German Shepherd Search Dogs (GSSD) honors the German Shepherd Dog Club of Washington with its name and logo.
In the early 1960s interested club members got together to form an exploratory Search Dog Committee tasked with investigating ways to use dogs to search for lost humans, beyond the already established role of tracking/trailing. The group was based on the experience of GSSD founding member Hank Wilcox in teaching dogs to find the airborne scent of jet fuel in WWII, which he theorized could be used to find the scent of humans lost in the woods. Wilcox, along with Bill Syrotuck worked together to train the first airscent dogs. German Shepherd Search Dogs was officially formed in 1969, making GSSD the nation's oldest volunteer search dog organization, with their methods still in use by many search groups across the world.