In order to train a searchdog with the team, you must be a member of a Mountain Rescue Team, Coastguard, or other nationally recognised Search and Rescue Team such as SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association), and to have undertaken at least six months of regular ‘bodying’ with SARDA South Wales. After passing an obedience and stock test to ensure they are safe working around livestock, our trainee dogs and their handlers then start on an intensive period of training which eventually has them searching large areas of mountainside and (hopefully!) finding all the dogsbodies hidden there. It can take two to three years of very hard training to grade a SARDA dog and requires huge commitment from both handler and dog.
We train on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday of each month at locations throughout South Wales. Additional sessions for trainees are held on Tuesday nights