A dog’s nose can do what no other resource can. They can find someone lost in the wilderness, and track down a missing parent afflicted with Alzheimers. They can find a skier buried in an avalanche, but also locate victims of a drowning. They can find people trapped in collapsed buildings, or, sadly, their remains. One nose, however, does not “fit all,” The training that goes into one type of scent work is uniquely different from another.
SAR (Search and Rescue Dogs) are Labrador Retrievers, Springer Spaniels, and German Shepherd Dogs. They’re Malinois and Beagles, and they’re Pit Bulls. We know of successful Avalanche Dogs that are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. They are many breeds, and each can be used in a way that calls for a nuanced different skill set and training. They’re purebred dogs, and they’re “not just for show.”
Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States (SARDUS) is teaming up with the “Returning Soldier Initiative” to pair returning soldiers with search and rescue dogs. This initiative will provide specially chosen puppies and adult dogs to returning soldiers at no charge to them. SARDUS will work with the teams to develop them to the point where they can become certified dog handlers and meet national standards. Learn more here.