About Search and Rescue K9s
applied to Search and Rescue Dogs tend to overlap and blur just enough
to make things confusing to the uninitiated. In order to help you understand
what searching is all about, it helps to understand what search dogs are
actually looking for. These terms may mean different things in different
parts of the country.
How do dogs search?
Dogs know instinctively how to search. As a handler our job is to teach the dog what we we want him to search for.
Humans shed millions
of microscopic skin cells (called rafts) on a continual basis.
A search dog works
on or off-leash depending on the type of searching it is doing. Trailing
dogs are primarily on-leash and will follow the path a person walks by
following their particular scent. These dogs are presented with a scent
article that belongs to the missing person. Dogs working off-leash are
allowed to range well away from the handler, trying to detect the scent
of a human other than his handler. This free-ranging type of search dog
will often be referred to as an air scent dog, or area search dog, meaning
the the dog works mostly on scent which is carried on currents of air.
An experienced dog learns to ignore the scent given off by his own handler,
as well as other searchers he knows are nearby. These dogs may also be
scent discriminating. If the dog comes across the scent, he will start
to move in the direction the scent seems to be stronger (usually that
is the direction of the scent source). The dog will usually be attracted
to articles of clothing or other gear which has been handled by a person,
then dropped or discarded.
What to do if family or friends are lost.
Contact law enforcement immediately.
Treasure Valley Search Dogs - 208-850-4124 -