Train Your Dog to Rescue You Learn to be Prepared with Your Pets Learn K9SAR Mantrailing Trailing Tracking HRD Area Search nose work obedience for sport or work Train a Dog to Find People Get Information on dog training classes, seminars and workshops in Mountain Home Arkansas Books and Lessons by author and instructor Amber Higgins. See the Books Family Disaster Dogs, Evacuate with a Dogs Help, My Puppy Can Find Me, Start Mantrailing for Work, Sport and Fun
Sign-up for our email Newsletter
google site verification
Mobile Devices Note:
Find More Lessons and Articles
SEARCH Family Disaster Dogs 260+ pages
Thursday, December 24, 2020
My Puppy Finds Santa 2020
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
The Story Behind the Family Disaster Dogs idea, books, blog and lessons
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Family Disaster Dogs Radio Interview-update
Radio link is updated and hopefully works for everyone :)
I was interviewed on Chat & Spin Radio UK on November 29th, 2020
Here's the voice recording of the show.
click above link to listen to the interview
you will be taken to a google drive sound file that is secured
To see, read more and buy the books go to my author page click here at Amazon or email me for a copy via the contact page that is above in the page bar.
Wrinkledpups "Daisy" Mayham was my current girl's foster mama dog,
Washee Thunderfoot a Family Disaster Dog
Click the radio recording link above to find out what inspired me to write the books.
Check it out--The Family Disaster Dogs is Free to read on Kindle until the New Year of 2021! click link to go read it
My Puppy Can Find Me
Chat and Spin Radio!
Here's the link to listen anytime. They put on a great show.
Stay Safe out there!
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Gathering Scent Articles for Mantrailing Dogs to Search for Missing Persons
Gathering Scent Articles for Mantrailing Dogs
Search and Rescue Dogs trained to follow the scent trail of a live human being are called Mantrailers. These specialty trained dogs use an article or item belonging to the person the dog will find to identify and discriminate that person from other people.
No two people smell the same, even when they use the same perfume. Each person has their own unique personal scent signature. This, invisible to the eye, individual scent remains in indoor spaces we visit and on items we handle, touch or wear.
We leave our scent signature everywhere.
|Photo from Upslash.com|
To give you an idea of how much our scent remains on everything around us. Let's take a look at all the items in the photo above. Everything pictured will be contaminated with the scent signature of that one person at the desk!
Each thing on that desk is a potential scent article that can be used to lead a trained dog to that one and only person. The desk, chair and personal space around that person is a scent article too. I have scented dogs on items as small as cigarette butts, paperclips and my favorite scent article for success is a toothbrush because generally only one person uses a toothbrush. Dogs are scented on chairs, benches, cars, desks, rooms, anywhere a person has been and everything they have been close to.
Contamination or the mixing of scent signatures by another person's scent happens immediately when the second person gets close to the first person's item or personal space.
Contamination also occurs when other natural and humanmade substances or odors get mixed. A contaminated scent article is the most common reason a dog fails to find a person. I will be writing more about contamination in future articles. Sign up for the newsletter or follow me to get the new posts and you can go to this page to read how to train your dog for tracking which is different than trailing.
Scent chemistry is a very complex subject I like to explain in simple terms for everyone to easily understand. So, if we think of a person's scent chemistry as a scent cloud made of invisible particles and flakes of skin, hair and whatever else falls off, such as germs and infectious viruses, like Covid19, we can better understand what a dog follows when they search for a person. The scent cloud is what a dog works with.
Let's start with what the dog will start with, the Scent Article!
How-to properly gather and store scent articles for dogs to find people.
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 does not necessarily associate the scent with the person unless the person is somebody they know with that scent.
In the photo, I'm giving a Bloodhound pup the scent article
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 person, including family members you have to prepare first by gathering a "scent article" then visit my free dog training lesson page to read how-to start a dog.
To find Family Members with your Dog
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. 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. Freeze the socks in case of a disaster where somebody is lost or gone missing. When you go hiking collect a article from each hiker before leaving in case somebody goes off the path and is lost. A search dog or a dog from the hiking group can find them if you let the dog smell the personal item.
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
To Find a Unknown Missing Person
When training your dog to find people who are unknown or not family members, you will be using a volunteer person to hide from your dog so you will collect a scent article from that person before the person goes hide. The scent article can be a face mask, a sock, hat or other small personal item nobody else has touched.
