You do not need any special equipment to begin training your family dog to assist your family and friends in a disaster or emergency situation.
Any dog, any age will help you look for lost family members or friends once you know how to ask the dog to help you.
Dog's are called Man's Best Friend because they are always willing to be there for us, ready to lend a paw whenever needed. With a little bit of education this natural instinct to please will come in handy during an emergency situation.
Equipment makes training easier but during an actual emergency equipment can be lost or not available due to location, rubble or flood waters. In that case, all you are left with is your dog which is why our dogs are the most important piece of disaster preparedness equipment we can invest in.
Throughout human existence the family dog has aided in our survival without any equipment but love.
All you need is;
1. The family Dog (any age will do)
2. One sock from each family member
3.Lots of encouragement praise, love
4. Dog treats for the less inclined dog
Extra Equipment which is useful as training progresses includes;
1. 20 ft long leash in a width that fits your dog's size.
2. A Harness for your dog for Tracking
3. Flat Collar with ID tag
4. A treat and equipment waist bag for you, a carpenter's nail bag works great!
Prepare to train your dog ahead of time by gathering scent articles.
One of the easiest ways to find a lost person is to give a dog the person's scent and watch him find the scent.
The dog is only looking for the smell and not for the actual person.
The dog dose not necessarily associate the scent with the person unless the person is somebody they know with that scent.
To a dog, a scent is a scent.
Therefore, the fastest and surest way to teach or ask a dog to find a person is to use the person's scent to show them who we seek and no two people smell alike. Everybody smells different and we smell different at various times during the day or if we are sick.
To teach your dog to search for a lost or missing family member or friend you have to prepare first by gathering a "scent article" .
It is wise to gather one sock from each person you love or do not want to lose before you start training your family pet and to store these as instructed below for later use in training sessions or if a loved one is lost. Also you can collect a item from each family pet as well, a old collar or brush would do. Store this item as outlined below use it as a scent article for a dog to find the missing pet
For now and for training;
Place one dirty sock from each family member in a one freezer bag each sock. Do Not Mix or touch the sock to anything, only the bag, use a hanger or stick to pick it up.
DO NOT touch the sock yourself, have the person drop the sock from their foot to a new brown paper bag (lunch bag size) or a plastic freezer bag ( zip lock natural non chemical bag is best).
You will learn more about scent article collection at a scene in other articles.
This is the most important part of using a search dog. Do Not Contaminate that sock.
Reminder, Do Not Put 2 socks from different people together, each sock gets its own bag.
Store sock in the freezer until a few minutes before use.
This is called the "Scent Article"
The “scent article” tells your dog who they are looking for.
Handle with Care.
Keep one for each family member for use if a disaster ever strikes.
Amber and Bo getting ready to train to find a Lost Person.
Bo was 5 months old at the time of this picture in 2001.
He later went to volunteer in California and then Georgia with his half sister Sambo.
As a parent I use to remind my teenagers if they stayed out to late or ran away from home, the dogs could find them...smile and ya know,,,it worked too,,, wink to other parents, mine are all grown now.
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