Meet the dogs

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Search dog Olly and his handler Ian are the teams current operational Search Dog Team.

Olly is a 6 ½ year old Short haired collie. He started training a little later in life at the age of 1. Olly and Ian graded in 2014 and were awarded the SARDA England ‘Novice Shield’ This is awarded to a novice team for an outstand performance during the assessment course.


They went on to pass their upgrade in 2017 in the Lake district.

Olly and Ian are members of Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, in North Yorkshire. They have been on the callout list for over 4 years, averaging about 18 callouts a year. They are often called out to support local teams and have also support searches in the Lake district and Peak districts. They have also attended 3 winter training courses in Scotland, where they practice their avalanche search techniques.



Handler - Mark Harrison

Meet Search Dog Abbie, a Hovawart with Oldham MRT.

With her long legs holding her nose high, Abbie is a very elegant search & rescue dog who is a joy to watch work.

She has recently had some beautiful puppies & is now back working.


Handler - Ian Thompson

Meet Search Dog Ben of North of Tyne MRT

Ben is a 9yr old Red Collie and has been on call since 2011.

His favourite toy is a squeaky ring on a rope - and he’ll always win in a game of tug when he finds the bodies.



Handler - Matt Robertson MBE

Meet Search Dog Scoot of DSRT Tavistock on Dartmoor.

Like all our spaniels, Scoot is completely nutty for a tennis ball.

An experienced old dog, he helps train the stage 1 dogs with his handler, showing the youngsters how it's done.


Handler: Catherine Bertie

Trainee Search Dog Jack

Team: North Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team

Jack is a rescued collie/English pointer cross who is at the very start of his SARDA training. He is currently working hard on his obedience so that he can take his registration test. Jack is approximately 14 months old and lives with Trainee Search Dog Reggie - together they wreak havoc in the sleepy hills of Devon. Jack loves swimming, playing with frisbees and tennis balls and he has a bizarre penchant for socks. Jack's capacity for mischief is currently believed to be unbounded.




Copper Details to follow

Copper and Arvin


Copper Bizzy & Jilly

Bizzy, Copper, Jilly



Handler name - Dave Mason

Name of dog - Griff - Born - 2016 - Breed - Border Collie

Started training - July 2016 (Air scent) - Started Trailing Training Feb 2018

Graded - January 2018 (No upgrade required)

Number of dogs trained - 2 Griff is the 2nd

Number of finds - none yet

Griff is a strikingly ginger tri colour border collie the hails from Buxton MRT in the Peak District. He is an utter softie and likes nothing more than just being part of the family, running around and playing with toys. Away from home life his work ethic is second to none and he is an absolute pleasure to train and work with. He qualified for air scent work at 19 months old and was the first recipient of the Lyons Bowl - an award for a superb performance at assessment for a dog team where the handler has already trained their first dog. Griff is currently training in a second skill of scent specific trailing where he works equally as hard.




Handler name - Des Toward

Search dog Wisp also has a kennel. Club name of Wandering Wayward Wisp which is a good reflection of her character.

She is Des's fourth search dog.

Tri coloured collie - mum a sheep dog father an competing agility dog - 6 years old

Even though has attended many search her first find still eludes her.

However in Des's career he has had 17 finds in total with his previous dogs.

She also competes in agility competition for fun



Handler name - Karen Fisher

This is Gus a trainee - Black and white collie

My second attempt at training a search dog to give search dog Sam his well deserved retirement.

Another rescue dog from Ireland this time.

Just starting teaching him the search game.

Also enjoys competing in agility competitions for fun




Handler name - Karen Fisher

SEARCH DOG Sam aka Super Sam he a real gentleman.

11.5 yrs old looking forward to retirement

Short haired Collie Cross

Four finds in total two lives saved one helicopter out

Rescued dog becomes rescuers found wandering shepherd's Bush at 3 month old.

Main dog for pedigree adoption drive campaign so his face was on all packaging.

And just for fun competed at top level dog agility competition

He's one of a kinda




Handler - Gary Smith

This is Orion. He was born April 2017 and is currently in stage 1 working on the all important find sequence.

Orion likes to run and lives life at full speed. He's really enthusiastic about finding his tennis ball and can even return to bark at me with one in his mouth. Well, "bark" is maybe a little generous. It's more of a high pitched yap than a bark, but it certainly wakes the bodies up who help with his training.

We're part of the MRSDE's Mid-Pennine region and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team. No finds yet as we've still got a way to go in training, but I have more patience than Orion does.


Handler - Nick Clark - Dartmoor SRT Tavistock

Jess - Border Collie

Jess came from a sheep farm in Cumbria when she was one year old. She has spent from 18 months to 2 ½ years old progressing through Puppy Class and Stage 1 training.

Her owner told his neighbour that she was available, who told a national sheep dog trainer, who told the SARDA Puppy Class lead instructor, who told the SARDA Stage 2 and 3 lead instructor, who knew I was specifically after an ex-working sheep dog and told me. The next day I drove 7 hours to collect her, and 9 hours back.

When I brought her home she’d never been in a house before. I spent her first night at home sleeping with her on the kitchen floor. When she needed to go out she woke me, and that’s how long it took to house train her.