Gathering the Scent Article
Preservation and handling of a scent article is the most important aspect of using a dog to find a missing person. The main reason a dog will not work a trail or lose the scent of a missing person is because the scent article used was contaminated. We cannot see the contamination or smell any difference but a trained dog will smell and look for every smell that is on the article.
If another person handles the article the dog will look for both people. Then a different type of search is needed to be used that will depend upon how well the handler reads the dog to come to the right conclusion. The dog will follow both persons scents and should be rewarded, although it may appear the dog is on the wrong person's trail.
If a handler does not know a scent article is contaminated and gives the dog the scent article to use to find the missing person or shows the dog the last known location to start on that is contaminated. The dog will smell the missing person and the unknown subject or other substances (I will write about substances soon) the dog will look for all the scents on the scent article or at the person's last know location. For this reason, it's critical to safeguard and choose wisely every scent article used.
Collecting the Scent Article
DO NOT touch the scent article yourself, have the person drop the personal item from their hand into a new brown paper bag (lunch bag size) or a plastic freezer bag ( zip lock natural non chemical bag is best) I prefer paper bags because paper is natural and organic to the dog's nose.
This is a post for beginners, you will learn more about scent article collection at a scene in other articles.
Reminder, Do Not Put 2 scent articles from different people together, each article gets its own bag and label the bag with the person's name, date and time.
If you are not using the scent article right away, store the bag in the freezer until a few minutes before use.
Write "Scent Article" for emergency on the bag (police dogs and search dog handlers will know what to do with this if you ever have to call them about a missing person.
The “scent article” tells your dog who they are looking for!
Handle with Care.
Here's some ideas for the best personal items to use for K9 scent articles.1. Clothing directly from the person-hats, socks, shirts, shoes, etc.
2. Personal hygiene items-hair bush, toothbrush, comb, bottles only the person touched, etc.
3. Bedding-pillows, covers, sheets
6. Office items-mail, pens, pencil, books, desk top, chair that only one person has used
7. Benches, chairs, table tops, gate handles, door handles, etc
8. Automobiles -seat, steering wheel, doors, inside and outside surfaces, items inside, floors
9. Daily use items- towels, dishes, eating utensils, pipes, walking canes, backpacks, etc
10. Electronics- Phones, computers, device cords, memory cards, device case, briefcase
For online courses that teach you how to train a dog to search for missing persons, dead and alive visit my online dog training courses and dog lifestyle coach page by clicking here. There is an Obedience course and Family Disaster Dogs course I am finishing writing there, and the Cadaver course is accepting more students.
Visit the Home Page Here
Read the Family Disaster Dogs Book for Free on Kindle or buy a copy as a gift !
See and get all my books at my author page click here...
Leave me a comment below, thanks for visiting!
Stay safe in 2020!
Friday, September 11, 2020
Top Dog Blog 2020 Award for Family Disaster Dogs
We are proud to announce on the anniversary of the creation of Family Disaster Dogs on 9/11 that we are one of the Top Dog Blogs on the web!!
The founder personally gave us a high-five and wanted to thank Family Disaster Dogs for our contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 200 Dog Blogs on the internet and I'm honored to be appreciated!
Rest in loving peace dogs knowing you helped bring somebody home
In Dogs We Trust
Please continue to bring awareness to others that dogs are one of the greatest assets we humans have!
See my new online courses and book a online coaching session with me click here
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Dog Lifestyle Coach and Dog Training Courses
Dog Lifestyle Coach
Dog Training Courses
Get your dog a personal dog lifestyle coach ! or check out my
Online dog training courses---click here to learn more!
Advising dog owners since 1976!
Ask anything about Dogs!
Selecting a dog, evaluations, training, grooming, breeding, puppies, senior dog care
Online Dog Training Courses available in person too!
International Style Cadaver Dog
Family Disaster Dogs-includes trailing/tracking
In-person dog training: half-day seminar covers all skills to get you started in obedience or search dog discipline of choice
Distance Learning via Phone coaching and training
contact me via the contact page above for a free phone consultation
Let's train dogs!
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Covid19 and Pets Information
COVID19 and Pets
Here's excellent info from the American Veterinarian Association FAQ about Covid19 and Pets
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
How-to Naturally Treat Joint Problems in Dogs
How to Naturally Treat Joint Problems in Dogs
Follow these tips to help your aching dog.
