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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Be Ready for Wildfire Season with Pets


click here to Check out the Book on Amazon and Audible

This book explains how-to evacuate with pets. 

How-to make a bug-out (survival) bag for owners and dogs to carry. 

Every dog of 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. 

Included is a detailed expanded list of survival items for pets and owners with step-by step instructions to train your dog to carry a saddlebag to hold items to evacuate and "bug-out" with. 

Plus Pet CPR instructions and how-to calm a frightened pet. 

How-to find a lost pet. 

USA Evacuation Law for pets.

From the author of Family Disaster Dogs, books, blog and lessons.

Here's a no cost preview of this small valuable book.

Please leave a review, thank you for helping others to learn what to do too!

Monday, June 6, 2022

What You Need to Know About Ticks on Your Dog in Ontario

Ticks might look small and innocuous, but they can pass on diseases to your dog. And ticks can be transmitted to you when you pet your dog. If you notice your dog has ticks, it's crucial to act quickly. You can help your dog by regularly brushing the hair and examining the skin for small ticks. 

To safeguard your dog from falling victim to any tick-borne disease:

  • Be mindful of where your dog is while walking in grassy and shrubbed areas.

  • Develop the habit of routinely checking your dog thoroughly for ticks at the end of every day.

  • Consult a veterinarian on pet medication options to help prevent ticks. 


Regular veterinarian-approved medication to control ticks is essential if your dog goes into tick habitats.

Tick medications don't repel ticks but are instead designed to kill ticks. Dog owners should continue checking for ticks on their dogs daily, even when their dogs are taking tick medicine.

What time of year are ticks most prevalent?

Ticks are most active in humid and warm weather, thriving during the spring and summer and reemerging in the fall. The peak months are April and October. They can be found anywhere in Ontario if the temperature is above freezing. 


What to do if you find a tick on your dog

Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick by carefully grasping the tick as close as possible to the skin. Slowly and steadily pull the tick upward and away from your dog's skin. With a steady hand, pull gently upward  until the skin the tick is attached to starts to tent, then wait for several seconds. At this point, the tick will usually release the skin. 

You want to refrain from pulling too aggressively or fast, which risks crushing the tick's body. Also, avoid twisting the tweezers or squeezing the tick’s belly or body. This is because if any of the tick’s gut contents enter the area the tick was latched on to, it will increase the chances of disease transmission. 

After removing the tick, kill it by submerging it in a small container of alcohol before placing it in a plastic bag and discarding it into the waste. Take a picture to document what type of tick you removed in case your dog develops symptoms. Since there are different species of ticks and tick-borne diseases, to avoid the risk of transmission, never crush a tick. The vast majority of tick bites occur without the transmission of any tick-borne illness, however, after tick removal, monitor your dog for any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fatigue (reluctance to move)

  • Pale gums

  • Depression

  • Seizures

  • Swelling and soreness in limbs

  • Any other symptoms can occur

How long does a tick have to be attached before it will transmit a disease?


A tick has to be attached for a significant amount of time before a disease can be transmitted. However, it’s hard to narrow down the time period. In some studies, diseases have been spread in less than 24 hours, but most of the time it takes longer. Checking your pet for ticks every 24 hours is a good way to significantly reduce your dog’s risk of getting a tick-borne illness. 

How long does it take Lyme disease or a tick-borne infection to manifest after finding a tick on your dog?

The time varies depending on the disease or infection. Once the tick is embedded into the skin after an extended period, the disease is transmitted. It enters the bloodstream, affecting different body organs. Only 5-10% of infected dogs develop clinical signs of Lyme disease. Signs usually develop within 2-5 months of infection.

How does Lyme disease affect your dog?

If left untreated, Lyme disease could progress into serious complications, leading to kidney failure. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help ease discomfort and resolve symptoms.

