KCSD Members are volunteers who provide their own dogs and train several times a month. Each dog-handler team trains in a primary discipline, either airscent or trailing. The dog teams must pass demanding certification evaluations prior to participating in search missions. Dog-handler teams also train in specialty search areas including human remains, evidence search, water search, disaster search, or avalanche search.
Support members as well as all dog handlers must pass periodic physical fitness tests and complete all aspects of the King County Search and Rescue Association (KCSARA) core competency classes, examinations and field tests. These requirements include first aid/CPR, land navigation, wilderness survival, search strategy, rescue techniques, crime scene management, radio communications, helicopter safety and other related subjects.