Search & Rescue
My Search Dog can find people!
Search and Rescue dogs are modern day heroes. They have bragging rights that no other K9 can come close to, because they can do something that very few dogs can do—save human lives. Any dog can chase a ball, and any dog can bite. Any dog can be trained in agility and obedience. But can your dog find someone buried in the snow? Buried under rubble? Track a child for miles through town and into the wilderness?
Best Kinds of Dogs to do Search & Rescue
Best Kinds of People to do Search & Rescue
Consider Your Dog, Consider Your Goals, and Consider Your Situation
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people. Dedicated handlers and well-trained dogs are required for the use of dogs to be effective in search efforts. Search and rescue dogs are typically worked, by a small team on foot, but can be worked from horseback.
Search and rescue dogs detect human scent. Although the exact processes are still researched, it may include skin rafts (scent-carrying skin cells that drop off living humans at a rate of about 40,000 cells per minute), evaporated perspiration, respiratory gases, or decomposition gases released by bacterial action on human skin or tissues.
From their training and experience, search and rescue dogs can be classified broadly as either air scenting dogs or trailing (and tracking) dogs. They also can be classified according to whether they scent discriminate, and under what conditions they can work. Scent discriminating dogs have proven their ability to alert only on the scent of an individual person, after being given a sample of that person’s scent. Non-scent discriminating dogs alert on or follow any scent of a given type, such as any human scent or any cadaver scent. SAR dogs can be trained specifically for rubble searches, for water searches, and for avalanche searches.
All dogs are capable of tracking and trailing; larger, sport, hound, working and herding breeds tend to be used more often simply for their adaptability in various terrain.