Monday, May 15, 2017

My Puppy Can Find Me

Coming soon and it's exciting !

My children's book 'My Puppy Can Find Me" using photos of my former Bloodhounds for the pictures in the books. I can't wait to see the dogs as cartoons, Bloodhounds can be such clouds.

Here's a sneak preview from the back of the book....

Dedicated to Carlos Parker OEM retired

My Puppy Can Find Me
"Does your child know what to do if they are lost? Do you know what to do if they are missing?

My Puppy Can Find Me picture book is your child’s first step on an exciting learning experience that will teach them what to do if they are lost or find themselves alone.

By reading this book with your children, the whole family will learn what to do if they are ever separated or missing and how the family dog can be of assistant during emergencies. Your children will learn valuable lessons by doing these fun exercises that reinforce and teach the pet dog and family to work together during crisis situations."

The book is shaped around three important lessons children who live with family dogs can learn, along with the dog and a parent that show them how to find each other and what the child should do if they ever find themselves lost or alone.

I have taught many children about search dogs. I spent 6 years with my daughter in 4-H, we took the search dogs to 4-H meetings, events and participated in parades. We also went to a couple of schools for demonstrations where I would ask which child wanted to take off a sock they were wearing and hide from a Bloodhound ? You should of seen the hands go up ! It was fun. They would hide and the Bloodhounds would find them. The children learned valuable lessons about what to do if they were ever lost or alone. This book is from those Bloodhound days of slobbers and shy dogs who are most brave.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A New Pet Owner's Guide to Disaster Preparation For Your Dogs

A New Pet Owner's Guide to Disaster Preparation For Your Dogs

Bringing a new dog home requires reevaluating your current disaster plan. From house fires to widespread catastrophic events, you need to prepare for having to leave your home quickly to protect you and your pet’s safety. As your adorable new pup settles in, use these tips to prepare to keep them safe in any type of disaster.

Put Up an Emergency Alert Sticker
Window stickers are available that you can use to alert emergency response authorities to the presence of a pet in the house. These stickers provide enough space to list the number and types of animals that you have in your home along with a phone number for their veterinarian. In the case of an evacuation, make sure to write that you have all evacuated across the sticker so that no one tries to search your home for survivors.

Designate a Safe Shelter
Depending upon the emergency event, you may need to find somewhere separate for your pet to stay. As a general rule, conditions that force you to evacuate also mean that your pet is no longer safe in the home either. Designate a nearby friend or kennel as a safe shelter that you can use to lodge your dog if where you are going is not pet-friendly or safe.

Double Up on Identification
Scared dogs sometimes get loose during an emergency. For this reason, you will want to make absolutely sure that they can be easily identified. Microchipping is always the most effective type of identification since it cannot be removed. However, well-meaning people in your neighborhood can also use traditional dog tags to let you know that they have found your pet. Doubling up will ensure that you get your dog back as quickly as possible after it is found.

Pack an Emergency Kit
If you must flee your home, having an emergency kit located with your dog will allow you to quickly grab a leash and other pet care necessities. Fill your bag with the following items, and consider packing a smaller bag that you can stash in the car.
• A week’s worth of dog food
• A week’s worth of bottled water for each person and your dog
• Disposable bags for waste cleanup
• Paper towels
• An extra leash, collar and dog tags
• Feeding dish and water bowl
Grooming supplies
• Medications as needed
• Traveling crate
• Phone number for veterinarian and emergency hospital in different city
• Cage liners
• Toys, blankets and other comfort items

Plan for Sheltering in Place
Being ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice will give you confidence that you can keep your pet safe. However, you will also need to be ready to shelter in place during a severe storm. Choose a room that offers the most safety for you and your dog to wait out an emergency, and stock it with the same emergency supplies that you placed in your go bag. At the first sign of an emergency, place your leash on your dog, and lead them to their safe room for shelter.

Disaster preparation is an unfortunate necessity in life, but you will feel better knowing that you are ready for anything when it comes to keeping your new dog safe. By taking the time to prepare today, you can give your dog the best chances for surviving an emergency so that they can enjoy a healthier future.

This is a guest post from Hey Rover Be Right Over Mobile Grooming -Thanks Kyle !

