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Monday, December 31, 2018

Assessing the Scene for Scent Dog Training

Assessing the Scene

Before you set up a training course, first check the location and make a note of each person or thing (cars running, spilled chemical, garbage) that might contaminated the area.

In an actual response this is called doing an assessment of the scene and should be done visually as you approach the location. Findings should be noted on paper for later planning.

Doing a visual assessment helps you to know your dangers before placing your dog and self in a bad situation. Make a mental note of any dangers you might encounter such as a busy roadway or a train track your dog might lead you across.

After checking the area to determine it is safe and noting the contaminants then check the wind direction and weather conditions (more on these factors in another lesson). In training novice dogs always start the dog into the wind so the scent is blowing towards the dog to give the dog the best chance in picking up the scent.

Pay attention to the location and use what may be available for hiding spots and turns, such as buildings, picnic tables in a park or a large tree across the cleared field.

Be safe and prepare!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Training Your Family Dog to Look for a Lost Person

Teach a dog to look for lost or missing persons

Family Disaster Dogs Daisy and Willie

This dog training lesson is easy to do at home and teaches a dog to use an article belonging to the missing or lost person to find that person. 

In dog work this is considered and often called scent discrimination because the dog learns to smell the "scent article" and look only for that scent or person. 

It is very Important to not contaminate the article with your own and other scents. 

Read More (click) and go to the free lesson page for many posts about scent and how-to teach working dogs tracking or pets to help its family locate missing family after a disaster. 

To get Started

Training your family dog to look for a Lost Person

You will need:

  1. Your dog
  2. 1 person who will hide from the dog
  3. 1 sock, or hat or glove the "scent article" from the person who will hide

You can do this lesson indoors or outside with or without a leash, depending on the dog.

Start with a person your dog knows and hold your dog by its collar as the person slowly runs and waves at the dog to a hiding place that is easy to find and with only one turn away right now.

As soon as the person is out of sight,,, 

Hold the scent article, the person's sock, to your dog's nose, say "Smell" and then turn your dog loose and say "Find so and so" use the person’s name, follow your dog to the person.

Your dog, no matter what age will attempt to find them.

If the dog has a hard time at first it is okay for the person who is hiding to call the dog or encourage the dog to find them so the dog gets the idea. Later the person will not speak or move but hide.

You will learn as we get further in training to read your dog's clues, in the meantime, learn to watch your dog's moves and body language for indications and reactions that lead to the trail or person.

If the dog does not go fairly quickly to the person then encourage the dog to go with you and show the dog with excitement how fun it is to find the person. 

When they find the person, praise, praise, praise by you and the person shower this dog with attention and they will be so happy to do this again, you'll hardly be able to hold him. 

Here is Bo taking scent from the scent article in a plastic bag before we start on a wooded trail looking for a person who is hiding. Bloodhounds often put their whole nose in the scent bag.

A leash is not needed at first with your pet dog if you train in a fenced yard or with a dog who is use to free roaming.

Check out the Family Disaster Dog book for all the lessons in paperback and kindle!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Family Disaster Dogs-Your Dog Can Rescue You!

What is a Family Disaster Dog?  

It is Your Dog trained to Find and Rescue You! 

The Family Disaster Dog Book shows you how easy a pet dog of any age, size or breed can be your very own Search and Rescue Dog!

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

This site and book shows you how Any size dog from the little Chihuahua to the Great Dane can help its owner survive..and they find you every day already when they want to play or eat so why not learn what else they can do to help you ! 

Photo by A. Higgins

One of our biggest fears and chores during a disaster is losing or finding a loved one and every dog has the ability to find its family members or friends. We, as dog owners, only need to learn how to use the natural ability of the dog to the full advantage during emergencies. 

These fun and easy lessons are tailored for the family to learn rescue skills in the comfort of the home during daily activities by former Search Dog Instructor Amber Higgins who spent over a decade breeding and training AKC Bloodhounds for nationwide Search and Rescue FEMA volunteer work along with German Shepherd Dogs. 

These fun dog games are for the whole family to learn how-to:

Ask any dog to find family members and friends who are lost or missing !

Learn how your dog can be a messenger dog !

How any size dog can carry extra supplies if you have to evacuate.

Learn how to pack and use a Dog Bug-out Bag with 3 days of survival supplies for you and your dog.