If Lyme disease is transmitted, your dog could experience: 

  • Kidney disease

  • Soreness in the limbs

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

Other diseases and infections ticks can spread to your dog include:

  • Anaplasmosis: fever, muscle aches, and other uncomfortable symptoms, including lethargy and loss of appetite Babesiosis: anemia, pale gums, weakness, fever, body aches, loss of appetite, bruising, jaundice

  • Tick Paralysis: heavy breathing, difficulty breathing, loss of muscle function

  • Ehrlichiosis: weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes

How To Tick-proof Your Yard

Regularly mow your lawn, and use a weed wacker in hard-to-reach areas or against fencing to trim long grass. 

If you frequently take your dog on hikes, check for ticks around the neck and ears, and do a full-body examination post-hike. Humans can also contract tick-borne diseases. Always check your body, especially underarms, behind knees, and around your wrists, after leaving an area with dense grass or shrubs. 

It’s very important that you schedule an online telehealth appointment with a Vetster veterinarian to formulate the best and most effective plan to prevent flea and tick infestation.


Sunday, June 5, 2022

How to Find Perfect Home for You and Your Pet

 How to Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Pet?

Before you look for a new home, it's important to consider a few factors. Indoor/outdoor pets need wide hallways and separate rooms. Consider the flooring, too. While wood floors are growing in popularity, they can also be scratched and damaged, so the carpet is a better option. If you can't decide between carpet and hardwood floors, consider the size and durability of the carpet before you make a final decision.

Possibilities of rehoming your pet

While rehoming a pet can be emotionally and financially devastating, it is far better than giving it up to a shelter, where it may be euthanized. The benefits of rehoming your pet are obvious, and proactive strategies will increase your chances of success. You can find easily pet friendly apartments Phoenix by searching on internet. Listed below are a few tips to retain your pet and keep it from euthanasia. If you've found yourself in the same situation, take heart!

Before rehoming your pet, check its vaccinations, health history, and temperament. If it isn't current, it is likely to be at risk of contracting a disease or becoming ineffective in caring for you. Also, check your pet's hygiene. If you see it hasn't been properly groomed, it may be time to seek rehoming. Your pet's behavior may have changed, too. If you're considering rehoming a pet due to a medical condition, don't wait any longer.

Size of dog breeds

There are a few things to consider when choosing the size of dog breeds for your home. Consider how big you can keep the dog, whether you plan to take him on long walks or to the dog park. If you plan to live in an apartment, consider whether you'll have enough space for a large dog. The breed's size will determine the amount of space needed for exercise, play, and poop.

Medium dogs are a great choice if you have space to exercise and play with them. They can be as large as 75 pounds or smaller. You'll need plenty of space for their wagging tails and to keep them from damaging furniture or household objects. Medium-sized dogs can be as large as a lap dog, depending on their size. If you're looking for a smaller dog, consider a toy breed.

Size of cat breeds

If you have kids and are interested in bringing a new pet into the family, consider the type of cat you want. Some breeds are gentle with children while others are more independent. 

Large cats are often categorized as those over 15 pounds. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some large cats weigh as little as 12 pounds, while rare specimens can weigh up to 30 pounds. Regardless of size, you should make sure your new pet has enough enrichment to keep them happy and healthy. Cats need plenty of climbing places, perches near windows, interactive playtime, and scratching areas.

Location of a dog park or green space

There are many benefits of living near a dog park or green space, and it may be important for you to look for one when looking for a new home. Green space is beneficial for humans, but dogs require it as well. Not only will a dog park keep your pet active and fit, it will also reduce anxiety and help to stimulate your pet's mind. Currently, one out of three dogs in the United States is overweight, which is associated with more than 20 ailments and an increased cost of pet healthcare.

A dog park is a great place to socialize your pet, but it also requires a lot of planning and dedication. It should be at least one acre, with a four to a six-foot chain-link fence. It should be double-gated to make access for wheelchair-users easier, and it should have a designated waste-removal station. There should also be enough trash cans and bags to accommodate all the dogs.

Size of home

The size of the home for you and your pet depends on the breed of your pets, the type of lifestyle you currently lead, and the geographical climate. Larger animals require more space and more energy, while smaller pets can adapt to a smaller space. Whether you choose to downsize or not is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that you should take your pets' needs into account when choosing the size of your new home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Introduction to Mantrailing Step One Train a Dog to Find People

 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!

