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Friday, December 31, 2021

2022 Happy New Year from Family Disaster Dogs

Happy New Year everyone!

Best wishes for an Amazing 2022


Amber Higgins and Family Disaster Dogs


Author signed copies are available on the Books page in the above menu

Monday, December 20, 2021

Thursday, December 9, 2021

9 Things To Consider Before Getting A Puppy

 9 Things To Consider Before Getting A Puppy

Getting a puppy can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, but it's also very difficult. Your parents are probably nagging you to do some research before making this big commitment. Well, they are right! As cute as puppies are, they require a lot of attention and care.

Getting a puppy is no joke - so if you really want one, here's what you should know first:

1) How much time will I spend with my new friend?

This question isn't just about how often you'll play with it; it's about how clean the house is going to be! Puppies need constant supervision, not only for potty training (which takes months) but also because it's normal behavior for dogs to chew on things. If you're not able to give your new furry friend the attention it deserves, you should reconsider getting a puppy so soon.

2) What is my family's lifestyle?

You've probably heard about people who love their dogs but can't even take them outside for walks because of work or other obligations. The dog ends up living in the backyard and oftentimes gets neglected. This is actually more common than you think! You need to take into account how your family's schedule will impact your pup's care before bringing him home.

3) Is my house big enough?

Not only do puppies require exercise, but they also have tiny bladders! For bigger breeds, this might mean several bathroom breaks throughout the day; for smaller breeds, it might only be a couple of times. If you live in an apartment and your yard is too small for a decent walk, getting a puppy probably isn't the best idea.

4) What kind of dog should I get?

There are so many puppies out there to choose from, but don't just pick one because he's the cutest. Do some research on different breeds and their temperaments; some dogs might not be the best fit for your family. For example, if you have kids, you'll want to get a breed that is known to be gentle and good with kids.

5) How much will this cost me?

This question isn't just about buying walmart fresh dog food and toys (although those can be expensive, too). Puppies require vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other medical procedures. You should also factor in the cost of obedience classes - which are highly recommended, especially for puppies.

6) Am I ready to commit?

Puppies are a lot of work; they need to be fed, walked, played with, groomed, and given plenty of attention. If you're not able to make a lifelong commitment to your new furry friend, you should think twice about getting a puppy.

7) What will I do when I go on vacation?

This is definitely something you'll need to consider before getting a pup! Unless you have a friend or family member who can take care of him while you're away, you'll probably have to leave your dog at a kennel. This can be very expensive - not to mention stressful for your pup.

8) Is my lifestyle compatible with owning a dog?

Pets require a lot of work and responsibility; if you're not able to handle those things, you should reconsider getting a pet. Owning a dog is a big commitment that should not be taken lightly.

9) What if I can't keep the dog anymore?

This is something you need to think about before getting a puppy. Puppies are hard to find homes for, and most animal shelters are overflowing with dogs. If you're not able to keep your new furry friend for whatever reason, please find him a good home. It is much more difficult to find another owner than you think!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

How to Find the Perfect Family Dog

There are many different qualities we look for when welcoming a puppy into our home. Perhaps we want companionship or loyalty - someone who will always be happy to see us after a long day at work. Or maybe you are looking to teach kids about responsibility through pet ownership. However, there are a growing number of dog owners who are on the lookout for family rescue dogs - who are able to come to your aid should you require assistance or get lost. 

Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash

With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to find (and train) the perfect family rescue dog. 

  • If buying your dog from a breeder, ensure that they are a reputable company that you can trust. One with years of experience in the field, which operates with the best interests of their dogs at heart. For example, you might want to get in touch with a member of the team at Smoky Mtn Labradors, who have nearly four decades of experience in breeding happy, healthy dogs. 

  • Alternatively, you could rescue a dog from your local shelter. However, if they are an older dog, training them could be a little more difficult as they will have already set into a pattern of behaviors that can be difficult (though not impossible) to amend. Either way, you should ensure that you set up a straightforward training plan that helps them develop good habits, such as learning how to heel and stop pulling

  • Follow our comprehensive lesson plan to help train your dog to become a family rescue dog. Remember, training requires a great deal of determination and patience from both the dog and the owner, and you have to be willing to put the work in if you want to get the best results. 