Handler - Ian Bertie - DSRT Tavistock

Reginald - Born September 2014- Doberman

Reg had a difficult start in life having been and returned to the dogs home 3 times. He is currently in stage 2/3 of his training. He is progressing well. Reg is my second search dog, following in the footsteps of the late great Ronnie B.

Reginald's 15 minutes of fame came when he stared along side Storm, Ben Fogle's dog in an episode of Countrywise, demonstrating to work of mountain rescue search dogs.



Reginald and Ronnie B



Handler - Tim Cain

Cassie 4.5 yrs Border Collie rescued from Ireland at 8 weeks. Started training in 2015. Novice grade Apr 2018. Team Swaledale. Five callouts since grading with no finds - yet. Favourite toy ‘Squeaky’ plastic ball.


Handler - Claire Starkey

Stage: 1 - Bracken passed his obedience and stock test in Feb 2018, attended his first Stage 1 course in May 2018

Finds: He is a natural hunter and finds our training bodies well, Bracken even found his own favourite toy - the grubby remains of a shoot dummy rabbit fur covered tennis ball

Team: Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team

Bracken is really coming along well and is building his directional skills and reliable indication sequence at the minute


Handler - Brian Allport - Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.


DOB 21/10/2013.

Border Collie.

Parents Search Dog Bess, (SARDA England), Search Dog Fly (Lake district Mountain Rescue Dog).

Siblings Search Dog Blitz, and Roy. Trainee Search dog Blyth.

Started training Jan 2014, Full Grade awarded Jan 2016.

One find so far with Tess..

Trained 3 previous dogs – Mac withdrawn from training after failing assessment due to lameness, Gem Initial Grade 2001 Upgrade 2005 – 2 Finds , Sam Full Grade 2009 – 3 finds .



Handler name: Annie

Name of dog: Jack

Born December 2016

Breed: collie red setter cross

Training: passed registration in February 2018 and began stage 1 in April 2018

Info: Born to run, Jack’s long legs make him super fast. He’s also super friendly and visibly enjoys the national courses meeting all the other dogs. He loves a game of hide and seek and is excited to search. We are in Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team. Our patch has lots of grouse moor and that’s still a challenging environment for him but we are working on it.


Handler - Ian Bunting

Bolt - Born June 2016 - English Springer Spanial

Registered January 2017

Stage 1 October 2017

Stage 2 October 2018

Assesment Jan 2019 (hopefully !)

Ian Bunting - Edale MRT - Time in MR 25years

Number of dogs - 2 including Bolt, first Dog Tyke, Yellow Labrador who had 6 finds


Handler - James Taylor-Short

Poppy is 10 years old - Loves a squeeky ball

Works across Exmoor, the quantocks and Blackdown hills.

She has been graded for 6 years and has been involved in countless callouts.

She is still very active despite her age..she just has more rest time now!!

She is the search dog for Exmoor MRT.


Handler - David Warden

Wynn is a border collie bitch who was born in August 2015 and is expected to grade in 2019.

Her handler, David Warden, who is from Calder Valley Search & Rescue Team in the mid- Pennine area, is currently chairman of the association and has been training mountain rescue search dogs since1994.

Wynn is his third border collie to train as a mountain rescue search dog.



Handler - Kenneth Kingston

Name: Saoirse

Breed: collie (half Border / half Welsh)

Age: 2 1/2

Area MRT: Dartmoor Search & Rescue Team Plymouth

Favourite toy: kong on a rope


Handler: Mike Needham

Name: Tarn - Born: July 2014 - Breed: Border Collie

Stage: 1 and started training in January 2018

Finds: Tarn has found loads - mainly tennis balls hidden with our “Bodies”

Team: Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team

Not really a great deal more to add at the minute although Tarn is doing really well considering she wasn’t really toy focused a year ago but now her ears prick up as soon as she sees her training jacket or tennis ball - she knows it’s time to play. There’s also been a few comments from other handlers about her having the loudest bark in stage 1 at present....


Handler: Paul Besley

Name of dog: Scout

Year Born: 2016

Start Training: May 2016

Current stage: Stage 3

Team: Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team


Handler - Nick Oliver

Lottie - 18 months old (born 2017) - Working Golden Retriever

Started training August 2017 and currently in Stage 1

We are with Exmoor Search and Rescue

Loves play with the bodies and has been known to ignore her toy and jump on for a cuddle!


Handler - Paul Mitchinson

Name - Roy - Age - 5

Graded - November 2018

Team - North of Tyne.

Roy is the third dog out of the litter to be graded. Mother, father, and uncle all graded dogs. Hopefully another sister will make it in January.



Handler – Paul Bartram - Edale Mountain Rescue Team

Name – Flo - DOB – March 2015 - Breed – Border Collie

Graded Jan 17, Upgraded Oct 18

Dog Info – Flo is an extremely intelligent, confident young dog with remarkable work ethic and drive. We work operationally for the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation covering the entire Peak District. Flo is well known for her unusually tall upright ears. Since Flo’s initial grading in Jan 17 she has attended over 30 operational call outs for missing persons.

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