By following this simple step-by-step method of setting the dog up for success you and the dog will be finding a person from the first day of training and beyond.
(Pictured: Starting my dog to find a person)

Over the course of several weeks I will be posting steps to help you...
  • Use a time tested and proven step by step method for solid reliable success on the trail. 
  • Do actual trails to find a hidden person with a dog.
  • 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 world of K9SAR.
  • Each post will be linked to the next post so you can follow through
  • you would rather have the post delivered to your email...Sign-up at the pop up window at Family Disaster Dogs.

Found !

See a free preview and get the book below to learn everything about Mantrailing Now!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Family Disaster Dogs

 Family Disaster Dogs

Letter from the founder,

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. Every missing person case is a disaster for the family involved.

I have spent the past 10 years writing and publishing books that have a worldwide following helping many people to learn how to locate missing persons with the use of dogs. As well as prepare for natural disasters and how a dog can assist in emergencies. 

The goal here at Family Disaster Dogs is to help everyone stay safe out there! 

We encourage and teach families to prepare for disasters with a dog's help.  

We train family dogs to find family members using Search and Rescue dog skills. 

Upon request, we train Mantrailing K9SAR dogs to FEMA standards.

Feel free to ask for help to train a dog or for resources to help locate missing persons

Amber Higgins is the author of 4 books, blog and lessons that train family dogs to rescue their own family using Search and Rescue skills. These books and lessons are based on over 30 years of dog training experience and 10 years of active K9SAR plus more. Look up the books online, they are available everywhere and free lessons are posted at the Family Disaster Dogs site. 

Available to train in person and speak at public events.

Books include: 

Family Disaster Dogs-over 60 lessons 

Evacuate with Your Dog's Help- with updated survival bag list

My Puppy Can Find Me (children dog training picture book)

Start Mantrailing- Train a Dog to Find People Step by Step for fun, sport and work

Friday, May 6, 2022

Prepare for the Storms 2022

Prepare for the Storms 

by Making each person and pet a

"Family Disaster Dog" Go Bag- 72 hour Bug Out Backpack

Place these items in a dog backpack after you have gotten your dog used to carrying the backpack by rubbing the pack over the dog and gently placing it on the dog without anything in it.  Allow the dog to wear the backpack a little get use to it. See why you may need your dog to carry a bag by reading my post here>>>

Slowly place the items in the bags. Go slowly so your dog doesn't get scared. Once they are comfortable with the packs then you can pack it and take them for a walk.  Be sure to tighten the straps slowly, and not to tightly.

Most dogs feel proud to have a backpack, they really like them.

Dog or Pet 72 hour Ready Bag-Go-Bag and Bug-Out Bag 
Click  above for examples

Here's Daisy wearing her bag, she carries a small frying pan too :) 

Here's Dumpster who came to one of my book signing events. He's trying out a dog bag for the first time and went home with one of his own.

All size dogs can help us evacuate

(The links in the below list are from amazon to help support the cost of maintaining this site free to everyone, we only make a tiny bit from any sales generated and greatly appreciate your support. We thank you.)

Here is a good choice to help you get started making your dog's a go-bag. 

Recommended Items for an Emergency Evacuation Bag
(It is recommended by all emergency response agencies that each person and pet in a household, school and workplace have 1 set of the items listed and 1 bag plus have a travel bag in each vehicle. I know this sounds like many things and maybe overwhelming to some but when you evacuate and have to sit out the disaster for days or weeks, you will be happy to have have the extra supplies. Shelters often run out of food, especially in today's Covid19 situation.)

This is not the usually list of items needed in a bug out or go bag for pets. I've added extra items based on my SAR and Red Cross training plus personal experience. These items go into your dog's backpack with copies of dog Id, health record and your contact information, next of kin or emergency contact.

You keep copies of paperwork in your own backpack too.

