Rescue Dogs

The dogs must be focused on the task at hand – to find the scent no matter where it leads or how much it is intermingled with other odors. The Bloodhound is celebrated for his prowess as a search dog and has been used in the southern US by police forces to track criminals for decades. Newfoundlands are well-known avalanche rescue dogs. Other favorite breeds for general search and rescue work are German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Golden Retrievers, but any medium-to large breed or mix can serve just as well if they enjoy tracking and can concentrate on following the scent. Kentucky Search Dog Association, part of the state emergency services department, has Weimaraners, Smooth Collies, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks among its teams along with GSDs and retrievers. Southwestern Ohio Search and Rescue has a Giant Schnauzer, an Australian Shepherd, and a couple of mixed breeds, and a group in Virginia has several Border Collies and Australian Shepherds along with more common breeds used in search work. In the end the breed isn't critical but rather the attitude is. Whatever the breed, search dogs must be evaluated before they can join a group. Dogs with a strong play drive are preferred; dogs that like games of fetch and will work for rewards. In training, dogs are rewarded with play and treats when they locate an acting victim; in an actual search, the victim often cannot respond when found, so handlers must be quick to provide the praise, often in a low-key manner after removing the dog from the vicinity of the find.

Dogs are trained to follow the scent in different terrain and weather conditions and to identify cadaver scent in bodies of water. Their skills are constantly being sharpened through regular training sessions and by handlers with daily training at home.

Search Rescue Dogs Puppy's Life Stages Puppy's body language All about search and rescue dogs Training Process Tracking Dogs Trailing Dogs that search by scent Disaster strikes Search Rescue Rescue Dogs Handlers A dog's best ally Retrieving Tracking Training Search Bark Alert The Basics Search rescue SAR dog SAR jobs SAR Dogs Water Rescue Dogs Water Rescue Wilderness Search Dogs Rescue Missions Search Strategies Avalanche Rescue Avalanche Rescue Missions Canine training Techniques Environmental Technical Analysis Aptitude tests Signaling a dog Dog Training Practice "victims" dog rescue training tips Signaling phase Search buried person Dog Stimulus Chained search Blocking technique Techniques Feasible Localization Technique Support Chained search no body Basic behavior Emergency notice Recognizing catastrophe Security Rescue Different Structural Intervention plan Search-Rescue Operations Rope Knots Ascending rappel equipment techniques Rescue guides Rescue Maps Injured Victims Search and Rescue Medical Emergencies SAR dog accidents SAR dog injured SAR dog broken bones SAR Dog Shock Bloated SAR Dog Hazardous poisoning Heimlich maneuver Diarrhea Dog fainting dog drowning Dog frostbite Heat stroke Dog asphyxiation Electric shock Artificial respiration Poisons Dog insect stings Poisoning Bleeding Bone Fractures