The SSART Dog Section was formed in June 2012 and is registered as an ALSAR dog team.
We currently have two qualified dog teams;
Each dog and handler is registered with the National Search and Rescue Dog Association, NSARDA
Each handler and dog is supported by a team member who is responsible for navigation, communications and assisting the missing person upon a successful find.
There is a structured training plan which each dog and handler must complete, starting from early puppy hood, right through to a fully fledged search dog.
These training sessions are not possible without a willing team of volunteers, who give up their time to hide for the dogs to practice their skills. Known as dogsbodies, they spend their weekends hiding all over the county. Read about a typical day in the life of a dogsbody here
Throughout their time with NSARDA Staffordshire, each dog and handler will be continually assessed to ensure that they maintain their standard. This continuous training means that a lot of time and patience is required of handlers and support members.
Qualified Dog Teams
Handler: Dave Barley
Dave is a Delivery Officer for Royal Mail and has been a member of SSART since 2009. He is a Team Leader and also the Procurement Officer. Dave is also the Dog Section Lead for SSART. He is a fully graded NSARDA handler.
Red is a Border Collie and was born in June 2011 on a working farm. He has been with Dave since he was 8 weeks old.
Handler: Jim Rudman
Jim is a professional dog trainer and has been a member of SSART since 2011. He is currently a team leader and Deputy Chair with SSART and spends most weekends training with NSARDA along with our other handlers.
Born in July 2012 Jake trained to NSARDA standard, where he rapidly showed signs of becoming a great search dog. Jake passed all of his good citizen awards attaining Gold standard by the time he was 12 months old.
Having completed a stock test and an obedience test Jake started as a registered Trainee Search Dog with NSARDA and in March 2016 became a novice graded search dog.
Jake was bred from a working line of Field Trial Champions. Lots of thanks has to go to the breeders Verrad Labradors: for breeding such a well rounded puppy!
Handler: Mark Unitt
Mark has been a member of SSART since 2020. He is currently working towards his team leader qualification and is the teams Fundraising Officer.
Born in late October 2020 Spec, full name Spectre was to a litter who’s names are all Halloween related. He is the only dog on the team that can call himself a true local lad as Spec comes from a long line of working gun dogs from the Gamestyle Stud in Newborough.
Spec completed his stock test in 2021 and an obedience test at the beginning of 2022 to become the teams latest registered Trainee Search Dog.