Dogs' joints experience degradation from running and jumping all around. For some dogs, that's a problem. Frequent and high-impact use of joints may lead to joint-related problems in dogs such as ACL tears and osteoarthritis. To learn more about the condition your dog may be experiencing and how to relieve your dog's pain best, read our guide below.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is the inflammation of the joints caused by the degradation of cartilage. In dogs with osteoarthritis, cartilage cushion in the joints breaks down over time due to old age, repetitive stress, or disease.
Without the protective cartilage in joints, your dog may experience pain, inflammation, a decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs.
Any joint in your dog's body can develop osteoarthritis. However, the condition most commonly affects the lower spine and the joints in the limbs.
What Are the Signs of Joint Problems?
Most of the time, owners notice that their dogs are moving less or are having more difficulty with their day-to-day activities. For example, your dog may have problems jumping up on to the couch, going up the stairs, or boarding your car. Athletic dogs experience joint problems as well. Perhaps your athletic dog is no longer keeping up with you during your morning runs or no longer wants to play at the dog park.
What Causes Osteoarthritis in Dogs?
Developmental and degenerative problems are the two leading causes of joint problems.
Developmental problems may manifest themselves through hip or elbow dysplasia, wherein joints no longer develop correctly.
On the other hand, degenerative joint problems may manifest themselves in the form of cruciate ligament problems, wherein ligament degenerates over time and causes instability.
How to Prevent Joint Injuries
You can prevent joint injuries in your dogs even before adopting them. If you're buying a purebred puppy, be sure to research the health problems that are associated with the specific breed. Most joint issues have some hereditary component to them. If you don't care about the breed, consider adopting a mutt. Mutts are less likely to develop joint problems. The genetic diversity in mutts dramatically limits the chances of orthopedic issues.
If you already have a dog, it is crucial to keep your dog at a healthy body weight throughout his or her life. Be sure to provide your dog with healthy food and sufficient exercise to keep him or her lean and in good condition.
Lastly, have your veterinarian evaluate your dog's joints and general health at least once a year. A lot of joint problems can be prevented if you catch them early enough.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, unfortunately, is a progressive disease with no known cure. The best thing dog owners can do is to prevent the development of osteoarthritis through diet, exercise, and supplements.
If osteoarthritis has already developed in your dog, you should shift your focus to controlling pain, decreasing inflammation, slowing the development of the disease, and improving quality of life.
1. Weight Management
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight reduces the load that your dog's joints need to carry. It also decreases joint inflammation caused by fat.
A stronger and more muscular dog is a healthier dog. Muscle tissues protect your dog's joints.
You can strengthen your dog through regular and safe exercise. If you'd like to take this a step further, you can consult a dog physical therapist.
3. Food & Supplements
Many food and supplements contain ingredients that can improve joint health for your dog. These supplements and ingredients may include:
4. CBD Oil for Dogs With Joint Pain
CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, it can effectively help treat certain inflammatory conditions.
Osteoarthritis, or simply arthritis, is one of the most common inflammatory conditions that dogs develop. One in four dogs experiences osteoarthritis in their lifetime.
Studies have shown that CBD oil may provide substantial and long-lasting relief in dogs with osteoarthritis when given twice a day at appropriate doses.
When to Visit Your Vet
If your dog is suffering from severe joint pain and none of the above remedies seem to work, you'll need to bring your dog to the vet for x-rays and proper evaluation.
Your veterinarian may order scans of both of your dog's hips or take scans of both sides of your dog's body, regardless of whether your dog experiences pain in only one side.
Dogs are naturally stoic and rarely display signs of pain. Instead, they may show signs of discomfort by sending you subtle signals in the form of behavioral changes. You know your dog best, so only you will know when your dog is acting strangely.
Look out for behavioral changes, such as your dog sleeping more than usual or displaying a shift in attitude. Your dog may also express a loss of interest in playing or other regular activities. Many of these signs may be subtle, so it's essential to pay close attention to your dog.
If anything looks out of the ordinary and natural remedies don't seem to work, contact your vet immediately.
Allen., M. (2013, October 16). 8 Ways to Treat Dog Joint Pain. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.petcarerx.com/article/8-ways-to-treat-dog-joint-pain/1403
Dog Joint Conditions: Hill's Pet. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.hillspet.com/health-conditions/dog/dog-joint
Eckstein, S. (2009, July 06). Dog Joint Health: Painful Joint Problems. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-joint-health-pain-osteoarthritis-and-other-joint-problems
Elizabeth Racine, D. (2019, July 28). Osteoarthritis in Dogs - Signs and Treatment. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/osteoarthritis-signs-treatment/
Thursday, June 11, 2020
2020 Monthly Dog Training Workshops and Online Courses Obedience, Family Disaster Dog and Search Dog
New for 2020...
