Trainee DVSD Handler and Trainee DVSD Search Dog Sasha return from Northern Ireland

This past weekend saw our Trainee DVSD Search Dog Handler Dave Marsh and Trainee Drowned Victims Search Dog Sasha travelling across to Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

Dave and Sasha were accompanied by an ex-Police Dog Handler and his puppy [a Belgian Malinois].


They were both in the company of Neil Powell – a very experienced Dearch dog trainer and author, who has trained well over thirty dogs for many differing types of search (Collapsed Buildings, Air scenting, Drowned Victims, Autistic Children Assist and Diabetic Detection].

Friday evening 21st June, saw the threesome on the shores of a lake, to see if Sasha could locate a target source, which has been anchored to the bottom of the lake for between four and five years. Happily enough, Sasha gave a good indication, which greatly impressed Neil and the ex-Police Dog Handler.


Saturday 22nd June, saw the lads travelling to the Newry Canal for a boat search.

This proved to be very interesting in that the target was placed at nine metres deep, surrounded by weeds.

This proved to be very difficult for Sasha who gave weak indications during the course of the afternoon and it was decided that more training using boats was the order of the day.

Sunday 23rd June, was a ’swap over’ day, with Dave reverting to assessing a dog from the Northern Ireland based Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA Northern Ireland)

The pre-assessment went very well, with a recommendation that their dog and handler should be invited to participate in a full blown assessment later in the year.


Sunday pm saw a small group working one of the many local rivers, successfully locating target sources in different locations.

The varied training over the weekend involved the differing scenarios that Dave and Sasha could possibly be invited along to carry out searches in due course.

It can be said the hospitality shown by their hosts was second to none and all agreed it was a very worthwhile training session.

Dave and Sasha are returning to Newcastle on August 16th -18th, where a basic weekends training course has been set up for a small group of Trainees to start their DVSD training.