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Trailing/Tracking Dogs

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Referred to as “trailing” or “tracking” dogs, these dogs are trained to follow the scent of the missing or lost person. These dogs follow the path that the person walked.  READ MORE These dogs use a “scent article” which can be anything containing the scent of the person – shoes, clothing, towels, sleeping bag, etc.  The dog is given the scent article at the Place where the person was Last Seen (the PLS) and will then search for the path the missing or lost person walked.  Once on “the trail” the dog will continue to follow the trail to the person.  Trailing dogs work on a long line held by their handlers and can be used in a variety of ways in addition to trailing a path from the PLS.  The dogs can go to a location where the person may have been and search for their scent and pick up a path from there. Or the dogs can be sent ahead of another trailing dog in the same direction to intersections or trail forks to try to move the search forward quicker. They can also be used to try to eliminate intersections or trail forks when practical.  These dogs are trained to ride in helicopters and can be useful in going to more distant locations to try to pick up the trail of people who are believed to be far out in the wilderness.  When trained properly and consistently these dogs are a great resource for the Search and Rescue command and effective at their job.

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