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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Family Disaster Dogs

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami was generated in Japan that spread as far as the Oregon Coast. This event set off our emergency warning system and tsunami sirens that woke the whole town up with evacuate calls to each house at three in the morning.

While I sat on the sofa, prepared and waiting to evacuate with my retired Search and Rescue Bloodhound, Daisy, the idea of Family Disaster Dogs came to me.

I look at her and thought the average family dog could help its own family during emergencies just like search dogs do.

I realized the importance of a family dog already on site and how much valuable time this could save.
And, how easy it could be for the average family to teach their dog to rescue them and find family members in the comfort of home whenever they had time.

The more I thought about the idea the more dog training lessons came to mind and I began to write the Family Disaster Dog Book and this site that night with Daisy by my side until the end of the first draft like she would have been to the end of a trail. Miss Daisy passed away as the book’s draft came to the end in Sept of 2013.

Bloodhounds taught me that one of our biggest fears and chores during a disaster is losing or finding a loved one. Twelve years spent training them and other dog breeds in search dogs skills taught me that every dog has the ability to find its own family members or friends.

Dogs do these skills on their own every day without us noticing. Teaching your family pet to come to your aid during an emergency is not as difficult as one might think.

Our dogs are usually following us around very willing to offer a helpful paw whenever we need one. All we have to do is learn how to ask the dog for help in unusual or disaster situations.

These lessons take into consideration that family dogs come in all sizes, shapes, ages and personalities like the families they live with. Each lesson is tailored to fit into a family situation and the home is the class room.

For this reason, this book is not the ordinary step by step manual of how to train your dog to be on a leash doing exactly what you say.

Search dogs have to think on their own like family dogs do while interacting in human activities which makes a family dog the ideal student for search dog purposes.

Search dog handlers have to learn to work with a dog’s natural ability and most of the training involves learning how to read the dog’s actions, along with how to have the dog show us what they find.

House dogs do this every day by showing us when they want to play with a favorite ball or go outside for a walk. Most dogs are not obedience or police dog candidates; they are pets whose owner has taken the time to show them what to do.

House dogs are preforming search dog skills all the time without us recognizing or knowing they are. When the family dog follows children around the yard or comes to find you at dinner time they are doing what search dogs do.

Your dog is finding, searching, locating and signaling you.

Oregon Bloodhound Rescue

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
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Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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