Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lesson 3 Searching


Lesson 3


To get Started

Training your family dog to look for a Lost Person

Start with a person your dog knows and hold your dog by its collar as the person slowly runs and waves at the dog to a hiding place that is easy to find and with only one turn away right now.

As soon as the person is out of sight,,, 

Hold the scent article, the person's sock, to your dog's nose, say "Smell" and then turn your dog loose and say "Find so and so" use the person’s name, follow your dog to the person.

Your dog, no matter what age will attempt to find them.

If the dog has a hard time at first it is okay for the person who is hiding to call the dog or encourage the dog to find them so the dog gets the idea. Later the person will not speak or move but hide.

You will learn as we get further in training to read your dog's clues, in the meantime, learn to watch your dog's moves and body language for indications and reactions that lead to the trail or person.

If the dog does not go fairly quickly to the person then encourage the dog to go with you and show the dog with excitement how fun it is to find the person. 

When they find the person, praise, praise, praise by you and the person shower this dog with attention and they will be so happy to do this again, you'll hardly be able to hold him. 

Here is Bo taking scent from the scent article in a plastic bag before we start on a wooded trail looking for a person who is hiding. Bloodhounds often put their whole nose in the scent bag.

A leash is not needed at first with your pet dog if you train in a fenced yard or with a dog who is use to free roaming.

Use the list at the Left to go to the next Lesson or previous Lesson.


A dog harness like this one from Amazon works well for tracking with your dog.


Planet Dog Cozy Hemp Adjustable Harness Apple Green Medium

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lesson 2; To Leash or Not

To Leash or Not to Leash 

This lesson covers why some dogs use a leash when looking for lost people and other dogs do not. This will help you decide which way works best for you and your dog.

How to use the long tracking leash when Trailing and Tracking with your dog is taught during each lesson and outlined on Lesson 1, Tracking Overview.

 As you can see by the pictures of Sambo working in a harness, we are using a very long leash or lead.  A long tracking lead like the one pictured is most often used to allow the dog extra room to work an area over without the handler interfering.

Mantrailing Training

Most Bloodhounds are worked on a leash while other breeds are often worked off leash due to other breeds paying attention to a handler more then a Bloodhound does.

No pun intended, a Bloodhound on a trail is working from natural ability and instincts without any direction from a handler while other breeds are working a trail from the training they have received and the commands from a handler. The Bloodhound is trailing and the other dog is tracking, there is a large difference in the two ways the dogs use their noses.

The leash below is the type a Bloodhound Handler uses..A Retractable leash is not recommended.


Another reason a long leash is used with a Bloodhound is that the Bloodhound is known as a silent tracker/trailer because the dogs generally do not bark or bay while running a trail like Beagles and Coonhounds do.

Some Bloodhounds do get excited at the beginning and end of a trail and some will work very quickly but others are more caution and careful not  to miss any smells. They work slowly and surely.

Bloodhounds are different in many ways from other breeds which is why there are few Bloodhounds working in comparison to other breeds. Bloodhounds do not train well or respond to directions from handlers well while using their noses and this makes them difficult for some people.

Consequently, we have to use a leash when we ask a Bloodhound to find a person in order to stay with the dog and know when the dog finds the person, otherwise a loose Bloodhound might find the person and happily lay down with them to cuddle instead of coming back to let the handler know they did the job.

Other breeds are taught to find a person off leash and return to the handler or bark to indicate the found person so the handler can find them. These dogs rely on the owner or handler to work with them in finding the person. Obedience training and off leash hand signals or direction can be given to the dog by the handler so the two work as a team in searching for evidence or a missing person.

Your family dog can learn to work with a leash like a Bloodhound and also off a leash like an area scent dog or an off-lead tracking dog. You will will learn the difference between tracking, air scenting and trailing in upcoming lessons. The method you decide to use will depend upon your dog. Not the breed of your dog but how well your family pet does what you say off a leash.



Many family dogs never use a leash and pay attention very well to their owners. These dogs will respond to training faster then the house dog who is use to be kept on a leash and walked or a dog without any training. Do not worry either with or without a leash works for a family disaster dog because this type of training does not require obedience.

