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National Association for Search and Rescue

National Association for Search and Rescue, Inc. (NASAR) is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing professional, literary, and scientific knowledge in fields related to search and rescue, including search and rescue dogs. 

NASAR is comprised of thousands of paid and non-paid professionals interested in all aspects of search and rescue – the humanitarian cause of saving lives – throughout the United States and around the world. 

Response to persons in distress has long been an honourable, charitable tradition and the professionals in search and rescue have carried on this tradition of helping others by dedicating time, information, skills, equipment & funding to the relief of suffering.

NASAR’s primary mission is to develop and provide professional training and certification programs for the search & rescue community.
Search & Rescue Dog Training
Why do only certain kinds of dogs become Search & Rescue Dogs?
Disaster search requires very specific talents and skills in both dog and handler. A disaster site is a treacherous environment: noisy, chaotic, dust-filled, and sometimes dark. Disaster search dogs must have the ability to perform at a high level in the worst setting imaginable. 

It takes an extraordinary dog, one with extreme boldness, energy, strength, agility and drive to approach every training exercise, and every deployment, with energy and determination. These are dogs that LOVE to work, NEED to work, and want nothing more than to be out on the rubble, searching!

What are Search & Rescue Dogs trained to do and why?
After a disaster, when buildings have crumbled to the ground, dogs can search much more quickly and safely than people can. By training on simulated rubble piles where volunteer victims are hiding, the canines and their handlers prepare themselves to find people who would otherwise remain buried. 

A disaster search dog must learn to crawl through tunnels, walk up and down ladders, and walk on wobbly surfaces and over debris and rubble. The dog must be able to go in a direction that its handler has signalled, stop and wait for instructions.