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New York, NYWilderness Search and Rescue dogs, who use their air scenting or tracking abilities to locate missing persons, typically in a non-urban setting, will now be recognized by the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) with the new SAR-W title. The AKC already acknowledges dogs that are FEMA or State Urban Search and Rescue (SUSAR) certified as Urban Search and Rescue Dogs.

Within the field of Wilderness Search and Rescue there are dogs that specialize in tracking, trailing, air scent, water and avalanche search and rescue.

“Search and Rescue is a valuable, modern day working activity for our dogs.  At the time of greatest need, when we’re looking to find lost or trapped people, human remains, or help others during disasters, SAR dogs and their handlers are there to provide their assistance,” said Doug Ljungren, AKC Vice President of Companion/Performance Events. “The AKC is proud to acknowledge skill and service of these dogs by offering the new SAR-W title to add to their AKC record.”

The handlers of Wilderness Search and Rescue dogs that have been deployed on at least five SAR missions and that have been certified by an AKC recognized SAR certification organization may request a title by downloading and completing this form.  The dog must be AKC registered or enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners program.  The handler is required to submit the dog’s SAR certification document and documentation verifying the dog’s deployments. For more information please contact our Title Recognition Program Department at 919-816-3757 or

In addition to the SAR titling program, AKC’s affiliate AKC Companion Animal Recovery has long supported search and rescue organizations through its AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. The Fund recently awarded $413,000 in grants to more than 140 SAR groups in 45 states. To learn more about the program or how Wilderness SAR dog groups can apply for a future grant, visit

New York, NY— Wilderness Search and Rescue dogs, who use their air scenting or tracking abilities…