Family-Disaster-Dog-Lessons

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Finding a Lost Dog

Tips and Tricks for Finding a Lost Dog

Realizing your dog is missing is a horrible feeling. Finding your dog can be one of the most difficult things to do because dogs can cover a lot of ground in a very short time. 

Dogs are friendly and will get into a car with strangers or follow a stranger home if they can not find you. The fact that your dog will return to the spot they last saw you in greatly overlooked when a dog is lost. Here are tips for finding your lost dog.


Irish Water Spaniel Kelly


An old Hunting Dog Trick

Hunters who use dogs know to leave their jacket where they turned the dogs loose if the dogs have not returned from the hunt by the time the hunters leave the field. The hunter will return the next day to find the dogs sleeping on the jackets.

When you first realize the dog is missing place a piece of your clothing at the last place you saw the dog. If the dog escaped from the yard or house then place the dog’s bed or blanket where they can find it.  Place the bed outside of the yard or house with a bowl of food.

If the dog got loose when you were walking it in a public place then leave an article of yours at the spot you lost the dog and then begin the search. Chances are when you check back at the Last Known Location of the dog the dog will be there wondering where you are.

An old Dog Breeder Trick

If the dog has ran off from your home or yard put some of your dog’s food or snacks in the dog’s bowl. This works best with dry food so if your dog eats wet food but likes dry dog treats use treats instead.

The idea is to shake the food in the bowl so that the dog thinks you are feeding. The dog can hear the food hit the bottom of the bowl from a very long way away. Keep this in mind as you make the food hit the bowl sound like feeding time.

You can use your hand to drop the food piece by piece into the bowl as a tease to prompt the dog to come to you. Rocks and a tin can will work too if a bowl and food are not nearby.  This works great for horses that are hard to catch too.

Let’s Go Trick


If the dog has just now ran off or became lost try honking the horn on your car. Animals often come to noises to investigate what is going on. If your dog knows the sound of the horn they will come to the car. Starting the car can work the same way. 

Dogs learn how the cars in the family each sound like and they know when you are leaving you start the car. If the dog is lost in a strange place and arrived in the car when they hear the car start they will not want to be left behind and will return to the car. This works at home for dogs who like to go for rides in the family car. 

I hope these tips and tricks help if your dog is ever missing.








Sorry if we missed you at the Dec 12th book signing. The weather and flu prevailed. I look forward to meeting you at the soon to be rescheduled event as well as the upcoming book tour starting in February. Check back soon for updates or sign up for updates on the right sidebar.

If you would like to set up a book signing or dog training event feel free to use to contact box at right.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Book Signing

Holiday Author Meet and Greet !

Book Signing !

Dec 12th 2015   Saturday  11am to 1 pm


Learn how your dog can Rescue You! 


Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters
1240 Bay Street (at the bridge)
Florence, OR 97439

(541) 997-3443


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gathering Scent Articles 4 Your Dog 2 Find You !

Gathering Scent Articles 

Items to use to find your family members with a dog


It's best to fully understand how a dog uses its nose.

The author asking a Bloodhound pup to "smell" the bag
with the Scent Article of who to look for (more below)

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 the dog who we want to find. This makes the job easier for the dog because no two people smell alike.

To teach your dog to search for a lost or missing family member or friend, you have to prepare first by gathering the "scent article". This is easy to do but care must be taken.

It is wise to keep these scent articles stored as directed below in case an actual search ever occurs.

Gathering Scent Articles
It's best to gather one dirty sock from each person you can think of who you might ever have to look for before you start training your family pet.

Each sock should be handled and stored as outlined below for later emergency use. In case you ever have to call officials in with search dogs tell them you have a scent article which will save valuable time.

For now and for training; you should...

Place one dirty sock from each family member in a freezer bag after reading below.


Warning: IMPORTANT


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 into a new plastic freezer bag.


( new brown paper put in a zip lock natural non chemical bag is best )


You will learn more about scent article use during lessons.


The most important part of using a search dog is;


Do Not Contaminate that sock.


Do not touch it.



Do Not Put 2 socks from different people together, each sock gets its own bags.


Store socks in the freezer until a few minutes before use.


This is the so-called "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.


When gathering "Scent Articles" of missing people during an incident, you will follow the same rule of Do Not Contaminate the article or location.A scent article can be any item or object the missing person is known to of touched recently, such as a piece of clothing, bath items, pillow case, smoking items include butts of cigars or cigarette, hankie, tissue paper, a cup or glass or steering wheel in the car and the seat or bed the person was last in.


Preservation and Collection of the item is critical to avoid another person's scent from getting on the item and contaminating it. the dog will disregard its handlers scent but it is still wise for the handler to take special care when handling the scent article.


Always try to pick up and deposit the scent article into a clean bag by using a stick laying nearby or coat hanger from the subjects home to keep the item clean of other scents.


Ask the family who touched what and do not use any item others have touched if possible. If the missing person and others have touched everything then ask the people to stand by when you start the dog to look for the missing person.


For instance, if a person is missing from a parked car where other people had been in the car with them, ask these people to stand by and take your dog to the car where the lost person sat and ask your dog to smell the seat then find the person.


Your dog will use a missing member search technique of eliminating the people who are on the scent article (the car) and go to the people who are standing by then set off looking for the missing person. But if the people are not there for your dog to eliminate them then your dog will look for all the people in the car.


This is why it is important to find out before you start your dog who touched what that the missing person touched and where was the person last standing,laying or sitting.


Who was with them and how long have they been missing are also critical to a successful search because of possible contamination of the scent article.


A contaminated scent article will lead you on a wild goose chase, take care.


Only you, your dog and the person who is missing should come in contact with the item or location used as the scent article or starting point.



Family Disaster Dogs author and Bloodhound pup Bo



Amber and Bloodhound pup Bo getting ready to train how to Trail a Lost Person.

Bo was 5 months old at the time of this picture in 2001.

He later went to volunteer with sheriff depts in California and then Georgia with his half sister Samathia (Sam)

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Missing Persons