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pick a Healthy Puppy-Family Disaster Dog Lesson 1

It's spring time and that means its puppy time !

I thought this was a good time of the year to start a series of dog training posts that outline how to train a Family Disaster Dog from puppy-hood to adult. 

Here is the first of the series of weekly lessons.

Join the mailing list or follow us on social media via the links on the right to get the next lesson delivered to your email or phone. 

8 week old wolf puppies, photo by Amber Higgins

Healthy Puppies
Know the Difference
by Amber Higgins

Healthy puppies are a sight to behold, they run, tumble, growl, and grunt, chase tails and chew on ears. Healthy puppies climb the puppy pile; they snuggle down deep together and wake up quick to come running over your feet heading out the door to the next adventure.

When puppies are present, one of the most important precautions we can take to assure that they are healthy is to observe the puppies in their own environment.  If a puppy will be joining your family, this will help  to make sure that the puppy  is healthy enough to come into your home and grow up in a new environment.

Ask the litter owner or breeder if you can look at the puppies asleep, if at all possible and spend 5 to 10 minutes watching the litter of pups while they are sleeping.

Do not disturb the puppies right away, instead you should do a visual assessment by looking them over from a short distance away.

This can be very helpful when determining the state of health of puppies from newborn and up to adulthood.

Healthy puppies will be laying around comfortable, breathing even, little paws kicking in dreams. They will have shinning coats with pink pads if real young, and pink tongues. In sleep, the healthy puppy will pacify the nursing instinct by making suckling motions like nursing on nothing but sometimes on brother’s foot or sister’s ear.

During the visual assessment, look at the puppy’s  bed and make sure it is clean and bug free, and that the puppies have access to a clean potty area. Take a deep breath and does the air near the puppies smell clean or have a bad odor and make sure the water bowl is clean and easy to reach.

Wrinkledpups Bloodhound by A. Higgins

Puppies that need attention or medical care have a tendency to lay alone while sleeping or with others who do not feel good either. They get tired easier. They will appear to just be laying there moving very little, mouthing and kicking less until woke up and they will take longer to wake up and run compared to a robust pup. The poor puppy’s fur will look course, drier, dirty, or oily looking and there will be an sick odor when puppies are not well.

There will not be an odor to notice with healthy puppies. Although, it may seem like pup potty smells until cleaned up remember a sick pup poop smells horrible, awful and the odor does not go away with the poop cleaned up and there is a difference if we are observant.  Every illness has an odor of its own and if a puppy does not smell good then it will not be feeling well soon.

I was taught by veterinarians to do this type of visual assessment with every animal encountered and now do it simply from habit after so many years. It can save valuable time when we are living with animals and the animal is needs help.

After watching the pups snooze and checking them out, wake the puppies up without food being available or given and watch them play, run and do their thing.

The differences of healthy and unhealthy puppies can be seen when puppies are wormy and sometimes sick by other diseases  and how they react by being slower to wake up, then  hungry, searching for food with big pot bellies or without bellies, depending upon the cause of the illness. The sick pups will start crying immediately or whimpering when woke up while satisfied puppies who are non- wormy and in excellent shape will go potty, get a drink of water and grab the other puppy by the ear on the way to greet you or after they see you,  if you are not offering them food.

 Healthy puppies are soon hungry, in five or ten minutes, they will be crying for food if without a mother dog or all over the mother dog if they are with her. Healthy puppies are happy to play around waiting for their food while not so healthy puppies cry for attention because they are not happy.

By watching them, you can get a fairly good idea if they are as healthy as they should be and which puppy is in excellent shape and which is in poor shape.

The next step in determining if they are healthy is to do an individual puppy assessment by examining one in the litter. Any pup will do from the group or the one you favor the most,  if you are picking one out to join your family then it is a good idea to do this with that pup too, before you take it home.

Heading to new home-photo by A.Higgins

Do Not touch any puppies that are not yours and show signs of illness if you have any dogs at home.

The sickness can very easily be carried either on your clothing, shoes or hands back to your home.

This is so easily done that walking from a wormy puppy area takes worms via your shoe sole to the next place you walk and parvo and distemper are in the air and in the odor of sickness that can be smelt, these living viruses can ride on you to the next dog.

