Monterey Bay Search Dogs

Our Mission

•Meet the highest standard of training and testing for deployable search dog teams

•Achieve the full potential of our dogs

•Respond promptly to emergency search resource requests

•Further the public interest in trained search dogs


Monterey Bay Search Dogs, Inc (MBSD) was founded in 1988 by experienced search and rescue (SAR) volunteers in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Our organization prepares handlers and their canine partners to be effective participants in searches for missing people.

You can find out more about our canine teams on our Teams page.


MBSD members meet every weekend for training and mutual support. Training locations vary from week to week and alternate between the Wilderness Area (Live Find) and Human Remains Detection disciplines. Candidates 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 for search work. Skills introduced at training are then practiced during the week on an individual basis. 

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.


MBSD certifies teams to the 2005 CalOES Search and Rescue Mutual Aid - Canine Guidelines. Testing is done on an annual basis for HRD teams and bi-annual cycle for Wilderness Area teams.

Handlers also need to achieve mastery of skills including: navigation, survival, first aid, fitness and knowledge of Incident Command Systems (ICS).

Most new handlers will need at least two years to certify in one of the offered search disciplines; however, after certification, training for both the handler and the dog continues on a regular basis to keep their skill level high.


MBSD is one of three SAR canine teams chartered by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES). Every member is a volunteer and donates time for mutual aid searches in any of the 58 counties in California.

MBSD teams have successfully participated in Wilderness, Suburban and Disaster, and Human Remains Detection (HRD) searches throughout California and the nation. Our teams are fielded at the request of local, state, and federal agencies.

Monterey Bay Search Dogs is a 501(c)(3) Organization

Affiliated Agencies