Teach your dog to alert you to danger and warning sirens with these easy at home lessons.

If you are trapped in an earthquake,your dog can find you, dig you out or bring you first aid until rescuers arrive !

Send your dog for help or to your partner or child on command, it's easy to do with these lessons. 

Teach your dog to bring you items by name and much more !

Teach the whole family how to use the family dog as their own search and rescue dog in tornado, floods, earthquakes and to find lost loved ones !

Don't have a dog then this book is a great gift for a friend or neighbor who has a dog and they can come to your rescue too !

Use this book and the site or ask for help from me to Form a neighborhood Family Disaster Dog group at church or clubs to help neighbors until emergency response arrives !

Coming soon "My Puppy Can Find Me" children's picture books by Amber Higgins for young children to learn what to do if they are every lost. With illustrations from UK Cartoonist Helen "Scotty" King ! Click and see how she can make your dog as a cartoon for gift ideas!

Books to teach your own dog to rescue you by Amber Higgins

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Click to get a Free Preview and buy in Paperback or Kindle

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Reasons It's Possibly Not The Worst Idea To Get Your Kids A Dog

Dogs are a real blessing to a family and bring so much joy and happiness, so it’s no wonder that most children will at some point bring up the question of when they’re getting a dog. As much as dogs are cute, loyal and lots of fun, they’re also a huge responsibility, and this is obviously something that children don’t understand, so it’s important that this is something you don’t allow yourself to be pressured into if a dog is not something your lifestyle or circumstances are suited to.

For example, if you’re someone who has to travel a lot for work, or just who likes to travel a lot in general, then even if you’re someone who completely loves animals and has the space for a dog, it’s simply not going to be a suitable lifestyle because pets - dogs especially require a good routine and stability, plus it’s also not fair to them if you’re constantly gone or they have to go and stay with your friends and family since they need to feel secure that they have a home.

In this post, we’re going to share with you some tips on what to do when your kids are pressuring you to get a dog, and some reasons why you may want to consider hearing them out.

A dog can teach responsibility:

One of the most common reactions among parents who are faced with the “can we get a dog?” question is that they’ll be left to take care of it and walk it, which is often the case. However, this doesn’t have to be the case for you, and can actually be a prime opportunity for you to teach your children about responsibility, which will serve them very well later in life.

Of course it’s not going to be as simple as just telling them that they will have to care for the dog or at least play a big role in helping, but how you approach the issue with your children before getting a dog will be up to you and how you know your children to be.

For example, telling them about the consequences of what might happen should they not keep their end of the deal and that the dog may have to go away and could end up with a not so good owner or even in a shelter are good ways to teach them their actions are important and they have consequences. It’s not something you’re lying about either, since this is actually one of the heartbreaking things that happen when families get dogs without being ready or properly prepared to look after them.

A dog can boost their immunity:

Many parents are afraid of bringing a dog into the house because they fear that their children will pick up germs and get sick. However, the opposite is actually true, and exposure to dogs can actually boost their immunity. Of course, it’s always crucial to practice good hygiene and use common sense when dealing with dogs, such as washing hands, etc. But keeping your kids totally shielded from any germs or bacteria can actually cause them to get more things like colds and flu since their immune system won’t have built up natural resistance to it.

A dog can help with loneliness:

Dogs are well-known to be some of the best companions around. They may not speak, but it’s somehow as if they just know the right things to do to make us feel better. This can be especially great for kids who deal with loneliness, or even an only child. Dogs are often brought in as companions to places like retirement homes for this very reason, so if your child seems to be isolated or you worry about them spending too much alone, then a dog could be just the thing to bring them out of their shell.

A dog can help your child get exercise:

Between the multiple daily walks, playing fetch in the garden and simply chasing each other around the living room, your dog will certainly keep your child active, which is never a bad thing for children - especially these days where they all seem more interested in starting at an iPad for hours on end instead of experiencing real life.


A dog will protect your child:
Dogs are notoriously protective of their owners and families, so if you want to feel like your child is that little bit more safe, especially when walking somewhere on their own, then a dog could be a perfect way to create some security since they will do anything to protect your child and especially if it’s a larger dog such as a German Shepherd, then they can also be quite intimidating, so people are less likely to try and come near a child with a dog like that.

