Saving Lives through cooperation and education.

Ohio Search Dog  

Association, Inc.

Ohio Search Dog Association

24 hour Emergency Dispatch Number:


Home OSDA Activations K9 Teams What We Do Affliations Certifications Contact Us Join OSDA Gallery


Certifications and Training


Members must obtain their initial certifications before being deployable. These include scent theory, fundamentals of search and rescue, mapping and orienteering, land navigation, survival skills, canine first aid and lost person behavior.

OSDA personnel train independently with their dogs at least two times a week.

In addition, they train with the team at least once a week.

What Does “IN TRAINING” Mean?

Canines used for search and rescue are often selected as puppies and must undergo extensive training before they are certified for search and rescue.. Dogs may only be “deployable” when they have reached at least one year of age and met all of the certification tests.

What are “certified” canine teams and who certifies them?

Anyone can make a claim that their dog is “trained” in search and rescue, but OSDA only deploys canine teams which meet strict certification standards from independent national and international organizations.

All search  personnel  must be certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) as Search and Rescue Technician II (SARTECH II). In addition, search personnel must re-certify annually in Crime Scene Preservation, First Aid / Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Bloodborne Pathogens and Hazardous Materials Awareness.

The Canine Teams must re-certify every year with the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) or International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA). OSDA Canines also certify every other year through National Association of Search and Rescue in their specialty.

OSDA requires these independent certifications to insure that only highly qualified canine teams who have been independently certified by outside evaluators are deployed to SAR emergencies. Only those canine teams meeting these high standards will be utilized.

When considering the use of any canine team, ask if their dog teams are independently certified by NAPWDA, IPWDA or NASAR.

“If a child or loved one would ever go missing in our area, OSDA would be the first team I would contact.”

Jim Green, K9 Officer

Independence, Ohio