Monterey Bay Search Dogs, Inc (MBSD) was founded in 1988 by experienced Search and Rescue volunteers in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Our organization prepares handlers and their canine partners to be effective participants in searches for missing people.
MBSD teams have successfully participated in wilderness, suburban and disaster searches, and human remains detection (HRD) searches throughout California and the nation. Our teams are fielded at the request of local, state, or federal agencies.
MBSD members meet every weekend for training and mutual support. Training locations vary from week to week and alternate between the wilderness, disaster, and human remains detection disciplines. Candidates are accepted year round and proceed at their training pace independent of other teams with weekly goals set by the training director.
At the weekly training sessions, new handlers are taught how to train their dog. Skills introduced at training are then practiced during the week on an individual basis. MBSD uses positive reinforcement training, utilizing toy and food rewards.
Each handler is expected to acquire the necessary search and rescue skills to enhance the team's effectiveness on missions.
MBSD presently trains and prepares teams in several search disciplines, including:
Basic skills for each of these disciplines include obedience, direction and control, handler and canine fitness, and agility.
Most new handlers will need at least two years to certify in one of these disciplines; however, after certification, training for both the handler and the dog continues on a regular basis to keep their skill level high.