If your dog has no other training then you can train your pet like a Bloodhound, on a leash.

If you want your dog to understand commands then read through the other lessons on this blog to teach your pet manners and how to behave in different situations while responding to sit, come, stay, down, heel.

You can also take an obedience class offered in your community while you continue to work on the disaster dog lessons.

While attending other classes, Please be sure and spread the word about Family Disaster Dog Site so others can learn how to use their dogs during emergencies too.

Email us for Free F.D.D. Posters/Handouts to give out or post in your community. 




Any age of dog can be trained using a leash or not.

The older dog may take more teaching then a puppy. Do not get discouraged if your dog does not learn right away. This is supposed to be fun and the family dog, like all Search Dogs, are in training for a life time not for a short time.

Unlike other dog training classes this  type of training does not require a time agenda or daily practice. Family Disaster dog training can be done any time you have spare time because all you do is go out and play with your dog whenever you want, wherever you want.

You have the rest of your dog's life to train and play for a disaster which we hope you never have to use. Keep this type of training fun for you and your dog.

How to use a long leash and work a search dog on a lead will be covered on the Leash Work lesson.

How to train your dog to work off leash will be covered on the Off Leash Lesson Post.





Off leash and On leash dogs in training should own a Leather Leash like this 6 ft long leash pictured.


Click on Links on the Left to go to Another Lesson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lesson 1; Tracking Overview

Lesson 1 - Tracking/Trailing Overview

Search and Rescue Dogs are trained to search for people three different ways; air scenting, tracking or trailing. We are going to begin with basic trailing, the easiest way  to learn with your family dog.

When a dog is using a "Scent Article" to search for a missing person or item then the handler must give the scent to the dog or let the dog have a smell of it. There is more about scent articles on the next lesson.

Here are photos showing the steps of giving scent to a five month old Bloodhound puppy named Sambo.

First I put him in his tracking harness and leash, notice how good he sits there...(lessons about equipment on another page)



Then I ask him to take a smell of the inside of the bag that is holding the scent article.

I hold the bag with the article under his nose and saying "Smell" He investigates, of course.



I then say " go Find" and off we go! I follow him.


Notice the long leash is thrown out behind the handler so the handler( me) does not get caught in the leash. This is very  Important ! Otherwise you and your dog can be injured.

The handler only holds the leash lightly and held high so the dog can be allowed to work without any pulling or directions or tension from the handler.

As the dog moves forward the handler lets the leash slip through the right hand and uses the left hand to move the leash forward or throw the leash behind and pull the leash in... if the dog comes backwards.

When the handler goes to the dog, the handler will throw the leash behind her with the left hand which pulls the leash through her right hand to avoid getting tangled in the long tracking lead.

Once a handler gets the idea then the dog is reeled in or out almost like fishing.

It helps to hook the long leash onto a child or person and have them pretend to be a dog while you learn to work the leash. This type of leash work can be tricky at first with a dog so it is best for you to get the hang of how to handle the leash before your dog learns how.

Click  Page BUTTONS  at the Bottom of Page or ON THE RIGHT for the Next Lesson

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Aid Supplies


In any emergency a family member or you yourself may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. If you have these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination. (Info From Ready.Gov )

Things You Should Have:

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer (Read more: Biological Threat)
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

Things That May Be Good To Have In Your Kit:

  • Cell phone with charger
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-Prescription Drugs:

    Medique 40061 First Aid Kit, 61-Piece
  • Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Laxative

Housebreaking Tips

Housebreaking Tips
Always keep teamwork in mind instead of punishment when a new dog is brought home.
One thing that makes sense when you are housebreaking a puppy is to take them outside and stay with them to watch for when the business is done so you are there to show them that they have done the right thing in the right spot.
How does the dog know otherwise unless we show them the place we desire them to do this business at?
 How do they know it pleases us if we do not show them?
If you show the puppy how happy you are by petting and praising them, they will love to do that again for you. They will go to that spot and sit waiting for you to be happy.


