Dog selection, passion and hard work are the main pre requisites - so if that is you - contact an operational dog handler in your area to discuss the opportunities of going along to observe an operational team training.
We have a set of operational standards for dog teams and all dogs are assessed annually.
To become operational the dogs undergo a rigorous assessment process and have to achieve the standards set by NZLandSAR and the NZ Police Dog Section.
If you are an aspiring handler you need to be prepared to put in many hours of your own time and it generally will take at least 2 years to be accepted on an assessment course - however training a search dog is a hugely rewarding thing to do and we all love it so don't be put off - just be realistic!