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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Scent Articles for Dog to Find Missing Family Members

Prepare to find loved ones with your dog ahead of time 

by gathering scent articles.

Blue Boy Homer
by A.Higgins

One of the easiest ways to find a lost person is to give a dog the person's scent and watch him find the scent. 

The dog is only looking for the smell and not for the actual person. 

The dog dose not necessarily associate the scent with the person unless the person is somebody they know with that scent. 

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 them who we seek and no two people smell alike. Everybody smells different and we smell different at various times during the day or if we are sick.

To teach your dog to search for a lost or missing family member or friend you have to prepare first by gathering a "scent article".  Click to Read more about Scent and how a dog follows its nose.

It is wise to gather one sock from each person you love or do not want to lose before you start training your family pet and to store these as instructed below for later use in training sessions or if a loved one is lost.

Also you can collect a item from each family pet as well, a old collar or brush would do. Store this item as outlined below use it as a scent article for a dog to find the missing pet

  For now and for training;

       Place one dirty sock from each family member in a one freezer bag each sock. Do Not Mix or touch the sock to anything, only the bag, use a hanger or stick to pick it up.


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 a plastic freezer bag ( zip lock natural non chemical bag is best).

You will learn more about scent article collection at a scene in other articles.

This is the most important part of using a search dog. 

Do Not Contaminate that sock.

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

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

This is called the "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.

Amber and Bo getting ready to train to find a Lost Person.

Bo was 5 months old at the time of this picture in 2001. 
He later went to volunteer in California and then Georgia with his half sister Sambo. 

Side note: 
As a parent I use to remind my teenagers if they stayed out to late or ran away from home, the dogs could find and ya know,,,it worked too,,, wink to other parents, mine are all grown now.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Preventing & Dealing With Dog Bites : The Ultimate Guide

Not all dogs bite, but some do, and as a dog owner you must know what to do in case the worse does happen.

Of course, it's not a subject that enough dog owners or those without first aid treating know much about, and that is why we have put together this guide, so read on for more information.

Picture source

Preventing dog bites

Of course, when it comes to dog bites, then prevention is always better than cure. What this means is that the proper training and care of your dog needs to be started from an early age.

In fact, sending them to obedience school, so they learn to obey your commands over their instinct can stop a situation where a bite would have occurred. Something that can save you, your pooch, and the person that gets bitten a lot of pain and heartache.

Besides, it's always best to be wary around a dog that you're not familiar with, especially if you suspect that they may not have been treated well. After all, us humans get tired and annoyed when we are hungry and uncomfortable, and the same goes for our canine friends.

When they occur

Next, when a bite happens your priority will be first to remove the dog's jaws from the victim. Obviously, this can be very difficult especially if the dog is of a breed were the jaw lock like a Pitbull.

However, there is some detailed advice online that can help you do this. Although, steer clear of the ones that tell you to stick the dog in the face as these are unlikely to work as it will just make the dog even angrier and hold on all the more.

Once you have removed the dog jaws from the victim, you also need to be mindful of your own safety and manage the dog's, so they don't attack you, anyone else, or the victim again.

Care of the person

Once the immediate threat is over, it's vital to give the victim first aid. In particular, blood loss from a dog bite can be a concern, so keep the wound elevated. Also, infection is a real issue when it comes to dog bite so clean the wound if you are able and apply an antiseptic cream before taking the victim to a hospital where they can get rabies and tetanus shots.

It's also likely that the victim will want to claim you if it was your dog that bit them, and therefore it's essential to provide them with your contact details, as well as recording exactly what happened for future reference. Then when their dog bite lawyer contacts you, you will have all the details to hand. Something that can make the entire process a lot easier.

Care of the dog

Once the person has been treated, you will also need to deal with your dog. Avoid punishing them physically for the bit as this may only result in them doing the same thing but even more unexpectedly the next time.

Instead, review material such as these that describe how to rehabilitate your dog and minimize the chances that they will bite again.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

5 Tips on Dog Nutrition

Dogs give us humans a lot back in terms of love, affection, support, warmth and happiness… of course, with the correct training they can even save our lives, but in a day to day context, the love and emotional support of a dog is second to none.

For this reason, it’s important we keep our dogs in the best shape possible and in addition to ensuring plenty of exercise, we must focus on their nutrition as canine nutrition is just as important and impacting as human nutrition.

Whilst the topic of dog nutrition sounds simple enough, it’s easy to forget the impact food has on our pets and some dog owners are so busy they might be better off keeping fish, as you can simply visit Pet Gear Lab, buy an aquarium filter, throw a few flakes of fish food into the water and that’s as arduous as it gets.

Dog’s require a lot of attention, exercise, love, company, and solid nutrition. In this vein, let’s take a look at five tips on dog nutrition.


Whilst you might view chocolate as a treat there are a number of foods that are poisonous to dogs – including chocolate, avocado, and the sweetener xylitol. It’s important you familiarize yourself with these, if you often give your dog human food.


There’s a lot of marketing hype around dog food, indeed dog food manufacturers spend as much on advertising as human food manufacturers. You need to look past the label, with its myriad of positive claims and head for the label on the back.

A lot of dog food is heavily processed and full of ‘fillers’. You therefore want to check the label, just like you would with human food, to confirm the main ingredient is a high protein meat and not all filler or junk.


We all love our dogs so much that we often overfeed them, as a treat. There are only a few ways we can express our love; the predominant channels being walks, cuddles, and food. The latter, can lead to an overweight dog, particularly if you’re guilty of dishing out dog treats in order to emotionally compensate having to leave your dog for a period of time.

If you have an overweight dog in need of a doggy diet, one of the best and most simple tips is to feed earlier in the day and increase exercise… just like you would with a human.


Humans spend billions on vitamins and supplements; yet animals can benefit from these too. A chronic condition that plagues most dogs, as they get older, are conditions like arthritis – by supplementing with preventative remedies such as omega oils or natural anti-inflammatories like aloe vera can really help.


Dogs need to drink little and often, particularly in summer, as dehydration can cause serious health problems… even death.

Just like humans, the higher the temperature and amount of exercise – the more your dog needs to drink. Having access to a plentiful supply of clean drinking water is critically important, as dogs can survive for a long time without food, but a very short time without water.

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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