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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!

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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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