Waterproof everything by placing each item in its own sealed baggie even if the dog backpack is waterproof.

Items to place in Dog or Cat Bug-Out Go-Bag are:

current color photograph of you and your pet together (in case you are separated)

Food, water – 3-day supply for each pet and yourself
(you can hang water bottles from your dog's pack or harness)
Bowls - non-spill  w/lid if possible
Collar and leash -for dogs and cats

Muzzle (the muzzle I choose at this link is the type I know will work for a dog biting its handler/owner/groomer/vet due to fear or injury. The other types of muzzles that allow a dog to drink water and open its mouth are not the safest to use when a dog is upset and trying to bite everything they can reach, cats too!) 

In a pinch, when no muzzle is handy a pair of woman's panty hoses or stockings works as a good muzzle. Wrap the stocking around the dog's muzzle and tie behind the ears. The material will stretch so make sure it's tight enough the dog cannot open its mouth and you can still slip a finger under the nose area. This is only for an emergency when the animal is scared and needs to be touched or moved for medical or safety reasons. This muzzle is not to be left on the dog for longer than 15 minutes without loosing it for proper oxygen to the pet 

Leg Stockings are compact with many uses other than a muzzle. They work well as a filter to strain dirt from water, a bandage and Ace wrap for injury support, plus they can keep you warm and even be used as a mask.

Instead of Poop Scoop Baggies just pack some regular sandwich bags so you can use them for other purposes too.

Treats and Toy, at least 3 days worth of light weight high quality dog food.
1 small lightweight blanket, towel, or newspaper for warmth

ID tag should always be on pet's harness or collar
Extra name tag should be on the backpack, be sure to put a nameplate on your bag too, on attached so it will not come off. With your cell phone number.

In case you can drive away in order to evacuate or bug out. Pet carrier ( link to my favorite type for safety) or crate for each pet labeled with pet and owner’s information (keep near your bag).

Allergy medicine or other special medicines with instructions

Pack the items below as a Pet First Aid Kit in its own small waterproof container or baggie that will fit in the dog's backpack.

Scissors-other pocket knife
Band-aids don't stick to dog fur but a few for your friends can come in handy.
Several Gauze pads and medical cotton squares
Alcohol Wipes
Instant cold pack (to big to carry-cold mud works in a pinch)
Medical and Adhesive tape
1 small bar Soap
1 small tube Antiseptic cream
1 small bottle Eye drops
10-20 Cotton balls
Powder Gatorade or electrolytes
Large Tea Bags (stops bleeding)
Vet Wrap (like an ace bandage for animals and sticks to itself,very handy)
Glow lite Sticks (hang one on your dog and self at night to be seen)

Wrap some pieces of duck tape around one of the bottles for later use
Make sure to waterproof every item.

Snake Country 
If you are in snake country put a small container or baggie with the cooking spice Adolf's  Meat Tenderizer which contains a fruit extract which neutralizes snake and spider, Scorpion types of venom. I've used it several times with rattlesnake bit dogs.

I keep Concentrated Pet Food Paste on hand at all times and pack it in our go-bags. This is in a tube and looks like thick dark brown honey. Dogs and cats love it.

Pack 2 or more tubes depending on the size of your dog of Nutri-Cal Concentrated Dog Food. This a source used for sick animals that cannot eat. 1 teaspoon per 10lbs body weight will keep your dog alive after you run out of dog food. This is a good standby to have. 1 tube will keep a small dog well fed without any other food source for 4- 5 days.

If you have room in your dog's pack we at Family Disaster Dogs recommend adding these items to your dog’s Go-Bag or Bug Out pack.

Survival Kit
A compass and a map of your area
A small flashlight with extra batteries or another light source
Water Purification Tablets
12 Hour Emergency Bright Sticks
16 Hour Hand Warmer
Mylar Emergency Blanket
Extra Collar & Leash Set
Reflective Dog Vest
Rain Coat and Boots will give your dog some protection in a nuclear fall out as will a full
Body rain suit for your self. in your dog's backpack.
Tie-Out leash or chain 10-15 ft long

You can get more information about go-bags and packing your dog for evacuation at our home site go to the link above.

