In wilderness search (or area search) our dogs are trained to range widely through the woods searching for any live human scent. They follow up any scent they find until they locate its source. The dog then picks up their bringsel, which is worn on the collar, and returns to the handler. Upon the dog's return, the handler removes the bringsel and the dog leads the handler back to his find (re-find).
Due to the nature of wilderness training, handlers must be skilled in the following:
- Human and Canine First Aid
- GPS Navigation Skills
- Map and Compass Skills
- Back Country Survival Skills
Theses skills can be gained through other groups and agencies.
In addition, the State of California Emergency Management Agency (CAL-EMA) maintains a set of standards that all certified K9 teams must meet.