Search & Rescue
How Do Search
All humans, alive or dead constantly emit microscopic particles bearing human scent. Millions of these are airborne and are carried by the wind for considerable distances.
Air-scenting search dogs are trained to scan the air currents for human scent, any human scent. The dog locates the source of the scent and indicates the "find" to the handler. Air-scent search dogs do not use scent articles and can be deployed immediately in hasty searches, running paths, and trails, or days or in conditions that a track/trail dog can not pick up the scent.
A track/trailing search dog is trained to pursue specific individuals by following the scent left from the particles that have drifted from the body to the ground and surrounding vegetation. Track/trailing dogs are particularly effective when they have an item of the missing person to be used for scent identification. It can be an uncontaminated article of clothing, or an object such as a car seat. The dogs can pursue the trail and indicate the direction of travel.
We at G-PET use track/trailing & air scent search dogs, we also have a cadaver search dog. Cadaver search dogs can locate human remains in water or buried under ground or rubble. A cadaver dog can locate human remains that are a few hours old to several years old.
Search dog units work best when called in at the beginning of a search, but can be effective days or weeks afterward. Search dogs can work effectively with other search methods. They can search day or night in most kinds of weather, including rain and snow. They are especially effective where human sight is most limited in dense brush and high grass, in the woods, on the water, and the debris in the aftermath of a flood, tornado or hurricane. They are also effective in rural and suburban areas, searching parks, groves of trees, overgrown vacant lots and houses.