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volunteering at the seminar

Come Play Hide and Seek... With Dogs!

Every year our seminar gets anywhere from 40-70 canine teams that show up ready to train, test, and certify in search and rescue. In order to make it a success, we need volunteers like you, who are willing to come out hide as targets for these amazing dogs. If this sounds right up your alley, you can sign up for a volunteer shift here! Please also check out some frequently asked questions below.

What to expect

When you arrive you will be assigned to a training group to work with. To simulate a missing person scenario If you are assigned to be a target for the canines, you will be given a location to walk to in order to hide from the canine team –  After you’re settled in, we send a canine team to come and find you. Of course, you will never actually be missing and will have communication with your group and team. 


Other roles you may be asked to perform include being a decoy. Decoys help us create a scenario that the canine may encounter in real-life situations. For example, being a curious bystander or a random hiker in the woods.


Depending on the skill level of the canine, you may be asked to do help create different scenarios and training components. But don’t worry. The instructor or handler will be able to give you all the details on how to act for their canine. Come prepared to do some walking, learn, and have fun!

can my kids participate?

Absolutely! Did you know that in 2022, Texas alone had 47,670 missing persons reports with 34,828 of those being children (statistics from Texas Center for the missing). What does this mean? It means to make sure our dogs have trained on as many possible scenarios, the whole family is welcome!

For safety reasons, there are a few stipulations and we will need a signed waiver upon check-in.

Will I get to play and interact with the canines?

Yes! But every canine’s need is different. The handler will instruct you what to do for training and how to act when the canine finds you. Often, the volunteer (that’s you!) is the one giving the treats or playing tug with a toy. Let the handler know what you may or may not be comfortable with. You will have a front row seat to see what the amazing canines can do! For safety reasons, there are a few stipulations and we will need a signed waiver upon check-in.

what to bring