  • Focus on rewards-based training where possible, where dogs are rewarded for good behavior or for picking up a new skill. This is due to the fact that when rewarded, dogs find it easier to learn what is expected of them as they receive something positive in response to their efforts. Rewards can vary from verbal praise and cuddles to snacks - whatever gets the most positive response out of your dogs. 

  • In order to achieve success when training your dog, you should also ensure that they are happy and healthy. For example, you should ensure that you choose the right food for them, give them plenty of exercise and make time in their schedule for fun. For example, they cannot train consistently if they are not given time to cut loose or stop enjoying what they are doing. However, there are plenty of ways in which you can make training fun for your dog.  

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Welcome to the Exciting New K9 Search and Rescue Sport in America

K9 Search and Rescue Sport

K9 Search and Rescue is quickly becoming a popular fun sport to do with all breeds of dogs.

We welcome you to learn more about how to get involved and train your dog to compete with other dogs as a fun and challenging sport to find a hidden person via mantrailing, tracking and area search plus more with The American Rettungshunde Sport Association. (click to learn more and join)

The ARSA is dedicated to the search and rescue sport. It is incorporated as a non-stock (not-for-profit) corporation in the State of Virginia and is a member of the American Working Dog Federation.  

About Search and Rescue Sport (IPO-R)

Are you looking for another sport that’s compatible with your current interests? 

IPO-R is an FCI sanctioned sport that has many similarities to IGP (Schutzhund) and is an ideal supplement to not only but also AKC tracking, obedience, and agility. Trials consist of two phases – a search phase and an obedience with a dexterity phase. 

The sport has 3 levels, an introductory level (V) and the more professional levels, A and B. 

At each level, you can trial and earn titles in all the different search options. Furthermore, you can do only search work or only obedience and dexterity at a trial if you prefer. 

Search Phase 


area search 

rubble search


avalanche search 

water rescue

Obedience and Dexterity  

heeling with changes of pace

closed tunnel

down stay

changes of position at a distance

carry your dog

heeling over a difficult surface

Get more detailed information about these and other exercises in the international rules at ARSA

Trial levels

 Introductory level (V)

Levels A and B.

At each level, you can trial and earn titles in all the different search options – for example A-tracking, A-area search, A-mantrailing, and so on. 

You can do only search work or only obedience and dexterity at a trial if you prefer. 

Look at the ARSA website for a trainer near you or contact them for how to get started.

As a member and trainer with ARSA , I'm available to help train you and your dog via online, phone and email with in-person training workshops starting in the spring of  2022 so feel free to contact me via the contact page here at Family Disaster Dogs

Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Sport of Mantrailing Train a Dog to Find People

Welcome to 

The Sport of Mantrailing

Train a Dog to Find People

Hey everyone, 

How about a fun activity and sport to do with your dog?

Have you thought of learning how to find people with a dog? 

Pictured is my dog being rewarded for finding the boy 

Does your dog need a way to use to burn off extra energy or something to do? 

Would you like to give your dog a job to do? 

The sport of Mantrailing may be a perfect match for you.

Mantrailing a search and rescue skill set that is quickly becoming popular with all dogs as a really fantastic sport to be involved in.

You and your dog learn to work together as a team .. to find a "missing person" who is well hidden from you!

Friends and family will be amazed with how fast your dog can find them.

Mantrailing is a great fun rewarding sport where dogs love showing us how well they can use their nose.

Here's my dog Mantrailing to find a hidden person

I have been writing about mantrailing for many years on this site although I have seldom mentioned the actual term of Man Trailing because I was writing to families and the public about training family dogs to find family in disasters, along with other dog skills. 

The dog training lessons in Family Disaster Dogs book train family dogs to find friends and family using Mantrailing skills and the lesson in My Puppy Can Find Me children's book uses the same principle of training a dog to find people.  

I will be posting upcoming training opportunities, workshops and seminars from different organizations and dog clubs that are welcoming the public to train with them.

Follow Family Disaster Dogs on Facebook or come back often to stay updated on events you may want to attend. 

Sign up for updates to this site using the pop up window.

