SEMO Regional K9 Search Team


Owning a dog is both a joy and a major responsibility.

A companion dog and/or a working dog can be a fulfillment in your life, but can also become overwhelming if not approached from the level of committment required.

Your first responsibility is to yourself and your family's safety. The presence of a dog in your home carries with it certain cautions that need to be addressed from Day One.

Dogs have limited ways for expressing themselves, and much of this communication comes from the mouth by tongue or teeth. Another way of expressing themselves is by making noise (barking or whining). All of this can be very annoying and even distructive if not controlled.

The larger your dog, the more important that you have control. The good news is there is a way to be in control of your dog, and that is through obedience training.

We will teach you to train your dog to:

Accept a friendly stranger

Sit quietly for petting

Walk on loose lead

Sit, Down and Stay

Come when called

Not react to another dog or distractions

Submit to supervised separation

K9 first aid, general health, appearance and grooming tips will also be provided.

A word about our general philosophy of training. We do not subscribe to the old "Yank and Crank" method of training, but we are convinced that training methods employing positive reinforcement along with appropriate correction, are the key to producing a well adjusted, obedient family pet. While this takes a bit longer and requires more knowledge and patience on the part of the handler, future rewards far outweigh the additional effort required. 

Following the training, you and your dog will be evaluated for the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, which is a basic requirement for most other training programs. 



Classes will be scheduled as the need arises, in the afternoon and evening. There will be a limited number of dog/handler teams in each class to provide the best and safest training environment.


We at the SEMO Regional K9 Search Team have been training working dogs for over 30 years. Our dogs find missing people by following human scent in all kinds of environments.

This is a very complex task that humans are not equipped to accomplish, but that dogs handle easily. However the key to success is letting the dog know who you want trailed. Before any training in tracking or trailing or air scenting can be accomplished, a firm foundation of obedience must be laid down. Without that obedience foundation, other training is vertually impossible. 

We want to pass that knowledge on to other dog owners so that they may enjoy their dogs to the maximum, the way we do. 

The nature of our search and rescue mission is such that we cannot have bite trained dogs on our team. Very often those missing persons we are searching for are very young or very old, and we can not take the chance of our dogs becoming excited and biting anyone

In addition, our dogs often have to work with other dogs during a mission and must be able to get along with them 100% of the time. These are attributes that every dog owner should want in their own companion, and we can help you train them.

The responsibility for training and obedience arrives with the dog on Day One.

If you have a young dog, right out of the litter, potty training and pack orientation is the first order of business. This should be considered very similar to having a new baby in the house. Forget about sleeping through the night. The new dog is in a strange environment and we must start to recognize, through body language, when the puppy needs to go out. We will talk about potty training during the course, but I mention it now, because mistakes made at this early stage, when your young puppy is imprinting everything that happens, can make it very difficult to obedience train your dog later. Without getting into detail, just remember that patience is the watchword of the day, and never hit the dog, with hand, newspaper, fly swatter, slipper, stick or anything. NEVER HIT THE DOG!

The dog has made a mistake 99 times out of 100, because YOU failed to communicate what you wanted, or you failed to respond in a timely manner to a clue the dog sent, or you expected unreasonably, for the dog to hold natural functions for 8 or 12 hours. If you want to hit, hit yourself, because it is probably your fault.

This brings up Crate Training. A crate is not a place for banishment for misdeeds. It is the sanctuary and home for your new dog. It is a place where the dog feels safe and can relax without being disturbed. It should be of sufficient size so the dog can grow into it, and have plenty of room to move around. I like to feed in the crate. It is simple, you place the bowl in the crate, the dog eats and you remove the bowl, making sure the dog has plenty of water in the crate. All new dogs should be crated when not directly supervised by the handler. This saves unfortunate incidents of chewing and other types of destruction of "people things." This should be the case until the dog is two years old, and has demonstrated they can be left unsupervised in the house. Outside dogs also need a crate or dog house in a covered and protected run for the same reasons. 

More on communication with your companion when you come to class.

One last thing. This is not The Dog Whisperer.

If your dog is a neurotic mess because of something you did or didn't do during the dog's early life, you will need private assistance before attending the obedience class. We will try to help you and your pet, but the imprinting period in a dog's life is a very strong influence and hard to reverse. We cannot expect others in a class to stand around while we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to unscrew an unruley dog's psyche.