Here's a good choice of bags for traveling with pets. 

Pet Travel Bag

Your Dog's Ready When You Are!!!

Here's my video and book preview below

Click above to read a free preview of my book, thanks for visiting !

Stay safe out there!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

4 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Dog Breed

 4 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Dog Breed 

Bringing a pet into your life requires more planning than many people think. It doesn't matter whether you need a pet for companionship or specialized tasks; you want to make sure you choose a suitable breed for your environment and lifestyle. It is important to prepare your home before bringing in your new friend, and choosing the right breed is vital for building a harmonious relationship with fewer risks of trouble in the future. Here are four factors to help you find the right dog breed. 

  1. Size matters 

Image Credit

When choosing a dog breed, the size of your living area is one of the most important elements to consider. Do you live in a house or a modest apartment? Do you have enough room for a huge dog, or will your living space only be big enough for a tiny dog? Depending on the breed, it is convenient to have a backyard where your dog can go outside and relieve themselves. Additionally, large breeds such as the Great Danes have other physical concerns. Smaller dogs such as the Chihuahuas may be more susceptible to mishaps or cooler temperatures than larger breeds. 

  1. Breed 

Different breeds have unique characteristics. According to the American Kennel Club, seven dog breed groups are herding, hound, working, sporting, non-sporting, terrier, and toy. Every breed has its traits, so it is crucial to determine if they are compatible with yours. For instance, a hypoallergenic dog breed can be a good fit if you are allergic to animal fur. However, you want to ensure their characteristics match the ones you are looking for. Usually, mixed-breed dogs, like an Australian Cobberdog, are supposed to be better versions of their parents due to the combination of desirable characteristics. However, there's no assurance they will have all of the desirable characteristics and no negative ones. You will have to learn what an Australian Cobberdog is and how ideal it can be for you if you are looking for an ideal breed.

  1. Costs 

Regardless of size, temperament, or breed, every dog needs various supplies. This may include bedding, food and water bowls, periodic vaccination, crates for traveling, and other grooming supplies. Other potential costs include professional grooming, boarding fees, and licenses. While large breeds may require more feeding expenses, particular breeds may need extensive medical attention, so you want to factor in the financial commitments that come with picking a particular breed before deciding.


  1. Present lifestyle 

Image Credit

Taking care of a dog is similar to taking care of a child, particularly if you have a puppy. Some breeds, regardless of age, require time to play and exercise to manage any destructive behaviors. Meanwhile, your occupation may be keeping you away from home for long periods. How much time you spend with your dog is essential for pet care. However, this shouldn't be a biggie if you have other people who can care for your dog in your absence. You must ensure these caretakers are responsible enough for the job. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding a new dog. What matters is that you find the correct dog for you. Whether you want to adopt or buy a dog from a breeder, you should look for a breed that fits your lifestyle and living arrangements.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Simple Ways To Keep Your Dog Happy When They're Home Alone

Before we become dog owners, we all have a responsibility to consider the amount of time we’ll be able to dedicate to our canine companions. Unfortunately, even if you’re around a lot of the time, the odd work trip or day out can still see you leaving your dog at home alone.

As many of us find out the hard way, this separation can see even the perfect family dog wreaking havoc at home. From chewed furniture to neighbor noise complaints and beyond, this can make an already difficult separation much harder. However, there are steps you can take to keep your dog happy even while they’re home alone, and we’re going to consider your best options. 

Image Source: CC0 License

Provide them with a Safe Space

Dogs are pack animals, and they rely on this pack mentality to face threats. Left alone, your dog may feel exposed, vulnerable, and in need of defensive behaviors, hence they may become destructive or uncharacteristically loud. To avoid this, it’s best to provide them with a generally safe space that they already know and feel relaxed in. Crates are great for this purpose and can even be kept open in any room to provide your dog a go-to safe spot that they know. Equally, leaving them in an area of the house that they spend a lot of time in and that has things like their bed, water, etc. can significantly reduce the impact of separation anxiety, and its overall negative outcomes.