Contact me at if you want help to train your dog. I train in person, over the phone or internet

The book features actual working search and rescue dogs from North Scotland Response Rescue International and a multi-talented USA Sport Dog Champion, plus dogs I have trained. A share of sales is donated to help RRI North Scotland aid in the search for missing persons.

Click the book to see a preview

Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Little History of Family Disaster Dogs Training Your Dog to Rescue You

Training Your Dog to Rescue You

 A Little History of Family Disaster Dogs 

10 Year Anniversary

I started this site ten years ago when I began writing the first Family Disaster Dogs book on the night of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. As I sat under evacuation orders myself on the Oregon coast, I started to write these lessons with my bloodhound Daisy because it dawned on me that in major disasters and sometimes missing person cases, we have to take care of ourselves and loved ones until help arrives which can take days or weeks depending on the situation. 

As I watched the news I realized i wanted to get these valuable dog training lessons out to the public sooner than the time it takes to publish a book so I started this blog which grew into a website as I added more than 220 pages here at Family Disaster Dogs.

I kept the Family Disaster Dogs book, blog and lessons simple so the public would not feel overwhelmed having to know or learn everything Search and Rescue members must learn. Families do not have to learn as much because they are not going out to rescue others, they are learning from me and my books books how to rescue themselves and loved ones with a dog's help. 

As with most things in life, this site has grown to cover more than the Family Disaster Dogs book and lessons ideas I had ten years ago. The children's book teaches children and parents how to use the dog to find mom, dad and the child and the Evacuate with Your Dog's Help book gives everyone a long list of bug-out bag supplies, information on training a dog to help evacuate and what to expect if you have to evacuate. 

In the last ten years we have reached people all over the world and given out many Family Disaster Dog certificates for those who contact us and tell us their journey with us. Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds are helping their families prepare for the worst.

Over the years, this all led to the newest book, Start Mantrailing, which takes me back to the beginning of my own emergency preparedness training and gives you the opportunity to learn even more about how to train a dog to find a missing person and how to advance into actual Search and Rescue work or the new sport of Mantrailing. 

Yes, now Mantrailing is gaining in popularity as a Sport too. When I started this site ten years ago Mantrailing was seldom heard of outside of K9SAR or Law Enforcement. Dog sport enthusiast  focused on Tracking events not Mantrailing which was exclusively a bloodhound discipline and much different than tracking in many ways. Now all dogs are learning what bloodhounds like my Daisy naturally do.

Mantrailing is becoming more and more common in the public dog world and on social media. With this growth I will be sharing more and more ways to train a dog to find people as well as how to prepare for disasters.

With covid19 hopefully behind us in the near future, next year 2022??? I hope to train more of you and your dogs in this useful natural nose work a dog can do to help us survive as dogs have done for thousands of years. 

Sign up for the newsletters in the pop up window, (refresh this page to have the window pop up again)

Check out the newest book here on my author page and don't forget a book is a perfect gift for the holidays. My books are Free on Kindle so everyone can read them. If you would like a signed copy let me know by emailing me or contact me on Facebook at the Family Disaster Dog page. 

Be sure to like, share and follow me on social media to help find missing persons and prepare for what I hope none of us ever have to endure..a disaster or a missing loved one.

I'm not only an author

Family Disaster Dogs is not only a book and site,, its a passion I share with you the knowledge I have gained.

a few of my dogs

I'm not one to brag, I'm more a teacher who wants readers to rest assured that this site is based on my own actual experience and not a copy of something off the internet lol ...experience I do have... 

I've been dedicated to dogs my whole life, and teaching people how to live happily with their pets since my first job in a large show and boarding kennel as a teenager. I went on to be a professional dog trainer and also a professional all breed pet and show groomer. I've owned award winning pet spas and worked with the best in the dog world. I spent over ten years volunteering in search and rescue. 15 years breeding working Bloodhounds, 30 years of German Shepherds and 10 years of rescuing as well as breeding registered Pit Bulls. I was rescuing dogs before rescuing was cool! haha I have worked at several veterinary clinics as well. 

I have personally handled thousands of dogs and cats in my long dog career, as well as owned 100's myself over the years. 