- Learn Online
- Learn via Phone or Video Chat
- I teach you how-to handle and train your dog 3 skills instead of 1 skill
- Spend at least about 6 hours over 2 days training dogs in beautiful Gold Beach, Oregon
- Each day is 2 to 3 hours of discussion and instruction to a small group of dogs and owners .
- Come once learn the skills you want or come every month to advance in skills
- Lodging and camping recommendations available if your visiting from out of the area
- Family Disaster Dogs $ 150.00 for both days
- Obedience and Manners $150.00 for both days
- Trailing-Tracking Live People or Animals $300.00 both days
- Cadaver-HRD for Search and Recovery Dog $300.00 both days
Learn in the comfort of your home where emergencies happen !
Retired kennel and pet spa owner, professional master groomer (retired)
I'm well known for using gentle knowledgeable handling skills and
Saturday, April 25, 2020
30 Days in Lock Down Pandemic
I just want to say,
I hope everyone and their loved ones are doing as good as can be expected, if not much better, in this crazy times we are having with the corona virus!!! Covid-19 or aka- the pandemic that has swept around the world in the last 2 months...what a unexpected change of events for us all.
Please stay safe and keep the dogs well too!
Everything will be okay, if not then it is not okay yet!!
Stay at home unless told otherwise by officials because they do know more than we do, it's their job to take care of us in the best way they know how...we the people voted them in or hired them so let's just stay safe, and let them work on this. All around the world scientist and researchers, hospitals and governments ARE working 24/7 to spot this corona bug that is after us..
We aren't in this alone, the whole world is together on fighting this and trying to keep everybody safe..so do your part and stay home, enjoy the at home vacation as much as possible.
It's not permanent, the world and we will adjust learning a new way to live with this new invisible threat or eventually contain it. Like other viruses and diseases before Corvid 19- ....the mumps, polio, scarlet fever, chickenpox, measles which many of us remember or heard of from our parents...we will over come this one too!
Hug your dog because you can always play fetch with them indoors too, hide something the dog likes and ask them to find it...hide yourself or somebody in another room and ask your dog to find..Play hide and seek inside or in your own yard for some time away from all the bad news and exercise.
I'm working on a huge project that I will unveil here on Family Disaster Dogs
Follow us or check your mail for updates coming soon!!
Read one of my books if your bored at home, smiles and have some fun with your dog...there's many fun things in books, here's the Family Disaster Dog Book link, the other books are at my author page there..
Take care and carry on!!
Amber and Washee wolf
|We bugged-out from that Corvid-19 bug !! haha|
Back soon...stay save!
Friday, February 7, 2020
Pieces Of Advice For New Dog Owners
Start Training EarlyThe earlier, the better when it comes to training your pet. If you let them get too old and comfortable, you risk them never learning even basic commands. Keep your house in order and your stress levels low by enrolling in puppy school right away. You want your dog to be well behaved and understand you when you’re trying to communicate with them at home.
Get Them OutsideYour dog will need regular exercise and look forward to these outings. Therefore, get in the habit of playing with them outdoors in the fresh air. Bring them on a hike with you or let them run around at the dog park. If you’re going to be outdoors, then it’s wise to purchase a dog flea protection product you can use to help keep them safe when they’re out and about roaming around. It’s the responsible action to take and will help to ensure your pet remains in good health.
Be AvailableBeing a new dog owner means more responsibility for you. You should shy away from becoming a pet owner if your schedule is hectic and you’re never home. Your dog will need your love and attention and for you to check in on them often. Therefore, you want to make sure you’re available for your dog and can be there when they need you. They’re going to need to use the bathroom, to be fed, and taken to the vet for appointments.
Prepare Your HomeAnother piece of advice for new dog owners is to prepare your home ahead of time. For example, take time to puppy proof your space and make sure there’s nothing that they can get into that may harm them. Furthermore, you’ll want to have an area where they can go to relax and feel safe and access their bed and food and water when they desire. Take time to purchase all the right gear and supplies you’ll need so that you’re ready for their arrival.