Ensure Plenty of Stimulation

You wouldn’t like to be left at home with nothing to do, and nor would your dog. In fact, boredom is perhaps the leading cause of destructive canine behavior when home alone. To overcome this, it’s therefore important to provide plenty of stimulation for your dog when you aren’t around. Chew toys like Kongs that include puzzles your dog needs to solve can be especially great for this, as can fresh animal chew treats like those from Superior Farms which can last for the entire time you’re away in most instances. Simply experiment with a few different techniques while you’re around, and see which occupies your dog’s attention for the longest time so that you can pick the best option when you are away. 

Get them used to Time Alone

While no dog owner should ever deprive their dog of attention, keeping your pooch happy when they’re home alone is also easiest if you get them used to their own company when you’re around. Obviously, you should never do this to the detriment of playtime or walks, etc., but something as simple as leaving your dog to play in the other room alone while you complete household errands can help them to adjust to the solo life. Then, when you do have to leave, it’ll be far less shocking for a dog that’s already happier in its own company. 

Leaving your dog is never a pleasant experience, but you can at least rest easy that they’ll be happier at home alone when you implement these pointers. 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Have You Just Adopted A Dog? Give Yourself A Big Pat On The Back


Unsplash - CC0 License

Dogs are precious animals. To many of us, they are more than just pets, they’re companions. 

Unfortunately, some dogs can’t find homes. That’s when caring people step in and provide them with a family. 

Is that what you’ve just done? If so, give yourself a big pat on the back. You’re making the world a better place. 

You Might Have Just Saved Their Life

Adopting a dog is about more than providing them with a pleasant home. In fact, in many cases, you could be saving their life. 

Figures suggest that people rescue around a million dogs a year in the US. If it wasn’t for these individuals, shelters would overflow and there would be nowhere to keep them. The only choice would be to put them down, and nobody who cares about dogs wants that. By rescuing a dog, you’re freeing up space for other animals to have a chance to look for a home. 

You’ll Earn A Great Friend

You can also give yourself a nice big pat on the back for getting a new friend. Dogs love people and being around their family. They always want to be in a group. As long as you look after your new pet, they will always be loyal. 

You Can Learn How To Rescue Other Dogs

Unsplash - CC0 License

Adopted dogs sometimes have checkered pasts. Things haven’t always gone right for them, which is why they wind up in shelters. 

As Nicole Simone of Redemption Paws points out, it can take a lot of work adopting a dog. In many cases, you have to engage in rehabilitation so that the rescued pup can be a happy and healthy animal. 

The first time you do this, it’s a steep learning curve. However, after that, it gets significantly easier. Once you’re on your third or fourth, you know the drill and can rescue dogs much more easily. 

You Just Saved Yourself Some Money

Buying a pedigree pooch as a puppy is expensive, particularly if you go to a well-respected breeder. It’s easy to spend more than $1,000 getting the dog that you want. 

When you adopt, though, it’s pretty much free. Shelters will usually just perform a few background checks, then you’re free to ride off into the sunset with your new dog. Sure, you’ll have to provide food and toys, but the costs of doing so are minimal for most people. 

You’ll Improve Your Own Healthy

Study after study shows that dog owners are healthier than the rest of the population. Not only do they do more exercise, but they also seem less prone to allergies, thanks to the beneficial bacteria and particles that pups bring to the home. 

You Will Change Your Dog’s World

Unsplash - CC0 License

Lastly, adopting a dog changes their world. They go from a neglectful or abusive life into one full of love and compassion. When you bring them into your home, you are giving them the life that they deserve and making sure that they get the most out of life. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Train a Dog to Find People Mantrailing Introduction online and training workshops


Train a Dog to Find People 




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

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 without our interference. We, as handlers, literally become a part of the dog at the end of the leash. We go wherever the dog takes us! Which is completely opposite of how we handle and give dog’s commands in obedience and tracking. 

