Search Dogs

What do Search Dogs do..?

Search Dogs are trained to find missing people by various means such as air scentingtrailing and tracking. These are very efficient methods of searching large areas quickly and does not always require items of clothing or effects of the missing person.

Where do Search Dogs work..?

NSARDA Search Dogs can be found working with Mountain Rescue ( & and Lowland Rescue – ALSAR ( teams in WalesEnglandScotlandIsle of Man and Eire.

Basically you will find search dogs working in all types of terrains, in the mountains, on the moors, in the countryside, in towns and villages as well as on collapsed buildings or on bodies of water.

Who do Search Dogs look for..?

Search Dogs are employed in a wide range of scenarios looking for missing people of all types and age groups including WALKERS AND CLIMBERS, those suffering from ALZHEIMERS or DEMENTIA, CHILDREN, DESPONDENTS and possibly VICTIMS OF CRIME.

Why are Search Dogs used..?

Dog teams can be quickly deployed in rural and urban areas or by 4×4 vehicles and helicopters in remote or difficult to reach areas, where they can begin to start searching at the earliest opportunity, whilst other search resources are being marshalled.

With their amazing sense of smell, speed and agility Search Dogs can typically do the work of around 20 foot searchers in good conditions and many more in poor conditions.  In ideal conditions a dog can pick up a human scent from about 500 metres.

When do search dogs work..?

Our voluntary Dog Teams are on call 365 Days a Year, 7 Days a Week, 24 Hours a Day.

Search Dogs work equally well in the day and the night.

How are we called upon to find missing people..?

Dog Teams are usually called out by the local Police Force via their Police control room.

Then a NSARDA Call-Out Co-Ordinator or ALSAR Search Manager who, after discussing the details of the situation, will establish the necessary resource required.

Dog Handlers along with other search resources are usually contacted by telephone, SMS text or message pager.

When should Search Dogs be called upon..?

Search Dogs should be summoned as early as possible as this gives the dogs the best chance of success.

How are dog teams deployed to search areas..?

In both mountain and lowland areas 4×4 vehicles will also often be used to cut down on the walk in times unless the dog team can make access via the road network.

In mountainous areas provision is commonly made for dogs and handlers to be deployed by aircraft for the same purpose.

NSARDA Associations enjoy a very good relationship with the RAF and Navy Rescue squadrons, with the dogs soon becoming accustomed to being winched into and out of the helicopters.

How many Search Dogs are there..?

At the present day within NSARDA there are more than 100 qualified search dogs on 24 hr call, 365 days of the year.