Our  yearly Certification was held on September 27-28-29, 2019 under IRO International Judge Jaroslav Sedlák from the Czech Republic.  Our members tested at 3 levels in Area (Wilderness Search) and in Rubble (Urban Search):  Level V (previously called Level E) which is a suitability test, Level A the first certification level and Level B, the advanced certification.

We are proud to announce that 6 CASDDA members succeeded Level V; 9 passed Level A, and 2 passed Level B .  In addition, and 3 passed the search component of Level A.  (More photos below! )


Training a Search Dog is not an easy task nor can it be taken casually.  It requires patience, consistency, commitment and dedication.  It also requires many hours each week for the working lifetime of the dog.

Our members train twice a week, attend two full weekend seminars per year and participate in a yearly mock deployment that last from 3 to 4 days.  In addition, our members spend countless personal hours to socialize their dogs, to educate them and to ensure proper behavior.

Our dogs are trained at the highest level of obedience and dexterity, a form of agility relevant to the work that we do.  As an example, our dogs are expected to climb ladders and to walk on unstable or unpleasant surfaces. 

Training a Search Dog is not limited to the teaching of the dog.  It also requires teaching the Handler, and our members must pass a number of courses to ensure that not only will they work as efficiently as possible with their K-9 Partners, but they will work safely. Learning to recognize, mitigate and isolate danger is a big part of what we do.

Furthermore, CASDDA believes that for a search team to grow, a free flow of exchange of knowledge and experience between various Search and Rescue groups is absolutely necessary.  To serve this purpose, our members receive the opportunity to attend training tours in foreign countries where they can work with their K-9 Partners, under the guidance of other trainers and under a variety of conditions foreign to what is known in Canada.  

Being part of the IRO has been a tremendous help for CASDDA as it offers the opportunity to take part in many training seminars taught by some of the best SAR specialists in the world.


CASDDA believes that a competent Search Dog can only be certified by specifically trained judges, specialists in the field of K-9 Search and Rescue, under strict objective judging and a recognized Standard. 

All CASDDA dogs are certified under the IRO Standard, a unified international standard ratified by the FCI and recognized by the United Nations.  

Our Dogs and their Handlers are tested under strict objective evaluation by trained and certified international judges who are specialists in the field of K-9 Search and Rescue, sent to us from all over the world. 

The test contains two components:  a search component and an obedience/dexterity component.  To be successful, both components must be passed. 


The certification of a Search Dog under the IRO Standard is recognized worldwide. 

Certification 2019 in pictures...

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