Over the next few months, I will be posting articles to help you get started on the exciting journey of finding people with a dog. The information is suitable for training a dog and handler team to work actual missing person’s incidents or for sporting dog events as well as a fun activity that will amaze you and anyone who watches a dog use its nose in the most incredible way. 

I encourage you to ask friends and family to participate by using the exercises I will be posting here at Family Disaster Dogs . Every post is put together for all dog breeds from working dogs to family pets.

Let's train! 

 The lessons in the follow weeks will give search dog teams a great start and foundation to continue training towards certification as call-out ready and pet dog owners a great way to exercise and have fun with dogs of all ages. 

This training is not hard to do or as strict as most dog training methods are. This fun outdoor adventure will have you and your dog looking forward to the next big search.

The time-tested step by step training method was passed down to me by Master K9 trainers who helped set the standards in Mantrailing many years ago. This method will teach you how to start training a dog and handler team (you and a dog) to find one living human being in a crowd of other human beings. 

Mantrailing dogs pin point and find the person whose scent the dog is given at the start of the search. The dog will ignore all other people and distractions to find only that single person you are looking for.

Mantrailing is one of the most amazing abilities of scent work with dogs. 

For the most part, mantrailing has always been in its own category of K9 Search and Rescue (K9SAR) training and work standards as the way to use a bloodhound’s natural and bred-in trailing ability to find people. Due to different dog breed’s natural traits and the complexity of missing person’s cases along with the science of scent K9SAR has different training and working methods that are utilized to produce reliable and successful search and rescue results. You will learn more about this in the following weeks. 

Here's my dog and I looking for a hidden person.

Mantrailing has a come a long way since I began in 1996. Like most things, due to the advancement of the internet connecting people the world over, slowly but surely more people are learning that mantrailing is another way amongst an array of disciplines used to work a Search and Rescue Dog or K9 to find people. And, it's one of the oldest ways used for centuries to hunt people with dogs.

Pictured below is a few of my search and rescue dogs in 2000.

Until recently, there have always been only a handful or so of qualified mantrailing dog trainers and handlers spread around the world because actual search and rescue operations are handled by law enforcement, fire departments and emergency management agencies who recruit volunteers to train and assist when the need arises. Bloodhounds have always been the mantrailers and other breeds the tracker or area search dogs but now other breeds of dogs are learning what bloodhounds know. Bloodhounds taught me how to find people and I'm passing the knowledge on to you.

This type of dog training was not often offered to the general public until a few years ago. Before then for anyone to learn how to train a search and rescue dog the person had to volunteer with a responding agency and receive training from the agency. Which is still true in many parts of the world. 

If you want to be active in search and rescue with a dog you will most often have to join a local emergency response agency in your area to qualify and to be on a call-out list of resources. I was fortunate to be asked to learn to train and handle search dogs by the fire department I volunteered with because I was already a well-known dog breeder and trainer with years of experience.

With mantrailing becoming popular with other breeds of dogs in SAR and as a recreational and competitive dog sport I noticed a need for a simple to understand training book that is suitable for beginners and experienced handlers who want to start on the exciting journey of Mantrailing. 

I spent most of last year writing the book and now I want to share with my loyal followers and visitors here how to get started by including parts of the book so the lessons come right in your email and are online here for people to refer too. 

Over the next few months I will cover the basics of training to be a mantrailing team for work, sport and fun.

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

The dog will find the person every time using the methods I will outline. 

Each training session thereafter will be a building block for solid reliable success on the trail.

If you want to get a head start then head over to my Start Mantrailing Step by Step book's page for the new book which was published Sept, 2020 and is available on bookshelves worldwide and amazon/ kindle.

Sign up at the pop window (refresh this page for the pop up) to have these posts delivered to your email or bookmark this page and each posts will have a link to the next article and lessons. 

Use the contact page at to reach me about in-person training.

Stay safe out there!

UK Visitors

Welcome UK visitors 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 North Scotland Search Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates in the book, plus American dogs I know. 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 visit my book page above to order from me.

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

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