Dog Handlers

How to become a Dog Handler

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 14.20.33Search Dogs need highly dedicated, professional Dog Handlers. It takes a great deal of dedication and persistence with training to get a dog up to assessment standard.

Over time Dog Handlers not only learn the skills to work a search dog but learn other skills including NavigationRadioFirst AidStretchers etc., and dealing with members of the family / public.

Before becoming a trainee dog handler all handlers will have been volunteering as a ‘Dogs Body‘ for at least 4-6 months before beginning to train their dog. This is necessary to gain a better understanding of the training and to get to know the rest of the team.

Here in Kent to become a trainee dog handler you must be a member of a Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR) and have qualified as a Search Technician.


KSAR-Slider-Image-ALSAR-LogoKSAR are responsible for responding to Kent Police to help find vulnerable missing persons and working with the Police Search Advisor deploy all the resources including search dogs. Click here to find out more.

Kent Search and Rescue will teach you all the skills required for a search and rescue technician and NSARDA Kent will train you to become a dog handler and your dog a search dog.

As a qualified dog handler you will hold Lowland Rescue and NSARDA qualifications and your dog will hold an NSARDA qualification.

Get the ball rolling

This may appear as really restrictive requirements, but peoples lives depend on the provision of a demonstrably high quality service, and it really is all worth it in the end.

It usually takes a minimum of 2 Years to become a qualified dog handler.

We are always happy to hear from experienced search and rescue personnel, who are interested in training a search dog.

If you don’t have search and rescue experience, but would still like to become a Dog Handler do please get in touch with us.

Download our flyer

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 13.03.55


For more information contact your nearest NSARDA Association using the contact details on their page.

Find Your Nearest NSARDA Association