Prospective K9 Team Members:
If you’re interested in joining the SAR K9 team, as a handler or tech support, you will need to complete an application to become a KCSAR volunteer. Every volunteer must go through the academy, qualify as a ground searcher, and pass both physical fitness and written tests for the Washington State Sheriff’s Association. During this time, you are welcome to become part of the K9 team and join trainings.
Training a SAR K9 is rewarding, but requires a significant time and financial commitment. In addition, our most successful dogs are working breeds that require a lot of exercise and training. On average it takes at least 2 years for a team to be ready to take their certification tests. During that time expect to train at least twice a week, in addition to regular obedience, socialization, and handler skills (first aid, map and compass, GPS, radio communications, wilderness survival skills, scent theory, man-tracking, and search strategy). Once certified you will still train on a regular basis, in addition to being available 24/7 for searches.
Please feel free to email us with further questions. We welcome members of the public to come observe and hide for our dogs at a training to see if this might be the right fit.