We welcome new team members, whether you are
someone who would like to become a dog handler or someone without a
dog. Almost anyone can be a valuable volunteer in our
organization! Before contacting us, though, please read through the
following facts. If you feel that this might be for you, you are
welcome to contact us about attending our next training session.
*Please note: The following guidelines
are just that...GENERAL GUIDELINES. Nothing is written in
stone and if you do not meet some of these guidelines, it does not
mean that you are automatically excluded from consideration.
contact us, ask questions, don't be afraid to speak to our team
members at any time. We welcome ANY inquiry about helping our
- You do not have to have a dog to
volunteer for our group!
- This is a group that is dedicated to
Search and Rescue in Newfoundland and Labrador. Because it is
necessary for our members to mesh with the already-existing
system, we require all of our members to be active members of
their local ground SAR group.
- Becoming an operational member takes a
lot of money, time, gear, and training (both for you and the
- We are not interested in spending
valuable training time so that you can play in the woods with
your dog or "see what he can do." THIS IS NOT A DOG SPORT.
Anyone who wishes to become involved with a dog must first
attend three group training sessions without working their dog
in the group, to learn some basics and also to demonstrate their
willingness to commit to the process.
- In the beginning, new dog handlers do
most of their work at home (basic behaviours must be strongly
built, and this cannot be done in the group setting). This will
be supported by the Training Directors but most of it is up to
you to complete. The bottom line is, as a new member you will
spend most of your time hiding. Spending time as a "victim" is a
price that every dog handler pays.
- It takes at least one year of active
training before you can be assessed for readiness for
certification. The average dog/handler team trains for 18-24
months before getting to the point where the dog is
- Dogs must be of proper age, size,
temperament and health status to become a SAR dog. In addition,
all dogs over the age of 6 months must be
temperament tested prior to joining group training.
- Preferably a dog should be started as
young as possible, right from puppyhood, but dogs under the age
of two may be considered.
- All team members are expected to offer
their active support in fundraising, training, certification
days, public relations, and other "non-dog" activities.
- We train in all kinds of weather and
terrain. This ain't Disneyland, this is Newfoundland!