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National Disaster Search Dog Foundation | Save a Rescue

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

“From Rescued to Rescuer”

SaveARescue.org Recruits Search & Rescue Dogs for a “Life of Service”

What Makes a Great Search & Rescue Dog? What are We Looking for in the Next K-9 Candidate?

The Search Dog Foundation’s Canine Recruitment program is all about finding dogs who don’t just WANT to search for the toy – they NEED to, no matter how long it takes! If this innate, unquenchable desire is there our trainers can mold it into an incredible set of skills that can save lives. Dogs that become our next K-9 Trainees are in for a life they love, one of Purpose and Action.

Only ‘Rescue Dogs’ Need Apply:

Led by Search Dog Foundation, Canine Recruitment Manager Darrell Wilkerson, our team of Recruiters across the country, including the Staff at SaveARescue.org, comb shelters and breed rescues nationwide for these elite canine athletes – diamonds in the “ruff”.

Age & Breed Types:
We look for one to two year old Labs, Goldens, Shepherds, Malinois, Border Collies and mixes of these breeds, who go “wild” when a toy is dangled in front of them.

What We Are Looking For:
When dogs like these are spotted, the recruiters take them through a series of exercises that test for focus, nerve strength and hunt drive. The kind of dogs we are looking for see toys, their eyes dilate, they shake with excitement, and everything around disappears for them. All that matters is getting that toy – they’ll search everywhere to get it, ignoring all distractions. If you have a dog that fits this age & natural high stamina drive for toys/balls, email us and we will be in contact with you on how we can help you evaluate & send us a video of simple tests demonstrating your dog’s natural abilities. Email: success@SaveARescue.org

Have A Perfect Candidate? What Next…
Should you have a dog with this maniacal toy drive, we will forward you a Video to view and copy. We will contact you and make arrangements to visit. It will be important to test the dog(s) in an area completely new, preferably away from the shelter, or familiar places they know. Video a series of fun, retrieve tests. Forward the Video to Success@SaveARescue.org for review. We will then forward it on to the Search Dog Foundation. If they see sufficient potential in the dog, he/she will be sent to a local vet in your area to confirm the dog is in great health and has the hip and elbow strength needed for years of training on rubble. All expenses will be encumbered by the Search Dog Foundation.

Training Academy:
Once we have medical clearance, the dog will be transported to SDF’s National Training Center in California for further evaluation, again at the expense of the Search Dog Foundation. Dogs who continue to demonstrate enough drive and tenacity to take them through a decade or more of training are then formally admitted to the program. After two weeks of quarantine to rule out any ailments that could infect other dogs, the candidate is ready to start the intensive, stimulating training program – a daily “search party” the dogs LOVE! If a candidate is dropped from the program at any time during the evaluation process, the recruiter or SDF will diligently work to find a new career path, often in other Service arenas, or loving home for them. At all times you will be welcome to contact us for information on the progress of your candidate, and we here at SaveARescue.org will do our utmost to get updates, pictures and keep you informed of your candidate’s progress. When your dog graduates from the program, which can take 8-12 months, SaveARescue.org will send you a copy of the graduating class photo. We look forward to hearing from any of you who can help give dog’s with these intelligent characteristics a life they were born for.

“From Rescued to Rescuer”


4 Comments so far:

  1. Martin A. Mehall says:

    How can I adopt a leomberger over 27 weeks?

    • savearescue says:

      Hi Martin:

      Go to our website: http://www.SaveARescue.org, and on the home page, and click on the blue box [below the Your RESCUES & SHELTER Directory Text] that states “Adoptable Pets”.
      Fill in the information: Your zip code, Dog, Gender, Age, & Choose Leonberger ~ and all the results will come up.


      On the Home Page, fill out the boxes at the top: Zip Code, Radius, and where is says “Pure Breed Rescues” click on the little arrow within that box, scroll down to Leonberger & hit “Search”. Contact all the Leonberger rescues of which there are: 3 Leonberger Rescues. They will help you. Email them. Call them.

      Good luck.

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