Pick up the puppy of your choice but never pick them up by the scruff this can dislocate the shoulder blades and cause damage to the shoulders. Always support the puppy’s body with your hands.

Smell the puppy. Healthy puppies smell good; clean like fresh air early in the mornings.

Some people say they have a sweet smell. Sick or wormy puppies do not smell good, they smell bad and each illness has its own odor but all smell bad. Smell the inside of the pups ears and see if they look clean. Smell the face of the pup when you snuggle up to it and if it has bad breath that is a bad sign.

The puppy should not have a big fat belly, even after eating the stomach should be as wide as the puppy is overall.

The fur is soft to the touch on healthy puppies. The skin is flexible, you can pick the skin up between your fingertips and when released the skin will pop back into place and the skin moves easily when you rub the puppy showing signs of a well hydrated pup.

Sick puppy’s skin will dry out and lose its flexibility, if pulled up and released it will stand up or go slowly back in place because of less body fluids and the slower it goes back to place the more dehydrated the puppy is.

I hope this article helps you pick the best puppy for your family !

If you have any dog advice or training questions feel free to ask via email.

6 wk old Liver Bloodhound pup- 1999 by A. Higgins

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The goal of this Blog is to Provide Free Search Dog Training to Families and Their Dogs

The goal of this Blog is to Provide Free 
Search Dog Training to Families and Their Dogs 

Which will enable each family to respond 
and do something while waiting for help to arrive
during neighborhood emergency and disaster incidents, 
extreme weather, war and terrorist attacks. 

Good Luck and Be Safe !

The dogs say Be Ready ! 

Go to the Lesson Page button above to find lessons.

Read the "Dog Bug-Out Bag" Lesson  ! 
in sidebar >>>>>>

Share this blog and follow or like it so others can be ready too !

Visit here for more info and pictures of my dogs

Thank You !

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Training Dogs and Weather

Bloodhound- Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham photo by A. Higgins

Weather plays an important role in training dogs, so let's talk a little bit about training your dog in the foul weather conditions. 

When working a search dog one has to work in all weather conditions and all possible situations in order to expose the dog to different environments and scenarios so that the dog and handler is familiar with each event or condition they may encounter in a real incident. This also teaches the dog and handler how to problem solve and work those situations better. 

This is also true with time of day and day of the week. 

People get lost in all types of weather, any time or day and many times the weather is why they are missing, such in floods or tornadoes. Disasters are often weather related so it makes sense to train with your dog in all types of weather plus most dogs do not mind the weather like we do but some do.

I have met many dogs that prefer to stay indoors in bad weather. I had a bloodhound named Yeti who even as a young pup refused to step into the rain. I would open the back door to let her in and she would be against the door standing four feet planted on the door frame. I could never figure out how she did that with four feet and fit in the door when she was grown up she would fall into the house from leaning on the door ! But pull out a harness and leash then out the door she would go to track anything down, rain, snow or hail. 

What matters is how fun we make training or work for the dog because they will go along for the fun of it, especially if they find it interesting.

All weather conditions affect the search scene and how the search will be handled by the dog and handler because of environmental changes that happen to the scent particles  when exposed to different variables. These variables can be temperature, moisture, humidity,wind, terrain  just to name a few. There is a whole science behind scent and weather.  

Keep in mind, you and your dog constantly learn from each incident or training because each incident is different in one way or another, no two are the same.  With scent dogs, no location is the same tomorrow as it was today because scents constantly change and move which is why it is important to work in all weather. 


Click here to Go to the Dog Bug-out Bags List (survival dog saddlebags)

Bloodhound - George
with me,
I owned his parents and grandparents, he went to live in Texas with another of my hounds when I moved west.

See the New Family Disaster Dogs site with a cool running dog background, a new blog with more lessons and updates.  

Sign up there for the newsletter to get new free lessons and updates.

 Visit the new store where you can get t-shirts, coffee cups, bags and gifts to show the world your dog is a Family Disaster Dog ! 

Custom orders with your dogs picture available, email me at

Family Disaster Dogs Store Click Here

Get a signed copy of The family Disaster Dog Book from the author- $10.00 includes shipping and a gift for your dog. Click here and ask for your copy via email ....

Missing Persons