That's about it for me, how about you? Leave me comment below and tell us about your journey with dogs. 

Training my dog to find a person

At my pet spa

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Reading the Dog-Variables a K9 Search Team Encounters on the Trail

 Variables a K9 Search Team Encounters on the Trail:

What are variables? 

Variables are the many different and constantly changing things a search dog comes across in the search for a person. Every kind of detection dog learns how to work in various conditions which is why we call these different conditions, "variables". Other trainer use different terms of course, but for an easy understanding I am sticking with variables. Here's why.

During training and in mock training searches. A handler has to learn how to read the dog when the various conditions (variables) and aspects of the search change or are encountered by the dog. The dog also must learn how to work the missing person's scent trail or location in the variables the dog will most likely encounter during a real search. 

For instance, a wilderness trained dog learns how to work in a natural settling while a urban search dog learns to work in pavement, cement and human made environments. Both environments affect scent very differently. 

Just think of all the different odors we humans smell in a big city compared to what we smell when we are out exploring a natural woodland or countryside. Imagine how much more our dogs smell and the different places where the odor changes. 

Watch your dogs and see how they react when they encounter a variable, a difference, when you're both out for a stroll. 

Learning and knowing how your dog behaves when they encounter variables is how you read a dog.

Here's the most common variables a K9 team will encounter on a search for a person.

Each variable is in bold print.


An example of surfaces are paved roadways, sidewalks, dirt, grass, woodland, water, snow, gravel, sand, indoors carpet, tile, floor, table, windowsill, etc. 

The K9 Team learns to search on different surfaces by introducing each type of surface one at a time because scent particles travel and collect differently on natural and human made surfaces. This is one reason training takes time.


Every trail has contaminates and every contaminate changes with the type of surface and other variables.  Contaminants are all living beings, chemicals and natural scent particles that come in contact with the trail, trail layer or scent article. 

A few examples are animals or people who walk near and on a Trail Layer’s trail, gasoline odors, chemicals and traffic, other animal’s urine and feathers, buried bones or fur. 


The weather changes on a minute by minute, hour by hour, daily bases and this makes each and every step of a search for a person begin a new trail. When a slight breeze begins to blow, in the middle of training so does the scent particle begin to drift and change path. This is why Mantrailing dogs are a valuable resource for finding missing persons. 

Age of the Trail:  

Every trail ages with the passage of time, beginning at the time a person goes missing or the trail layer starts to make a “hot” or “fresh” training trail. As time passes, the person’s scent trail begins to dissipate and grow “aged” and “cold”.  If the person has been missing or hidden for under a hour the trail is considered, “hot” or fresh and as the trail ages the scent becomes “cold” and aged. 

Lost Person Behavior: 

Teams who wish to advance to active duty readiness and operational level to work actual missing person cases will benefit from studying how people behave when lost or taken against their will because the person’s behavior is a very important variable that changes and challenges a dog team’s search strategy.   

My dog and I on the trail to a hidden person

Learn to read a dog by paying attention to the dog's behavior when you encounter variables.

Learn more about training a dog to find people in my new book "Start Mantraining" Step by Step and in The "Family Disaster Dogs" book available my author page at Amazon worldwide or you can get a personally signed copy from me the author at my own store here

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Welcome to the exciting world of Mantrailing and finding people with a dog!

Welcome to the exciting world of Mantrailing and finding people with a dog! 

Mantrailing is a K9 Search and Rescue specialty that is quickly becoming popular as a sport and recreation for all dogs to enjoy. 

Mantrailing dogs use the nose to scent discriminate one person from all other people to locate the one particular person.

A truly amazing fact about Mantrailing is how quickly most dogs’ take to this type of training and how quickly the dogs find people. Dogs love to use their nose to find people. The fun part of Mantrailing is that we follow the dog and allow the dog to lead the way! 

To Read how to Start Mantrailing, Step by Step..(click to the book's amazon page in all countries) 

You and your dog will be finding a person from the first day of training and beyond. 

The book is available worldwide and features dogs from Scotland and the USA . The link should change to your country, if not, email me to get a copy sent to you,,,

Each training session uses a time tested and proven step by step method for solid reliable success on the trail. 

