Area Search Classes

Beginners will start with runaways and small problems, while building a reliable refind or alert. Handler will be given help reading the dog and building the dog’s confidence. 

CHAD CRARY: Chad has been doing Search and Rescue for eight years with WI K9 SOS. His current working search partner is Leaf, a Belgian Tervuren, certified in NASAR Area Search and Land HRD. Before SAR, Chad spent a great deal of time outdoors training hunting dogs. 

Chad is excited to be given the opportunity to share his knowledge with others and learn from them, in order to help make better search teams in the field 

Intermediates can consistently work problems up to 30 minutes. Their alerts will be honed, and problems addressed. Instructor will introduce more difficult scenarios, such as multiple victims, unusual victims, and terrain problems. 

ANGIE CRARY: Angie Crary is a member of WI K9 SOS Search and Rescue. Her current K9 partner is a five-year-old Golden Retriever named Oakley. Angie and Oakley are certified with NASAR in Area Search and Human Remains Detection.

Besides having three dogs, Angie also has 2 horses, a flock of chickens and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family hiking and exploring Wisconsin and the upper peninsula. Angie also enjoys reading and gardening. She is looking forward to meeting other K9 handlers, learning from, and sharing her knowledge with them.

KATHY YELTIN: Kathy was a member of the K9 Operations Team with the McLean County Emergency Management Agency in Illinois from 2012-2023. Her first working partner, K9 Elly, was trained in Human Remains Detection and Area Search (Live-Find). Kathy certified K9 Elly in Area Search – Wilderness 40 acres with IPWDA (International Police Working Dog Association) in April 2021. Team Elly was deployed on a multitude of local searches during their SAR career. Unfortunately, K9 Elly was injured during training and sustained a career ending injury. Elly has since retired from SAR work but will continue detection work in the field of dog sports. Kathy continues to train with her SAR family and happily heads out into the woods “getting lost and disorientated” to set up realistic training scenarios for many different SAR K9’s and their handlers to better equip them for an actual mission.

Kathy has been on the Search Dog Organization of North America (SDONA) board of directors since 2017 and is also a SDONA K9 trainer for SAR detection handlers. She’s had the opportunity to lead detection seminars in multiple states providing realistic, skill based operational testing opportunities for SAR handlers and their K9’s. Specializing in Human Remains Detection training and Area Search (Live-Find).

Kathy has been training dogs for the past 18 years and specializes in foundational training. She believes that setting a solid foundation with clear and consistent language helps to promote learning in all aspect of dog training. She loves to see the working bond between the trainer and K9 strengthen as new skills are learned together as a team.  

Select this class if your dog is consistently making finds in most situations. You will have the opportunity to debug existing problems, as well as explore new challenges. Handler should have good navigation skills and be confident in the dog’s abilities.

SHAY COOK: Shay has been working in a volunteer capacity to help find missing people since 1995. Much of that time has been in active service, responding to various agencies as they search for missing people and respond to national disasters. Shay is an expert dog handler with extensive experience in training dogs and handlers to seek both the living and the deceased. Shay performs SAR functions for the State of California, Alameda Sheriff’s Office, Marin County Sheriff ‘s Office, FEMA Oakland TF4, and Yosemite National Parks.

KAYLA HARDIN: Kayla has been in search and rescue since 2005. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in behavior analysis from the University of California, San Diego, where she developed a strong foundation in understanding behavior and motivation. She went on to pursue a Master of Science degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. Her graduate study focused on resiliency, particularly resiliency in first responders.

Throughout her time in search and rescue, Kayla has searched for the missing as far south as San Diego County and as far north as Siskiyou County, and many counties in between. Currently, Kayla is affiliated with the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) and the San Diego Sheriff Department Search and Rescue team. She currently has two certified canines, one in Area & HRD, and the other as a single purpose HRD.

Her years working with SAR canines have allowed her to hone her expertise in training canines for search and rescue and foundational skills, implementing effective reinforcement schedules, and handling unique dogs with specific capabilities. She has supported several seminars which have afforded her the opportunity to view a variety of different dogs at different stages of training from across the nation. Her ability to apply behavioral psychology principles and adapt training methods to an individual dogs’ needs has enabled her to support teams to grow to their potential and provide reliable resources to their requesting agencies. 

No. Classes are designed progressively across the entire week, so you will stay with the same group for the entire seminar. However, if the class is too hard or too easy for you or your dog, we will try and accommodate a class change on the first day. This is not guaranteed.

Not sure if you are beginner or advanced? Email us, include your phone number, and we will try to answer your questions.

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