Team Requirements

Requirements to Become Operational

The canine and handler must:

  • The handler shall have passed a 3 mile map and compass course test
  • The handler shall run a similar course using a GPS hand set of their choice
  • The handler will be licensed as a radio technician and will purchase their own hand set
  • The handler shall be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes or hike for 8 hours carrying a 40 pound pack
  • The handler will have completed a 16 hour first aid course and be certified in CPR and commit to a licensed first responder course or better within the first year of being operational
  • The handler shall demonstrate knowledge and ability in survival skills
  • The handler shall demonstrate knowledge and the ability to practice [human] man trailing skills i.e. find clues in the field
  • The handler has to have passed (show us the test, we don’t need the more expensive certificate option) NASAR SARtech III on-line test at
  • Provide references as the character of the handler
  • Apply and be accepted by the directors of GSSARDA-IL
  • The dog will have demonstrated a clear, consistent and identifiable alert under any conditions
  • The dog can be directed forward, to either side and further away (go back) at a distance of 25 yards from the handler
  • The dog will demonstrate the ability to go through a blind tunnel, walk an elevated 2″ x 12″ x 12′ board, a teeter totter, and an unpleasant surface off lead and in control which includes stopping and turning on verbal/hand signal
  • The dog will demonstrate an emergency stop
  • The dog will have demonstrated the ability to work 2-4 hours straight while maintaining good drive in a variety of conditions
  • The canine will crash through dense brush to get to a subject at night/in darkness
  • The dog must be capable of performing to a schutzhund BH routine and will be tested (you can link to,, and schutzhund USA at for more information)

The team must:

  • The team will be able to clear 160 acres of open field, light brush, etc in 1 hour, dense brush in 2 hours
  • The team will have demonstrated the ability to work in structures (burn houses, barns, public buildings, etc.)
  • The team will have an exposure to canine tracking/man trailing and be working toward certification in those areas
  • Any skills and areas of expertise which maybe required from working with various local agencies to best facilitate the most rapid location of the subject

For More Information Contact:

German Shepherd Search and Rescue Dog Association – Illinois
26104 Midlothian Road, Mundelein, IL, 60060
Tel: 847-970-9917
FAX: 847-949-6128