Training an SAR handler--the dog is simply a tool
Similar to their dogs, SAR handlers have to undergo demanding training exercises as well – around 1,000 hours in training. For instance, both Hey and Jocoy spent around 12 months learning the basics of SAR dog training – search management, lost person behavior, weather patterns, and more. “When people think search and rescue, I don’t think they realize how much the person has to learn. It’s not all about the dog. They’re just a tool. The handler has to know how to put the dog into position to pick up a scent,” said Jocoy.