Western Montana


Trained SAR dogs and their human handlers can represent an effective resource tool for search managers. Search dogs can be trained to track (or trail), air scent, detect human remains, find avalanche victims, locate drowning victims and more. For more information on the different types of search dogs, click here.

Not all teams work in every area. Some handlers select areas of particular interest or areas in which their dog excels. Specialty teams have prior certification in the basics (area or tracking/trailing) to increase versatility and to help ensure SAR fundamentals have been mastered.

Training a SAR dog is a very time consuming and expensive process. It also takes just the right canine partner. The potential SAR dog must be friendly and well socialized to humans and other dogs, energetic, and with a great willingness to please. In most cases, it takes at least 16 months to two years for a dog to become operational. Dogs like "Ruby" (pictured right) will train for hundreds of hours before their search skills are perfected. When it is time for certification testing, young canine candidates will be tested and if successful, certified according to a common standard. We believe testing can best be accomplished with the help of a qualified pool of experienced, impartial "outside" evaluators. We hope that by meeting a common high standard, operational dogs from the various county SAR groups will be working at the same level of proficiency. Mutual assistance on larger searches will be simplified and SAR managers will be assured of a good quality response.

CBSD trains weekly. Training sessions are varied and include subjects of interest to dog handlers and regular SAR members. Some training sessions are held in conjunction with local SAR groups.

If you would like more information, please contact us.