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)
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.
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.
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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