Interview with Nadine Conner, SAR Handler and Trainer at GPSK9
K9 Units

Interview with Nadine Conner, SAR Handler and Trainer at GPSK9

Discover the inspiring journey of Nadine Conner, a seasoned SAR handler and trainer, and learn about the vital role of K9 units in search and rescue operations.
Almog Koren
8 min
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About This Interview Series

At DogBase, we are passionate about showcasing the incredible work of K9 handlers and their units. Our goal is to highlight the dedication, challenges, and triumphs of these professionals who tirelessly work to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities. Through these interviews, we aim to provide a deeper understanding of the unique bond between handlers and their K9 partners, the rigorous training involved, and the vital role they play in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. We hope these stories inspire support for K9 units and shed light on their invaluable contributions.


Interview with Nadine Conner, SAR Handler and Trainer at GPSK9

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Nadine: I have been a professional dog trainer for over 30 years and involved in SAR for over 13 years. I am currently working with my fifth SAR K9 and I also serve as the team trainer for GPSK9.

Q: How did you start working with K9s?

Nadine: I started by teaching at a dog club in Illinois and enjoyed it so much that I continued when I moved to Kansas. It has been a rewarding journey ever since.

Q: What are some unique aspects of your K9 partners?

Nadine: I work with four K9s, each with their own unique personalities. Treating them as individuals is essential to our success.

Q: Can you share some challenges and triumphs?

Nadine: One memorable challenge was working a potential drowning case on a river. My K9 alerted at a river bend, and a few days later, law enforcement recovered the body exactly where my K9 had indicated. It was a powerful validation of our training and bond.

K9 Triumphs

Q: Describe the bond you share with your K9s.

Nadine: The connection I have with my K9s is wonderful. They truly enjoy their work, and I love working with them. It's a partnership built on trust and mutual respect.

K9 Bond

Q: What does daily life and training look like for you and your K9s?

Nadine: We train seven days a week. Five days are dedicated to SAR work, and the remaining days focus on fitness and obedience. We also use a large pool in my backyard for endurance training.

Q: Tell us a little about the K9 unit you're a part of.

Nadine: GPSK9 has been a 501(c)(3) organization since around 2015. We formed the team to elevate the level of K9 training in Kansas, and our commitment to excellence has only grown stronger.

Q: Describe a recent mission or case where your K9 unit made a significant difference.

Nadine: We’ve been working on two cold cases for the past seven months, dedicating countless hours to searching and clearing areas in hopes of finding the missing persons. Our perseverance is key to making a difference.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges faced by K9 units in your field?

Nadine: One major challenge is overcoming internal conflicts within the industry. We focus on collaboration and support, inviting other teams to train with us despite competitive tensions.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring K9 handlers?

Nadine: Find a team with a good reputation that fits well with you. Attend seminars and listen to the advice of experienced handlers. Take in everything they say—some advice will be useful immediately, and other tips can be stored for future use.

Q: How can the public support K9 units and their important work?

Nadine: Donations to local teams are incredibly helpful. As 501(c)(3) teams, we spend a lot on our K9s and their training, and public support is crucial to our operations.

Q: How did you discover DogBase?

Nadine: I found DogBase through Facebook. It has been a game-changer for logging training sessions, making the process much easier.

Q: What are your favorite features of DogBase?

Nadine: I appreciate the ease of use. It has simplified managing my training logs.

Q: What suggestions do you have for future development of the platform?

Nadine: It would be great to have features for downloading trails and maps into the log, and correcting visibility data when it's incorrect. These enhancements would be very beneficial.

For more inspiring stories and insights from K9 handlers, stay tuned to our blog. Support GPSK9 by visiting their website and consider making a donation to help them continue their vital work. and if you would like to be interviewed just fill out this form

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DogBase is one of the few K9 logs that caters specifically to Search and Rescue (SAR). I am a relatively new user, but impressed by the amount of versatility it has to offer. I've used other K9 logs in the past, but they were focused on Law Enforcement and were not as detailed for SAR work, as is DogBase. Detailed record keeping is essential if you want to learn to identify the good and the bad in your training routines and to maintain your credibility as a search team. In my opinion, DogBase does the job.

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Training Officer & K9 Team
Catron County Search and Rescue
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SAR Unit
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I am so glad that I was invited to "test" this. I dreaded do my logs books and couldn't find an easy method. This platform is easy and so far all updates have made it easier and clear to fill out. I hope that we can continue to use it. I also like that I can check on more of my own team members and what training they are logging.

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K9 Director
GPSK9s
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MOCSAR
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I am loving using Dogbase! It is providing such great value in training my dogs and I plan to continue to use it for as long as I possibly can. I love the amount of information that you are able to log for each training session. Before, I was using the old school notebook method for keeping track of my training sessions. Now, with using Dogbase, I have access to SO many more variables that I wouldn't have normally thought to log before that can possibly make a difference in future training sessions.

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Pekelny Pes Working Dogs
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Samantha S
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Laurel Mountain K9 Search & Rescue
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This App has undoubtedly made our training more efficient with clear documentation of progress. Definitely making the training more progressive instead of just repetitive. It's easy to use, relevant for the training we conduct, and the customer support is awesome.

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K9 Handler
MOD
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I was tired of using Excel spreadsheets where I had to remember all the information when I was finally able to sit down and enter it. I like DogBase because I can use my phone and fill it out during training while all the information is fresh. Its easy to go down the list and fill out each part and in the end I have all the information I want to keep track of for my HR and Airscent K9.

Heather S
K9 Handler & Treasurer
Alamo Area Search and Rescue
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Absolutely love this application. Such ease of use and able to track everything. Same format for all trainings and love the information added based on time and location. This will be a game changer in record keeping for SAR dogs.

Berbel S
Air Scent K9 Handler
Search and Rescue Teams of Warren County

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