ConclusionBringing home a new dog is an event to look forward to and anticipate. However, it can also be a lot of work and require accountability on your part. Use this advice to help you along the way and to make sure that your pet’s homecoming is memorable and successful. Learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to ask questions or reach out for help and advice when you need it.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
New for 2020-Certify Your Dog as a Family Disaster Dog free membership and lessons
With the New Year here and the world off to a roaring 2020 start, I want to offer everyone who is interested in using the skills taught here on Family Disaster Dogs and in my books a way to show off their own dog's skills.
I'm offering everybody who uses these lessons a Family Disaster Dogs Certification of accomplishment with your dog's name, picture and date of certification signed by me, the author and founder of Family Disaster Dogs lessons, books and blog.
I am so proud of all the dogs and owners worldwide who have supported and learnt from the information here and in the books. You deserve a pat on the back for taking the time to prepare your family for hopefully what shall never happen but if a disaster or lost person incident happens, YOU are READY !
How great is that!!
Here is the page to more lessons
I hear and see comments everyday on social media about how well you all are doing learning these useful Family Disaster Dog skills. It's great to hear from you all and see how well your dogs are doing! The response is what keeps me writing and adding more information for everyone.
Become a Family Disaster Dog member
Here's what to do to become a Family Disaster Dogs member and a Family Disaster Dogs Certificate
You can get one certificate for each of your dogs (cats, rabbits, horses, any other welcomed too) in their name.
Children's book participates can request a certificate for each child and dog "team" who practice the lessons in My Puppy Can Find Me picture book.
Send us or post to one of our social media pages below, a picture of your dog wearing the dog go-bag, or doing any lesson from the Family Disaster Dogs book or children's book, My Puppy Can Find Me.
You can also send a picture of yourself or child with one of the books, here I am visiting dogs while the owner reads my book.
You can also tell us in a comment below or posted to social media about what your dog, child or family has learned for a certificate.
click to Email Us
Facebook us at Facebook page join the group there too!
At the sites below you can leave a book review when you read or buy one of my books then email me so I can send your certificate.
Amazon Author Page
Here's a few of our members
Introducing Daisy Mae Parker
|Ms Daisy Mae Parker|
has a Go-Bag ready
Introducing Buddi Dog
|Dixie and Buddi|
Dixie can find people
Buddi carries a Go-bag
Introducing Mt Tom's Dazy
|Mt. Tom's Dazy|
Is ready to evacuate
|Mt Tom's Karl|
is learning to find family
Introducing Mt Tom's Fia
|Newest member Mt. Tom's Fia|
Puppy is ready!
My Dog is Prepared Are You ?
How are you Prepared? Post answers in the comments...we'd love to hear from you! Be ready for pet medical emergencies with one of these...
Buy or Read for Free on Kindle the Family Disaster Dogs Books click to my Author Page if you do not shop online and want a book click to ...
check out my book on Amazon Air Scenting Detection Dog 2018 Update : Click for the new "Family Disaster Dogs" book o...
Dog Bug-Out Go-Bag List Evacuate with your Dog and Pets Willie ready to bug-out Hi everyone, 2019 update click to The Bu...
How to Train Your Pet Dog To Find You in a Emergency She always knows where I am This Family Disaster Dog lesson will tell you how ...
How to Make Dog or Cat Booties at Home For cold or wet weather and dog training on rough or contaminated surfaces. I thought with the f...
Earth Cycles and Scenting Temperature and Scent working a pup Mantrailing dogs and other scenting dogs do best during certain tim...
How To Break Up a Dog Fight Update: Click for The Family Disaster Dogs Ebook on Amazon Get all the lessons, dog bug-out bag list an...
Family Disaster Dogs E-book is available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or only $3.49 Get all the lessons, the complete Bug-out list and p...
Click for Family Disaster Dogs on Amazon. Get all the lessons, dog bug-out bag list, Pet CPR and more ! Teaching your Family Dog t o...
FAQ about How a Dog’s Nose Works This information has been gathered from the internet to help you understand how a dog's nose...
Past Posts and Lessons
Let's Share on Social Media !
Let's enable each family to respond
and do something while waiting for help
during neighborhood emergency and disaster incidents,
extreme weather and terrorist attacks.
Good Luck and Be Safe !
- ► 2011 (19)
- ► 2012 (28)
- ► 2013 (8)
- ► 2015 (8)
- ► 2016 (5)
- ► October (14)
- ► November (9)
- ► January (7)
- ► January (3)
- ► April (1)
- ► July (2)
- ► September (2)
- ► 2021 (22)
- ► 2022 (25)