Thursday, October 26, 2017

Techniques Used In K9 Search And Rescue Training

By Donna Schmidt

When it comes to training dogs, it can often be a difficult process. As such, the earlier one starts training a puppy basic commands the better. When it comes to K9 search and rescue training, lessons need start as early as possible. Although, it should be noted that a dog can not be certified in search and rescue operations until having reached adulthood.

Even when it comes to family pets, dogs can often be life savers. For, if a dog owner and dog attends a SAR training program, the dog can learn how to locate family members and to alert when imminent dangers are present. For breeds that can learn to sniff, the dog could also be useful in locating a family member should one go missing.

While there are many courses in this area, some are better than others. In most cases, the course leader has a great deal of experience with a number of different animals. Although, most often the individual has worked with dogs on a regular basis whether as an owner, pet-sitter or trainer.

For those working with first responders, these life saving K9s often work in a variety of different areas. For example, there are many who work to locate individuals in trouble in fires, floods, mountainous terrain and man-made attacks. In many cases, the animal can locate anyone trapped in these circumstances which often results in many lives being saved.

In addition, in some cases pets training in SAR do not need an owner or handler to accompany them. Whereas, for those going through training to become involved in search and rescue missions and work with first responders, the owner or handler is also required to go through such training. For, there are often times when a handler, owner or trainer might need to follow the dog into a waterway, climb a mountain or search through areas of a natural disaster.

Search and rescue missions work to locate and provide aid to people on an immediate basis. In addition, these animals are often taught how to alert individuals when imminent dangers are present. The missions can occur on land, in water, over rugged terrain, and in suburban and urban areas. As such, the dog and handler must be able to work in a number of different landscapes, waterways and often mountainous terrain.

As a dog has a strong sense of smell, there are three types of scenting dogs working in search and rescue operations. These are, ground disturbance, air-scenting and ground disturbance. While some dogs are trained in all areas, there are also some whom are only trained in one specific area as related to scent. For example, while a dog may be trained to sniff out bombs or drugs, others may only be trained in scenting for a specific smell based on clothing or other items.

Whether a pet, or trained professional, these dogs often use scents to locate as instructed. In some cases, this could be bombs, drugs, individuals or areas impacted by a natural disaster. While pets can take SAR classes as young as 12 weeks old, dogs must have reached adulthood before any certification or license can be granted.

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