Got a question?

We get asked all sorts of questions. From how do I join, to can you find my lost tortoise?!
We collect them over time and have added them below, if you have a question that isn’t covered below then please contact us.
How do I become a Dog Handler?
By dedicating most of your spare time for (on average) 2 years! Seriously, it takes a lot of commitment to become a qualified dog team. Take a look at the details on what you need to do on our How we train and Join us pages.
How do I become a Search Technician?
Take a look at our dedicated Join Us page that lets you know what roles we have on the team and gives you a better idea of what you might be getting involved with!
My dog is really clever and I think would be a good search dog, do you want to use him?
Unfortunately not, unless you want to join us as well. A Dog and handler are a team and they train and are qualified as a pair. One cannot work without the other.
Can I come and watch you train?
If you are serious about joining us, of course! But be prepared to help us by being a ‘misper’ (missing person). We are always looking for people willing to come and hide for our dogs. It can be a lot of fun. You will also get the opportunity to see the dogs perform a search. Please contact us.
How long does it take to train a search dog?
A long time! On average it take about 2 years to train a dog and handler to operational level, but this can vary. Some dogs teams have qualified in 12 months whilst others can still be in training after 3 or 4 years! Not all dogs who start training make it to an operational, nationally qualified search dog.
Can you find my [insert thing here] ?
Nope. Sorry. We often get emails asking us to find missing pets. Our dogs are trained to find people only and we are solely called out by the Police.
I’d like to help you fundraise or make a donation, how do I do this?
Thank You!

Your contribution will help save lives. Please visit our Donate page for details on how you can do this.
Can I join the team? How?
Take a look at our dedicated Join Us page that lets you know what roles we have on the team and gives you a better idea of what you might be getting involved with!
What breed of dog is best for search?
Absolutely any breed could become a search dog!

However, there are breeds that are more likely to be successful than others. Working dogs and gun dogs tend to be very common within search teams. Take a look at our dogs page to see what breeds we currently have on the team to give you a better idea.
Can you train my dog for me?
Unfortunately not. A Dog and handler are a team and they train and are qualified as a pair. One cannot work without the other.
What will you use my donation for?
All donations to the team go towards essential equipment to help keep us operational. Some examples include:

  • Communications equipment
  • Waterproof and high visibility clothing for both dogs and handlers
  • Essential equipment for our volunteer team members who give their time and resources for nothing
Rest assured that your donation will go to a worthwhile cause.
Who do you look for?
Search Dogs are employed in a wide range of scenarios looking for missing people of all types and age groups including WALKERS AND CLIMBERS, those suffering from ALZHEIMERS or DEMENTIA, CHILDREN, DESPONDENTS and possibly VICTIMS OF CRIME.
How are we called upon to find missing people..?
We are called out by Sussex Police. We do not work for anyone else.
How many search dogs are there in the U.K?
The Association of Lowland Rescue (ALSAR) has approximately 50 air scenting search dogs nationwide. Additional search dogs are available via Mountain Rescue and NSARDA.
Why are search dogs used?
With their amazing sense of smell, speed and agility Search Dogs can typically do the work of around 20 foot searchers in good conditions and many more in poor conditions. In ideal conditions a dog can pick up a human scent from about 500 metres.
What do search dogs do?
Search Dogs are trained to find missing people by various means such as air scenting, trailing and tracking. These are very efficient methods of searching large areas quickly and does not always require items of clothing or effects of the missing person. All of Search Dogs Sussex operational dogs are air scenting trained.
I have a question thats not listed here!
Please contact us if you have any questions that you may have about us or our work.
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We provide nationally qualified volunteer search dog teams to help find missing and vulnerable people.
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