Family-Disaster-Dog-Lessons

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Area Search Basics : Lesson 24


Air Scenting
Area Search and Detection Dogs


Area search, air scenting and detection dogs all have the same job. The dog smells the air for any trace of the scent they are seeking instead of following the scent foot steps or trail like a tracking or trailing dog.

When a dog is doing an area search for human scent and they are not given a scent article or individual scent to follow they will find every and any human scent in the area.

Air scenting detection dogs work by elimination of the discovery of scent in that area. Most air scenting dogs are trained to find one scent and a few are crossed trained in two or more scents.

Air scenting dogs who find people are detecting any live human scent in the area and not any one individual scent while a cadaver dog finds a person’s body after the person has passed away.

Drug dogs, bomb dogs and bug detection dogs are dogs that are trained to find that specific scent or odor. All these dogs are air scenting or scanning the area with their nose to find the scent they specialize in.

Avalanche dogs are trained to work in snow and harsh conditions. A good avalanche dog is cross trained to find both live and expired human scent. The training is basically the same, only the scent and location changes.

Airport dogs are trained to deal with the noise and activity in an airport while seeking the scent they specialize in while a rural tracking dog trains in a country setting and an urban dog trains in the city.

The family dog does not need to find bombs or drugs and in the event of a disaster, your dog will most likely be working at your house. Therefore, family disaster dog training will be done using live person scent and most lessons can be done at your house or location.

If you wish to cross train your dog to find live and cadaver scent, each on a separate command then you will follow the area search lesson to train both. First train for one scent and after that specialty is mastered, train for the next scent.

Do not train for 2 scents at once or your dog will become confused.


I highly recommend reading the pervious lessons for the best understanding of search dog fundamentals and to learn how to read your dog before you attempt to train a dog as a detection dog or area search dog.

Reading your dog’s indications and clues during a search are vital to finding a person quickly and safely.

When your dog is doing an area search and air scenting, your dog is usually working off a leash and may be a distance away from you in order to cover more ground in less amount of time.

Let’s face it, we humans cannot keep up with our four legged friend off a leash when they are hot on a trail or scent.

A dog can cover more ground and area in minutes then we can in days.

100 men doing a line search equal 1 Bloodhound or area search dog working the same amount of area.

Air scenting and tracking are a whole science of themselves that can be a very interesting study for those who want to learn more.

Certified Search Dog Akiela and her son, Chaos 2005
Bulls Shoals Lake Arkansas


The lessons here at Family Disaster Dogs are tailored for the family dog and owner so they can save themselves in the event that rescuers cannot reach them.

In other words, these online lessons are prepared with the novice in mind. The lessons would be much more technical if I were teaching you to be a call out ready SAR team.

Those of you who would like to learn more can use the contact page to receive more information.

The lessons here are for pets and owners to know how to save themselves and loved ones.

The lessons are simple without being set in stone for perfection because I trust your dog will love to help you in an emergency.

These lessons are effective if used like any other emergency exercise or drill and preparation.

These lessons are similar to learning what to do in an earthquake, fire or tornado but you will be practicing the exercise with your dog by your side.

All you do is incorporate these dog training lessons into the emergency plan you have for home, car and work.


Coming up: Step by Step How to train your dog to air scent.








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