After you have reached the point in training where your dog is able to find a person (helper) or trail layer as outlined in lessons 3 and up then you are ready to advance in training by planning courses as outlined in the pervious lessons and aging the course in the next lesson.
If you can play hide and seek with your dog then it is time to plan a course, either inside or outside and let the course age without interference and then work your dog to learn how your dog acts in the event of a person being missing for hours or in a scene of a lot of contamination after a building collapse.
At this point of training your dog has been finding a helper who has walked away and hid from you and your dog. You can give your dog the person’s scent and your dog goes looking for them on or off a leash with you following your dog to the person for a happy time.
You are working on learning to read and teach indicating and alerts. You have learned how to read your dog to the point of understanding there is much more to read and learn from your dog.
You know your dog is always right.
Willie is right!
You are working with your dog once to three times a week on how to find a lost person and adding new skills as you go along. You are thinking ahead to when your dog will be doing more skills. You look forward to learning and working with your dog on these skills.
Now you are ready to advance and will do so by making the person harder to find using planning the courses, aging the course as you learn other skills, such as teaching your dog to return to you after making a find or bringing you the first aid kit in case you are trapped. These lessons or skills will be added into your sessions when you work on these courses now that you are ready to advance.
Some of you have been working with your family dogs off leash and others have been working with their dogs on a leash. This is what makes family dogs multi purpose and you can take a look at the standards for search dogs that I am posting next to see which classification or type of search dog your training your family dog to be.
The main difference between a Tracking Dog in comparison to an Area Search or Air Scenting Dog is that the tracking dog works on a leash and the air scenting area search dog works off a leash.
If you are working with your dog off leash then you will set up courses indoors or outdoors the same as you do for working a tracking dog. The only difference is you turn one dog loose and not the other dog loose. One dog you have to stay with on the leash while the other dog you can follow further away.
The size of the area can be a room or fenced yard; you can use boxes, furniture and anything as course to make a puzzle for your dog to work out. Children can hide under blankets in another room while your dog goes out to potty and when your dog comes in you can ask your dog to find your children, make it fun and you just did a lesson in search dog skills.
Get creative building and planning your course but never make it so difficult you yourself are not safe traveling it.
Now that your dog have the general idea, you can run and hide from your dog any time the opportunity presents itself.
Make it fun!
Remember most disasters and missing person events happen at home or nearby which makes your family dog the best resource for helping you and your home and neighborhood the best training grounds.
Roadside parks make good training areas
if you make sure your
dog can not reach the highway