Lowland Search Dogs (LS Dogs) is a non-profit, voluntary organisation formed in November 2002.
This ‘umbrella’ organisation was set up to bring together regional Search and Rescue Dog Units and to create and oversee standards for air-scenting lowland search dogs, in the UK.
‘Lowland’ includes farmland, forests, open downland and any other area that does not require specialist mountain rescue experience.
Most of our teams work alongside their local ALSAR (Association of Lowland Search and Rescue) team. It is common for LS Dog members to also be members of their ALSAR team. Both ALSAR and LS Dogs can only take part in searches at the invitation of their local police force.
They are available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
One of the greatest benefits of Lowland Search Dogs is the ability to call upon a large national resource at short notice. For example, if a young child goes missing, the local dog unit can immediately call for the services of all the other teams. Thus increasing the professional search resources available to the police.
Each regional unit overseas the training of their own dogs and LS Dogs then assess each dog before they can become operational. These dogs are re-assessed every 2 years to ensure the standards are maintained. It can take approximately one year to train a dog to the first operational level. It then takes a further 4-6 months to move on to the second operational level. After these basic standards have been accomplished, each dog handler can choose to train their dog in additional search techniques, such as water searches.