And, if they puddle inside, unless you catch him in the act there is little you can do because he will only remember that you got mad, and rubbed his nose in something he didn't want his nose in.
The puppy does not think about what it did when you are mad at it but only of your fearful actions and how to react to the fear.
How do you want the puppy to remember you, his beloved owner, as a happy owner, or mad person?

Sure the dog knows they made you mad at that spot inside if you rub their nose there. They do not want to pee there again and will be aware of that spot. Now, they have to find someplace else to do that business.
You'll find puddles all over the house as you continue putting the puppy outside then shutting the door in its face, only to let the pup come in and do it again because you never showed them where they should go do this business to make you happy. You just kick them out which teaches nothing.
Teaching your puppy or older dog where to go to the bathroom only takes a few very happy moments of praise for the dog to desire to please you again which makes going with the pup and petting them a much quicker way to housebreak a dog.
All you do to housebreak and teach a new dog or puppy to go potty outside is give them the opportunity to go outside at the right moment and praise.

Here are the steps I use.
 First, look at your own household schedule and determine how you will get the puppy outside first thing in the morning and as soon as you or another family member arrives home.
The most important thing to remember is that a dog has to go to the bathroom when they first wake up after a long nap and when you get home which wakes them up or allows them the opportunity not to hold on any longer. They have to go if they have been waiting for you all day while you are at work.
You, the owner, must get into the habit of letting the dog outside on your way to the coffee pot in the morning and as soon as you walk in the door. Otherwise, you are not doing your part of allowing the dog the opportunity to relieve itself.
When you let your puppy outside to go potty the first few times go with the puppy and when the puppy potty’s then praise like this is the best thing in the world for you and them. After a few times of this the puppy will start running to the door to get outside for some love after they go potty.
Now it is up to you, the owner, to see when the puppy goes to the door and shows you it’s time to go outside, if you miss this opportunity then the dog is not to blame.  Do not get mad at the dog, just put them outside and clean up the mess because otherwise they will not understand why you are mad. They do not remember or think about what they have done like people do.
Dogs think about the moment and if you make that time enjoyable then you will have a well mannered dog for life.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Encourage a Dog


Learn to love and watch a dog accomplish what they set out to do. Capture the moment that resides in all of us. The moment of accomplishment of though, focus, action and movement in perfect harmony.
This is what brings into creation the art of being able to put in motion
a thought in real life with the joy of the moment.


Dog love to please us, they have proven time and time again throughout history that they will do for us anything we ask or need with tail wagging joy and total commitment.
They learn early on to come to us and ask us to take them for a walk, to feed them and to love them. They know how to get our attention and we've all heard about how well our dogs train us.
A well trained dog is actually a partnership built on trust and love with its handler.
Dogs that are trained to fear being wrong are not working with their handler as a teammate, as a partner. They are reacting from fear of punishment and have learned that the handler will scare them if they do that behavior again.

They have not learned to think of the performance but of the punishment. Even the slightest punishment puts the dog's attention on what you are doing "to" him and not what he is doing at the moment.
We want your dogs to be thinking of what they can do for you instead of what you might do to them.
Training dogs with food rewards can bring on a similar response where the dog is only working for the food and not with you as a team member. Food therefore, is only recommended as a way to motivate the dog to begin to pay attention and then the food should be replaced with praise that leads to teamwork.
Willie ready for Tsunami Drill




All Natural Dog Treats - Liver - 16 oz Resealable Bag

Dean & Tyler Dog Leather Leash "Love to Walk" - High Quality Leather From Europe - Brown - 6ft Long - 3/4" Wide - Solid Brass Snap Hook - Love to Walk Is One of Our Most Durable Leashes, the Handle and Brass Clasp Are Reinforced with Hand Braiding and Brass Rivets. Like All Dean & Tyler Leashes, Love to Walk's Edges Are Brushed with Wax to Prevent Fraying - Great for Everyday Use. (Contact Us If You Would Like It in Black or Smaller Size)

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