You will learn to read the dog and the dog will learn to tell you what they find. Both of you will have a great introduction to the exciting world of Mantrailing dogs.

Order Ebooks directly from me at my online book store, the author of Family Disaster Dogs book and Start Mantrailing book

Have fun with your dogs today!

A part of the book profits go to Response Rescue International to support their volunteer mission to find missing persons..

For much less than the cost of  one in-person class get the book and train to advance level ! 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Dog’s Nose Knows!

 The dog’s nose knows!

All dogs have a natural ability to hunt with certain breeds developed and bred for specific types of hunting. 

Bird dogs are bred to hunt birds, herding dogs hunt missing herd members, fox hounds hunt fox, etc. 

Bloodhounds are the most well-known and oldest breed of dog bred to hunt people and the breed is classified as a trailing dog due the way they hunt.

Follow your dog's nose and look us up on Facebook at 
there's a group and a page
Twitter us at  @URDogCanRescueU

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

What is Mantrailing ? Where Man-Trailing Gets Its Name

 What is Mantrailing?

Me and Washee Mantrailing

Mantrailing is not a new way to train dogs, this way of finding people with dogs has been used by bloodhound owners for hundreds of years. Mantrailing is using a dog’s natural ability to follow cold aged trails to find a specific person who is hidden or missing.  

This method of finding people with a dog is quickly becoming a fun way to exercise reactive and high energy pet dogs that need more to do. Similar to hide and seek with a dog, owners of all breeds of dogs are learning how exciting this type of dog work is to participate in for fun and sport. 

Mantrailing is best known as a type of K9 Search and Rescue specialty in which the dog discriminates one person’s scent from all other person’s scent to locate the one particular person. Mantrailing is used by search and rescue dog teams or police to find missing persons and criminals. A few prisons today continue to use this type of trained dog and long ago plantations used mantrailing hounds to hunt down runaways.

Me and Washee Mantrailing

We found him.. look at my dog smile when she finds the boy! 
Dogs really love to find people!

Where Mantrailing got its Name

“Mantrailing” gets its name from bloodhounds. Many people believe the breed was named bloodhound because the dogs track blood trails which is not true. 

The dogs do not follow the person’s blood trail. 

The dogs follow the scent particles left by a person, sometimes many days, weeks and years later. 

The breed is named a bloodhound because this is the first dog breed to have a written recorded pedigree of its bloodline hundreds of years ago. They are the first “pure blood-ed -hound” or bloodhound. 
Bloodhound handlers long ago gave this type of scent work the name “Mantrailing” because the bloodhound is the trailing dog that hunts people.

My bloodhounds taught me how to Mantrail and now all dog breeds are learning how to do what bloodhounds do naturally. 

Family Disaster Dogs use Mantrailing to find missing and trapped family members after disasters. Any dog can learn to help its family in some way with the Family Disaster Dogs book.

Anyone who wants to train a dog to find people for Sport and Work can learn step by step with my new book "Start Mantrailing" 

Their legacy lives on in my books and this site

Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham 

Bloodhound Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham owner A. Higgins

Me and Rea Valley's Incredible Sue 

Blue Boy Homer

Wrinkledpups Sambo
Went to Work in CA and GA

Me and George he went to Texas

Pups went to SAR homes in several states, Canada and So. America

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Family Disaster Dogs Updates fall 2021 New Emergency Links, Guides, Books, K9SAR

 Hi everyone, 

I've been busy updating the site, getting the new book published and more as everything opens up again after the last year and half of lockdowns. I hope everyone is doing good as Covid19, Delta and current events continue to affect everything. 

Here's some updates to the site's emergency links page.

The emergency links page is a long page full of helpful links-check it out at the link above and keep scrolling once there.

Keep scrolling this page has many resources and helpful sites to see!

Click the Blue links to be taken to that web site, thank you for visiting  Family Disaster Dogs...if you want to be added here or to advertise with us email me from the contact page in the menu 

Other books by the author of Family Disaster Dogs

Nov 2019 The children's book "My Puppy Can Find Me" with UK dog cartoonists Scotty King artwork teaches children and family how to train their puppy to find mom or the child.  

