Find a Person with Your Dog
In the event of a lost and missing loved one or friend your family dog can be your best resource for a swift recovery.
Why? Because your dog is closer to the location then official search dogs who have to be called in which takes anywhere from 1 hour to 3 days.
Do you want to wait this long to start looking?
I don’t think you should either.
Your dog is fast and has a very good nose. Regardless of their age or breed all dogs have very good scenting ability and they know where we are when we don’t even consider they do.
A dog keeps track of the pack in ways we haven’t even thought of. They know where everybody in the pack is at so why not ask them to find a missing pack member?
I see no reason why not to try this during this type of incident.
While you wait for officials ask your dog where the person is then follow your dog.
1 dog on a search equals 100 police doing a line search over an open space so which do you think has better odds?
If you’ve followed any of the search dog lessons on this site then if a loved one is missing you will know what to do.
Give your dog the scent article and follow your dog...That is all there is to it.
Do not try to out guess or think for your dog, do not think at all about where or what the person may of done.
Your thinking interferes with the dog’s work because you do not have a nose or the 7th sense to know where pack members are like a dog, you will never know how this dog is doing this incredible feat so let them do what they know by only following them without giving them any direction at all.
Thinking for the dog is the biggest mistake search dog handlers make and this is why the dog will come up empty handed and this is the only reason.
When the dog is following the handler’s directions instead of their own nose they end up off course because the handler has no idea where the person is and does not trust the dog to do as they are asked.
Trust your dog and follow your dog to the missing person.
Here is an example of lost person incident where your dog can help you.
Let’s say you’re at a playground with a young child who wanders away. You can’t find the child anywhere and remember your dog can.
You either call home for somebody to bring your dog or you go home as you call police and get your dog.
Maybe your dog is as close as the car in the parking lot.
LKL: The very last place you saw the child standing or the exact location or object they touched is the most important aspect of a successful rescue.
Guard and Save the LKL and Scent: You can use a tissue paper or paper towel to wipe the scent of your lost person from the equipment or bench when you are waiting for your dog.
If you have to wait for your dog, guard the last known location or the spot of scent with your life. Do not let anybody or thing contaminate the last thing your child touched on the playground.
If you have to go get your dog, ask somebody at the playground to keep other people and animals away from the place the child had been sitting or playing.
As soon as your dog arrives at the scene, the playground, take your dog to the last piece of equipment or bench your child was playing or sitting on.
Give your dog a smell of a scent article (the paper tissue) from the person or point to the bench the person was sitting on.
Let your dog smell the bench, equipment or the tissue paper that has only your scent and your lost child’s scent on it.
Once your dog has had time to smell the scent then ask them to find the person and follow your dog.
Many dogs do not look like they are doing much in the way of trailing; they kind of wander around a bit.
Trust your dog.
There is no rush because if you had not tried you would be waiting, doing nothing for others to come to the rescue.
The time following your dog is well spent even if your dog looks like they are not working. As long as they are moving forward they are on the move doing what you asked the best they can.
Every dog works its own way and if you allow them to do so, all you do is follow them around as they work the scents which are drifting all over on the air currents.
You would be wandering around aimlessly too if you were following scents drifting all over mixed in with millions of other scents.
Let your dog do this incredible feat and find that child before officials arrive, you can be safe and sound back at home with your dog and child.
I believe with the cutbacks nationwide in our community service branches, including law enforcement, fire and rescue that this is a very important lesson for you and your dog to learn.
We may not be able to count on the police if they are all laid off.
We will have to depend on our own resources as more and more cutbacks occur.
You can be ready with your dog by your side to take care of yourself.
With practice, you can become self reliant instead of overwhelmed until officials arrive.
To learn more about searching with dogs, mantrailing and Bloodhounds you can visit one of my mentors, Bloodhound Expert and Mantrailing training method founder, Scent Sleeve inventor, Bill Tolhurst, website Home of the Big T
Be sure and scroll down the page for a list of his books.
Bill Tolhurst "Each Step Begins a New Trail"