Training Dogs & Handlers

Handler & Canine Training Information

Both dog and handler are trained over a one to two-year period.

Experienced members of the team help the newer handlers as they work their way through a planned training progression from an initial orientation session through their certification. Some new handlers come with a background in dog training and some do not, but as the team works through their progression they gain new knowledge and experience. Not all dogs and handlers make it to certification, but hopefully all feel a well-earned sense of accomplishment.

Training a dog for any type of detection work is really unlike any other type of dog training. It’s not difficult if the dog has shown it has the desire and ability to do the work. Individual characteristics of each dog, however, usually dictate the exact training style and the amount of time it will take to reach certification level.


Teamwork and respect are important aspects of an organization such as this, so it is essential that the individual dog handler fits in with rest of the team.

We look for hardworking, dedicated people who are willing to work with others, have a sense of duty to their community, and an underlying professionalism that will make them a valuable addition to the team. In addition to the dog training, all members are expected to pitch in and help with all aspects of the organization.

We work for free! We are volunteers. We do this for our communities, for the challenge and for the opportunity to put our training to good use for the benefit of others. We do this for the love of working with our dogs. There is no doubt that it can be fun – but a search is a life and death situation that demands a level of care, competence and professionalism equal to that of the paid professional.