Info Desperately Needed!!! - Do we need a scent article?

An area to discuss general issues concerning Lowand Search Dogs

Info Desperately Needed!!! - Do we need a scent article?

Postby niki » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:27 pm

Mojo wrote:If we don't have a scent object for the search dog - how does the dog search and what does it search for?

Hi Mojo,

At this time all qualified Lowland Search Dogs are air-scenting. Basically this means that they will find ANY human scent in the air and follow it back to its source. If you imagine that nice hot apple pie from the cartoons and it is wafting through the air and you then spot the character's nose lift up and they follow the smell back to the pie, well this is exactly how the dogs work (but without the graphics [blush] ) So bearing that in mind if there are 4 people in a given area our dogs will find all 4 people and not care whether they are the MISPER or little Johnny playing in the woods with his friends. Therefore, ideally, our dogs will need a lovely area that hasn't been contaminated by any searchers, police or other dogs. That's not to say they cannot be used in an area that has been previously searched as long as everyone has vacated that area prior to us starting our search. In fact whilst searching one of our dogs found a member of the public who we were able to ask if they had seen the MISPER and their information lead onto the MISPER being located!

Currently the trailing standards are being written so that trailing dogs can soon be assessed by Lowland Search Dogs. These are the dogs people are more familiar with. They generally use the article and follow trails of scent to find the missing person. (I'm sure Pete can correct me if I am incorrect as I am not a trailing handler) These dogs can be used in areas being searched by other teams as they will scent discriminate and just follow the MISPER's scent.

We usually say that our dogs will work for about 8 hours on a search. But this does depend on the weather. E.g if its too hot or extremely wet and cold then this time maybe shortened. ALso each dog is different so the best bet is to be guided by the handler. They will be very honest about what their dog can and can't do.

As you have already pointed out yourself the best way to understand this is to see the different types in action.

I too am a Search Manager and didn't fully appreciate what the dogs could do until I started training my own. Like all resources they have their uses and places to be used. If ever you are unsure ask the handlers what areas they think they will be best at. As a general rule of thumb if an area is large and complicated (dense woodland) and it would take a foot team a long time then try out a dog team. If they have any areas that need re-searching or any areas that the dog shows interest then you can put a foot team in to do those specific areas more thoroughly. I think that this is best use. To combine the efforts of both dogs and foot searchers then you get the best out of everyone.

I hope that this helps a bit and please ask away if you have any more questions. As you can see we are all a pretty friendly bunch [tongue2]
Niki Toogood and Scrumpy
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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Mojo » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:09 pm

Hi Niki,

Thanks for the description of the apple pie - I can now understand and it's a language even I can understand [laugh]

I have loads of questions but I'm trying to read into what I can until I see it first hand, I learn better through experience than reading books or internet sites. Although I have found this forum very interesting and at least I'm speaking to the right people.

There's certain things like 'ground scenting', 'refinds/alert', 'track searches with dogs' and 'weather factors' that I just don't understand. But I suppose with patience and in time I will, and I am keen to learn!

It's not an image 'dog teams look good', it's the resource they provide and it's the next step for us here in Cheshire. One of our girls has just joined the forum and she's trying to teach me what she can and I'll support her throughout anything I can.

I've spoken to dog handlers within MR on joint searches and with a few a Polsa's who are very positive about working dog teams, but often confuse me with the different types of dogs they use for different searches.

But thanks Niki your reply was really useful (I've printed it out [blush] )

Mojo
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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Daryl » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:14 pm

Hi Mjo

you have just made me think :idea: Scary thought I know [tongue]

I am going to set up a Glossary of terms thread which will eventually become a page on this site!

So if you have any other words or terms that you need writing about, please ask away!!!! [smile]
Daryl Toogood
President
Berkshire Search & Rescue Dogs

"I can explain it in Dog, but you only listen in Human."
-- Gaspode the wonder dog
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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Mojo » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:30 pm

You must be joking???

How many do you want???

Mojo x
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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Daryl » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:30 am

Keep adding them!!!! [blink]
Daryl Toogood
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Berkshire Search & Rescue Dogs

"I can explain it in Dog, but you only listen in Human."
-- Gaspode the wonder dog
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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Mojo » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:12 pm

The misper was deceased at time of the completion of the search i.e when we'd stood down, but the misper was assumed live when we'd got on-scene and the dog teams deployed? Difficult to explain it all without getting into details and facts.

Thanks for your post though - I really appreicate everyone's replies.

I'm slowly getting there, especially when Niki refers to 'Apple Pie's', I can understand that - not that I've got a sweet tooth [rolleyes]

Whats the difference between SARDA and LS Dogs? (if it's a political mine field don't worry about answering - just wondering)

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Re: Info Desperately Needed!!!

Postby Mojo » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:52 pm

[unsure] Sorry - wasn't sure so I asked.

I don't currently have any documents apart from what you sent Pete about usage of dogs in terms of Search Management and deployment, etc. Is that another whirlwind I still need to discover?

They are ALSAR members who want to train their dogs within CLSART so I'm sure I'm going down the right path [blush]

No harm was intended - promise x
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