Frequently Asked

Here are some of the more common questions we get asked

No, sorry. We often get emails asking us to find missing pets. All of our dogs are air-scenting search dogs trained to find people only and we are solely called out by the Sussex Police.

We do, however, have some contacts that could help. 

The team opens induction typically twice a year for Search Technicians and once a year for new dog handlers.

Becoming a member of the team requires a great commitment.

Becoming a Lowland Rescue dog handler will typically take at least two years of dedicated weekly training. Your dog may or may not be suitable for search work. And even when you qualify, you and your dog will have to undertake continuous assessments every two years. 

To join as a search technician, you will have to learn basic life support, outdoor navigation, water safety, search techniques and other core search and rescue skills. This can take up to a year.

In all cases, you will have to travel across East and West Sussex and pay out of your own pocket for your travel and your equipment. Before getting in touch, please take a good look around our website and thoroughly read the FAQ section.

If you still think you have what it takes to apply to Search Dogs Sussex, please email us and tell us a little bit about yourself and what is motivating you to join. We often organise regular open evenings, talks and webinars for potential new members and take you through the process and flow to become a team member.

A long time! On average, it takes about two years to train a dog and handler to the operational level, but this can vary. Some dog teams have qualified in 12 months whilst others can still be in training after 3 or 4 years! Not all dogs (or handlers!) who start training make it to become an operational, nationally qualified search dog team – if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

The role of a Search Technician is the minimum qualification required to become operational and to be deployed on live callouts. The role includes skills such as basic life support, outdoor navigation, water safety and in the case of our team, the skills of dog team support. Please read the information on our website before getting in touch.

Unfortunately, not unless you want to join us as well. Both dog and handler are a team, and they train and qualify as a pair. One cannot work without the other.

If you are serious about joining or supporting us, of course! But be prepared to help us by being “a misper” (missing person). It can be a lot of fun. You will also get the opportunity to see the dogs perform a search.

No. All team members are volunteers. We pay out of our own pockets for travel, training equipment and for dog care. Our organisation relies on public donations and grants to continue serving our community.

Thank you for your support! Your contribution will help save lives. 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 generously give their time and resources.


Please, DONATE!