Sept 11, 2021 New book released "Start Mantrailing" Step by Step for fun, sport and work. Here's the full cover.  Featuring photos from RRI North Scotland search and rescue dogs plus USA K9sport top dog, Super Kludde and dogs I have trained for mantrailing.

Cover dog RRI K9 Amber  (For UK K9SAR training and response look for RRI North Scotland on Facebook)

The paperback is available at Amazon worldwide and the eBook as a direct download from my new store below. 

New Family Disaster Dogs store has the books and eBooks available for those who do not shop at Amazon.  I will be adding a few dog training items and more in the future. 

Visit the new store here at FDD K9 Books Shop

Please leave me reviews on my books at Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes Noble, facebook and wherever you happen to see them. Reviews really help other people find the books. Thank you  

"My Puppy Can Find Me" picture book is your child’s first step on an exciting learning experience that will teach them what to do if they are lost or find themselves alone.

Be sure to visit our home page at Family Disaster Dogs

We are now part of the Missing Persons Center  (click blue name ) please have a look  and join if you would like to help find missing persons.

I'm also a member of the American Mantrailing, Police & Work Dog Association.

Although I will not be attending the event, I want to share with everyone who is interested that they will be awarding the Fall 2021 "United States National Champion Mantrailing Team" in Sept 2021 to each division upon completion of the AMPWDA Fall National K-9 Search & Rescue Seminar.

The participating Team with the highest score on a Level 1 Certification, the Team with the highest score on a level 2 Certification and The participating Team with the highest score on a Urban Certification will be named as "United States National Champion Mantrailing Team" in their category. For information about training and seminars click here.

Here's another great resource for Search and Rescue dog handlers and those looking for a missing loved one. K9 trainer, handler and author Harry Oakes has over 49 years experience working to find missing persons. He is well known and liked by many but not by some which happens when you have been active in any field for so many years. His expertise and his track record speaks for itself. Read his books at his site.

Here's a great Article about a Dog's Nose from Your Dog Advisor website. They just published an updated, comprehensive guide on dog nose. It is completely free and you can find by clicking here

Here is equipment I use when training a dog to find people. (We do make a few cents from amazon when you purchase through the links, all proceeds are used to help cost of publishing the site and free lessons. Thank you for your support)

In Dogs We Trust

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Stay cool out there tips for keeping animals and homes cool in heat wave

 Stay cool out there! 

Here’s some tips for keeping animals and homes cool in the heat wave.

I’ve lived with many animals in high heat zones, I’ve learned the hard way by losing animals and watching people experience heat stroke.

Here’s how I keep everyone cool

Indoors without AC

1. At night open windows to allow cooler air in and hot air out.

2. In the morning close all windows and drapes or cover windows until the outdoor heat begins to cool. Usually around 4pm. Even if it’s only a few degrees difference. Be sure to close and cover windows if you leave for the day.

3. Do not leave animals without extra water and a shaded area indoors and outside.

4. Be careful allowing dogs to swim in creeks, lakes and oceans in areas known to have bacteria or algae blooms that may be toxic to your pets and you. Here in Oregon there are beaches and recreational waterway areas that sometimes close to the public due to toxic conditions that made pets or humans sick when the temperatures is just right. 

Homemade Portable AC

1. Fill small and large empty bottles and jugs with water and freeze.

2. Leave a couple inches space in bottles to allow ice to expand.

3. Freeze extra bottles so you can rotate them.

4. Thawed bottles go back in freezer when you get frozen bottles out to use.

5. Place frozen water bottles near animals to help cool their area.

6. Do not place the frozen bottles directly next to the animal, especially newborn and young ones.

7. Allow space for the animals to move themselves closer or further away from the bottles.

This works great for outdoor caged animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, foul, parrots, (I’ve owned them all) and the frozen bottles help cool in vehicles and indoor crated pets too.

Caged and crated animals must have a bigger water bowl which they often spill so be sure to use bowls that attach to the crate or wire to tie the bowl in place. Don’t use a tie they will chew.

If your dog will chew the frozen bottles do not put the bottle inside the crate or cage, hang or place bottles on outside of cage.

