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An Introduction to Canine SAR Teams. Developed as part of the National Emergency Services Curriculum Project. Three Categories. Tracking Trailing Air-scenting. Tracking Dogs. Trained to follow a specific scent An article is held under the dog’s nose until he gets the scent

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an introduction to canine sar teams

An Introduction to Canine SAR Teams

Developed as part of the National Emergency Services Curriculum Project

three categories
Three Categories
  • Tracking
  • Trailing
  • Air-scenting
tracking dogs
Tracking Dogs
  • Trained to follow a specific scent
    • An article is held under the dog’s nose until he gets the scent
      • Don’t contaminate the article
    • Can be confused
      • Additional scents masking the target scent
      • Broken track
    • Use early to avoid searching after the scent has faded or other searchers have been in the area
trailing dogs
Trailing Dogs
  • Similar to tracking dogs, but picks up scent in air in addition to the original track
  • Follows the trail of dead skin cells left when a person brushes up against objects or simply fall off the body naturally
air scenting dogs
Air-scenting Dogs
  • These dogs are deployed downwind of the search area and are trained to detect human scents traveling on the wind
  • Can work in a tracking or trailing mode
  • Usually the preferred canine resource
air scenting dogs typically specialized
Wilderness

Collapsed Structure

Underwater

Cadaver

Drug

Weapons Searches

Evidence

Air-Scenting DogsTypically Specialized
why do search managers use canine sar teams
Why do search managers use Canine SAR Teams?
  • Greater Probability of Detection (POD)
    • 50 to 80% POD on first search
  • Less manpower intensive
  • Often readily available through local law enforcement early in the search
five rules for working with dog teams
Five rules for working with Dog Teams
  • Coordinate your team’s actions with the dog handler
  • Clear the upwind search area of any personnel and stay downwind of the dog and handler at all times
  • Keep a good distance behind the dog and handler and allow them to work unimpeded
five rules for working with dog teams12
Five rules for working with Dog Teams
  • When in doubt, follow handler’s instructions
  • Unless specifically requested keep all resources away from dog teams in the field
    • Vehicle exhaust deadens the scent and sense of smell of the dog
    • Not all SAR dogs can be considered friendly or pets
    • Don’t feed them - handlers often have special diets for their dogs, and you could harm them
pros cons
Cover large area quickly with a high POD

Not manpower intensive

Requires little support

Limited availability of K-9s in some areas

Not always the best resource late in a search

Pros & Cons
canine sar tasks
Canine SAR Tasks
  • Ground Team Members
    • O-0401: Work with Canine Search Teams
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