The search dogs history goes back to the 1800s. People used the St. Bernhard Dogs in the Alps, to search for people who have gone lost, or been buried under the snow. The dog prooved during the First World War to be an excellent finder of wounded in battle. Based on these episodes man began to develop the training of dogs for people. The main task for the search dog is to find and check lost or injured people.





The dogs early learned to take something from the damaged (or dead) found humans. This was not always easy, so it had to be changed to pick up something nearbye the victim instead, a stick, a stone or whatever, to show their handlers where to find  the area. Eventually this also was a difficult character, and the thought of hanging something at the dog, it's own thing that could be used as a marker developed. It was the beginning of the roll marketing dog. Today you can choose to train your dog as roll or shall marker.

Air scenting search dog units

When someone is reported lost or overdue, volunteer search and rescue (SAR) dog teams are available to respond, day or night, to help in the search effort. SAR dogs can find :

Children lost in the wilderness, parks or hidden in shrubbery around houses old people who have wandered away from homes and hospitals Hikers and hunters lost in the woods Victims of drowning accidents Victims of avalanche, earthquake, flood, explosion, fire, train wrecks, plane crashes, tornadoes and other disasters

Evidence of crime and the bodies of homicide victims Volunteer SAR dog units search under the direction of law enforcement and emergency services agencies, at no cost to the agency. Units will not respond to requests by private individuals, and will not respond to known criminal searches that may present a threat to dog or handler.

 How do sar dogs work?

All humans, alive or dead, constantly emit microscopic particles bearing human scent. Millions of these are airborne and are carried by the wind for considerable distances. The air scenting SAR dog is trained to locate the scent of any human in a specific search area. The dog is not restricted to the missing person's track and can search long after the track is obliterated. Many air scenting search dogs are also trained in trailing/scent discrimination.

Upon arrival at the search site, dog handlers work directly for their unit's operations leader, who reports to the search boss or incident commander of the local agency. Many units provide their own base camp operation, with trained radio operators, SAR dog advisors, and other support personnel.

After initial hasty searches of trails and paths, each dog/handler team is usually assigned a segment of the search area to cover systematically. Handlers work their dogs downwind of the section assigned to them or cover the area in a way that provides dogs with the best scenting coverage. Handlers map the area they have covered and report their POD (probability of detection) to the plans section or operations leader upon completing their assignments.

Search dogs can work in areas where other searchers have been, and they can work with other search resources, such as mantrackers. Using scent articles, they can discriminate for the missing person in heavily populated areas. They can work day or night, in most kinds of weather, and are especially effective where human sight is most limited -- in the dark, in dense woods or heavy brush, in debris (as found in earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes) and under water.

What are the requirements for sar dogs and their handlers?

SAR dog handlers must enjoy working with dogs and being in the outdoors in all kinds of weather. They must be physically fit and able to respond to emergencies. They must become proficient in land navigation, map and compass, radio communications, wilderness survival, and first aid. (Most units require a minimum of Advanced First Aid with CPR.)

Requirements for the SAR dog include trainability, agility, endurance, and the ability to get along with other dogs and people. A search dog is a valued member of his handler's family, and he regards people as his friends. SAR dogs are usually the larger working and sporting breeds of dogs. German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, and Labradors are among the breeds found on SAR unit rosters.

Most handlers prefer to begin training a young puppy. However, an older dog may be suitable if the dog has already developed a good working relationship with his owner. Dogs trained for police service, protection, security, Schutzhund, and the like, can be used in SAR work, as long as they are trained not to bite except on command, and are nonaggressive during searches and when finding a person. There is no place in lost person search for an overly aggressive dog.

It normally takes a year of training -- at least twice a week -- before a dog/handler team is mission-ready. All units evaluate a candidate team's search proficiency before fielding them on actual missions.