How can I help?

How you can help GHSD in everyday life

Use this search engine and they will donate money to GHSD!
Dogwise.com All Things Dog! Purchase DogWise products through our site. DogWise will donate portion of the sale to us!
Randall's Good Neighbor Program - Please ask the clerk to enter #8580 before swiping Remarkable card

Request to join our open email list to receive training announcements

Why do Greater Houston Search Dogs need my help?

The Greater Houston Search Dogs need your help to serve the community with a mission ready team of trained dogs, handlers, and support teams. A lost or missing child or elderly citizen may be found alive because you and your organization helped. Our teams prepare for 24-hour rapid call out by law enforcement or other emergency management groups. Qualified donors will be recognized for their contributions on our webpage, and other publications or advertising media. We work closely with the Laura Recovery Center Foundation for missing children, and are called out by law enforcement to help. Recently, our dogs helped with the safe recovery of a 14 yr. old girl, and the 7 yr. old girl abducted from Houston to Florida.

I don't have a dog, can I still help?

Search and rescue work involves dogs, handlers, flankers, and a command post. On a search, good flankers are invaluable. Flankers accompany the dogs watching for clues, tracking progress, and doing radio communications. Proficiency is needed in land navigation, search management, scent theory, radio skills, and first aid for human and canine. The Greater Houston Search Dogs team can never have too many flankers. Come join us. The search environment may be hostile to both human and dog. Appropriate training and physical fitness is required for each member of the team. Handlers must be prepared to spend long hours training their partners and themselves. Join the team with a donation or come out and help us train these special dogs and handlers, or become a flanker, or command center manager, or make a monetary donation of any size.


Our members consist of people from all walks of life including law enforcement, fire department, nurses, paramedics, engineers, teachers, parents, computer specialists, and dog trainers. We set very high standards for team members and require a code of ethics to be adhered to. Background checks and reference checks are conducted on all new applicants. We hold each member accountable as a professional and they must acknowledge the limitations of their abilities as well as that of their dog. The work is very demanding and training is extensive and time consuming. Proficiency must be obtained in land navigation, search management, search strategy, lost person behavior, scent theory, radio skills, crime scene preservation, first aid for human and canine, hazmat awareness, animal behavior/learning theory in addition to many other skills.

What Qualities Make a Good SAR Handler?

  • Good character, honest, trustworthy, has integrity
  • Dedicated and committed to training
  • Enjoys the outdoors and feels comfortable in all kinds of conditions and situations
  • Confident
  • Team player
  • Likes people and genuinely cares about the community
  • Physically fit
  • Diplomatic
  • Open-minded and willing to learn
  • Good common sense
  • Loves animals
  • Enjoys teaching
  • Creative

What Qualities Make a Good SAR Dog?

  • Strong play-prey drive
  • People-motivated and eager to please
  • Calm, bold, and confident
  • Curious about new situations
  • Has the size and build to handle all types of obstacles in the city and wilderness
  • Young and healthy enough to give years of service
  • Working, herding, and sporting dog categories
  • Non-aggressive towards people and animals
  • Able to handle all types of noise and unusual physical conditions
  • Close bond with handler

Choosing the next SAR dog

Diane practicing navigation work

Shannon playing 'victim'

SAR TECH Study Group checking rescue gear


Copyright: Greater Houston Search Dogs  | This page was last updated on 11/23/2009