Search and Rescue Dog Training

How Search and Rescue Dogs Are Trained

A guide-trainer trains a SAR dog for 2 hours minimum 3-4 times a week. The dog finds a human at deeper depths with time. The experience of the trainers has also an influence on this. The guide, who knows the area, directs the dog to the place, where the human may be. Qualified dog can sense the smell of the person and his or her things under 2 m of snow covering. The chances to find a person alive without the dog slump to their lowest level. The dog needs about 12 min. to scan the area of 100 square meters and 20 rescuers make a search across this territory about 4 hours. The dog finds a person at a distance of several hundred meters from the rescuer.

SAR Dog Training

Search and Rescue Dogs Are Our Indispensible Helpers

SAR dog should not only find, but also show the rescuer the object. That is why new elements are filled in dog training: the dog should be able to identify unspecific object for the certain area and to find its owner by this object. The dog gives a voice when finds a person.

There are special obstacle tracks in the territories of SAR dog training units. Dogs are trained to overcome various "destructions" at obstacle courses. They are taught to climb on high height and to come down to dark and twisted mazes. Thus dogs are prepared physically and mentally to search for people in any conditions. Dogs are trained to search for people alive on real (f.e. building) sites. Every time a new place is chosen to train dog's scent. Every time dogs search for new people to avoid a reflex of familiar scents formation.

Search and Rescue Dog Training

Scent Training of SAR Cocker Spaniel

Search and rescue dog training is regular to make the canine be ready for real work. SAR dog should be trained to search for people after technological disasters, under the rubble. This is the most difficult part of work. The dog should be trained to move easily on various surfaces, such as crushed stones, roofing tile, iron, debris, ice and even glass. Dogs are rather quickly trained to run on glass and not to hurt their paws. Only winter is an exception, when glass is frozen in the ground and pricks up. Rescuers put on dogs' paws special socks of kevlar (this material is used for bullet-proof vests producing) to avoid injuries.

Dogs are taught to be without responding to off-flavors, such as spoiled food, during search and rescue work under remains.

Search and rescue canines can work also as therapy dogs.

SAR Dog Training UK

SAR German Shepherd Training on Site

SAR dog training is based mainly on hide-and-seek game. The dog barks having found the person to break the cover and to play with it using a toy.

Search and rescue dog training is a very responsible work, which is impossible without a great many of helpers, which are unfamiliar for the dog. These people are the most important participants of SAR dog training. It depends of them, how the dog will work in real life. Helpers ("injured people") play with the dog, feed it and then hide. The dog searches for the person by his or her scent. The tasks during dog training are complicated gradually and the dog doesn’t see the person, which it should find beforehand at one point. The oftener people are changed, the better result is.

Real conditions of work for SAR dogs are dangerous and difficult. Rescuers often encourage dogs. Search and rescue may last for a long time and dogs work almost without a break. The dog is a fighter, which fights for life in spite of sharp debris and slippery angled surfaces during this work. The dog should keep calm and its movements should be guarded and firm at the same time as incaution may lead to traumatizing.

Useful equipment for SAR dog training, click on the pictures!

SAR Dog Harness Search and Rescue Dog Equipment UK Equipment for Search and Rescue Dogs

Read also about search and rescue dogs.