The Search Dog
In 2007, ARDA modified their standards to allow member units the option to roster individuals with any breed of dog. The purpose for this historical change was to provide current and future member units the ability to recruit and train the best possible canine teams for their unit.
When choosing a dog breed suitable for search and rescue work, it is recommended to choose from a breed that possesses such traits as:
- Excellent scenting capability
- Strong drives (prey, pack, play, etc.)
- Physical endurance/stamina
- High degree of intelligence
- High degree of trainability
In general, working breeds such as the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Border Collie, Belgian Mallinois, and Golden Retriever make suitable candidates for search and rescue work. It is important to note, however, that breed alone does not produce an ARDA quality search dog. A stable, friendly temperament and strong drives are essential; and can only be achieved through good breeding programs, frequent socialization with other humans and dogs, and a strong training foundation.
The American Rescue Dog Association is excited at the prospect to work with, learn, and train with new members and various breeds of dogs. However, we would like to recognize the German Shepherd Dog as well as the hard work and dedication of numerous ARDA handlers over that past 35-years. It is through these handlers and their work with the German Shepherd dog that has made ARDA the outstanding organization that it is today.