A dog can help ward off depression and anxiety:

Many studies have shown that dogs and cats can rapidly and drastically boost the mood of someone who’s feeling low or who is suffering from depression or anxiety. They are very intuitive animals and just always seem to know what’s wrong and what to do, so if you worry about your child in any of these ways, then a dog could be the ideal companion to help them feel better.

A dog can teach children about love and selflessness:

If dogs are known to be anything it’s that they’re completely selfless and show unconditional love in all situations, so if these are things you want your child to learn about and exhibit as they grow up, then a dog through its actions will teach them this better than any book or talks ever will.

A dog can teach children about loyalty:

Another thing that dogs are notorious for is their complete loyalty to their owners, and loyalty is something that’s a very important trait for your children to learn as they grow up, so if you want to show them how important this is and how to display it, then getting a dog could actually be an ideal way to teach them this very useful life skill.

A dog can build confidence:

Since dogs teach children a great deal of responsibility and so many other important life skills, then it’s only natural that they will boost their confidence as they see their actions with the dog having an impact. From things like teaching the dog how to sit and fetch and stopping a puppy pulling everything in sight apart and other aspects of being in charge of training them and looking after them and seeing how rewarding that is, their confidence will soar, which is a great thing for a child because there are so many things out there ready to knock their confidence, so the earlier it’s instilled in them, the more it’s likely to stick and hopefully grow as they get older.

A dog can help improve social skills and speech:

Although a dog won’t talk back- at least not in a way a human talks, your child will spend a lot of time communicating with and learning from your dog, so they’ll be working on improving their speech, their vocabulary and overall social skills, such as empathy, listening for clues from the dog, and things like patience and being able to discipline the dog without violence - all of which are great social and life skills to have that will serve a bigger purpose as your child becomes an adult.

As you can see, there are definitely a lot of ways that having a dog will benefit your child, but that doesn’t mean you should feel pressured into it if you know that your lifestyle simply won’t accommodate. You have to do what’s best for your family and for the dog, so don’t be tempted just to bring one into the house because you love animals and your child wants one.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas !!!

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season 


Visit my dog book author page to learn more 

Peace on Earth 

Give a Dog Owners Gift that Saves Lives

Give a Gift that Saves Lives 

Easy to send online or through the mail ! 

The Family Disaster Dog book

The perfect gift for dog owners and families.

These books show you how any pet dog can help in disasters and emergencies!
This is a revised edition just released with over 50 more pages and available in paperback too!
Dogs do these skills every day without us noticing. Teaching your family dog to come to your aid during an emergency is not as difficult as one might think.
This book shows you how Any size dog from the little Chihuahua to the Great Dane can help its owner survive..and they find you every day already when they want to play or eat so why not learn what else they can do to help you ! 

click for the Kindle Edition only $4.99 
click for the Paperback Edition $14.99 147 pages
Free Previews are on the book pages

Evacuate with Your Dog's Help book

click for Kindle Edition  Free on Kindle Unlimited or $4.49 

click for Paperback Edition  $7.99 
47 pages teach you how your dog can help the family during evacuation
This book explains how-to evacuate with pets and 
how-to make a bug-out (survival) bag for owners and dogs. 
A detailed expanded list of survival items for pets and owners is included with step-by step instructions to teach your dog to carry a saddlebag to hold items to evacuate and "bug-out" with. 

Plus Pet CPR instructions 
What to do if your dog is lost 
How to calm a frightened pet 
How to make a shelter with 3 items 
Expanded List of Survival items to pack 
What Shelters recommend for pets 
Evacuation Law for pets 
Learn how Every dog any age or size can help its family evacuate. 
Be prepared for disasters with your pets. 
Learn what to expect at disaster shelters and from pet rescue during disasters.
Print books ship in 1-2 days and gift wrapping is available!
Free Shipping for the holidays !

See all the books there

UK Visitors click to go to UK Book Page for all the books 

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Coming Next Year from Waldorf Publishing

My Puppy Can Find Me 

Children's picture book with Illustrator and UK Dog Cartoonist 

Helen "Scotty" King

Happy Holidays Everyone !!

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

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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What is a Family Disaster Dog? It's Your Dog Trained to Rescue You!

  What is a family disaster dog? It is a dog trained to find and rescue you! The Family Disaster Dog Book  shows you how easy a pet dog of a...

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