Outdoor/Indoor Kennels and Buildings

On hot days, AM, Noon, PM

Use a water hose and lightly spray a mist or light rain over the whole kennel or stall area. Inside and outside the building. Wet the play yards and walkways.

Dogs love the light rain on hot afternoons.

Do not flood the animals. Do not make mud. You’ll be surprised how little rain and mist will quickly drop the temperature.

I have worked in very large boarding kennels that have use sprinkler systems like the kind used for lawns and gardens hung above the kennel and dog runs. Most turn on automatically with a timer. This works for livestock, small farm animals barns too.

A homemade system is easy to make with a sprinkler hose hung above the animals so they can not chew it.

Or buy your dog a pool ! 

haha this is one of my Daisy's pups at her home pool.. her mom, Daisy, who was with me 13 years was an escape artist no matter where she was put inside or out, left alone she would bump open windows, jump 2 stories to the ground, open doors, unlock handles and I'm really surprised she never learned to drive the truck ! She would disappear and come home soaking wet after a swim in a cattle pond and when we moved to the city from the farm, she had a fenced yard instead of pasture so she would get on top of a woven wire fence, 2 legs on each side and she would bounce her 120 lb bloodhound body on the fence until the fence folded to where she could touch the ground and step over! 

Very intelligent dog who I would then find laying soaking wet on a neighbor's floating deck in a creek behind his back yard and house. I later found out she was doing this daily when I was working in my grooming shop at the front of my property. She was sneaking out the back, smashing the fence because she was to heavy to jump that high and only her front legs would make it over so she bounced the fence flat then went to visit a neighbor who sat with his door open watching TV and then she would lay on the other neighbor's floating deck, after a swim of course. She would come home at dinner time if I didn't go get her. 

The neighbors liked her visiting but I feared she would be hit by a car or stolen so I had to keep her crated for her own safety, if I went to work. She never tried to get out of a crate, she was happy and slept in one with the door open or closed. While loose in the house, she was opening doors and windows to escape. 

Animals will find a way to stay cool if they have the freedom to do so.

Dog training and working dogs in heat

For K9SAR/scent dog training and working dogs. Outdoor training and events.

This is the time of year to train and practice night search with headlamps and lights on dogs because many people go missing at night and the sooner a dog team responds the better chance of finding the person alive.

Yes I mean train between midnight and 5 AM lol

Darkness does not necessarily stop a search team from working but safety does. So make sure to night train in safe areas. I like the challenge of night training with dogs and most of all how the scent particles come alive, like one of those early mornings when you step outside and feel ahhhh fresh air!! 

Scent Science tells us the scent particles, dust, environment absorbs moisture and regenerate to become more alive and fresher stronger smelling at night and like dry grass becomes covered in dew overnight. As the day warms, scent particles lose water through evaporation and dry out making the scent particles drier and harder for dogs to smell.

A dry nose will not help in a search either. Always be sure the scenting dog is well hydrated and has a moist nose especially in warm weather. Dogs love to search at these times. Horses put their heads up, wrinkle the lips to get a bigger sniff. Quite funny too.

I say if we can smell so many more odors at that time of day just imagine how much more a dog is going smell.

How much fresher, easier a missing persons trail will be for the dog to work and how much time is saved reaching the person.

On real searches I always try to rest the dogs and myself in the heat of the day 12-4pm. Afternoon is time to eat, sleep and regroup, plan search strategy for the remaining 24 hours.

Last but least of suggestions 

Here's what I have been using when we're experiencing hot weather. These two items are available at stores everywhere.

Bandanna/scarf that are made to be frozen and used around the neck of animals and people. Do not use on animals that can chew their own scarf or another pets.

My dog and I really love the tiny portable AC units available these days. 

These AC units work amazing !  I was surprised how well. They charge up like cell phones and the charge lasts for hours.

I keep one in the SUV and travel trailer to turn on for my dog when I go in shops.

Put ice in it and chill out!!

I hope this post helps everyone stay cool.

Feel free to comment with tips you use to stay cool and share so everyone knows.

Amber Higgins

author founder

Family Disaster Dogs

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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