How To Train A Dog To Search And Rescue

How To Train A Dog To Search And Rescue


If you’re looking to train your dog for search and rescue, it’s important to know how to do so in a way that is safe and effective. The following tips will help you train your dog to perform search and rescue as well as possible.

Start young.

Start young.

The best time to start training is when your dog is still a puppy. At this age, dogs are eager to learn and have plenty of energy. They also need exercise and love having something fun to do with their new owners. It’s easy for them to get used to the routine of training if it’s started right away: they’ll be looking forward to the next session instead of dreading it like they would if they were older (especially if they’ve been given treats in between sessions). Dogs can be trained from 8 weeks old until 6 years old; after that point, most dogs’ abilities begin deteriorating slightly due to age-related cognitive decline—but there are exceptions! Some very smart senior dogs may still be able to learn new things as late as 12 years old!

Make sure the dog wants to search.

The first thing you should do is make sure your dog has a desire to search. Some dogs come naturally with a strong drive, which is the highest form of motivation for any behavior.

Some dogs are born with a high prey drive, which means that they get excited when they see moving objects (like squirrels), and want to chase them.

Other dogs love exploring new environments and sniffing out interesting scents. These are also good candidates for training because they have what it takes to become a successful search-and-rescue dog!

Practice with a friend or toy.

It’s important to practice with a friend or a toy. Start with something small, like a toy, and work your way up from there. You’ll want to practice in an area that’s easy for the dog to get around in and has plenty of room for them to run around.

Teach your dog to heel and follow commands.

It is essential to teach your dog to heel and follow commands. The command “heel” is used to tell the dog to walk beside or behind you. To teach this command, place a leash on your dog’s collar and start walking forward while holding it loosely in your hand. If they follow close behind you without pulling too hard on the leash, praise them verbally such as “good boy!” or “good girl!”. If they pull too hard, jerk the leash sharply so that there is tension on it; this will give them an indication that something needs improving before releasing any tension from the leash again. When heeling becomes easier for them after practicing consistently for several days/weeks/months (depending on how quickly they learn), try using only one command instead of two: “heel” rather than “come here” followed by “boy!”

Learn how to train your dog properly to avoid hurting the dog later on.

  • Do not over-train your dog.
  • Do not let your dog overexert itself.
  • Do not let your dog get frustrated.
  • Do not let your dog get distracted by things like other dogs, food or toys nearby when you are training them to search and rescue.
  • Don’t forget that it’s always important to keep a positive attitude when working with animals, even if they don’t seem interested at first!

Your dog will alert when it finds something.

When your dog locates a subject, it will alert you in one of several ways: barking, whining, scratching or digging. Additionally, some dogs are trained for search and rescues where victims may be buried alive or trapped under rubble. These dogs can be trained to find people who have lost their bearings in the woods or are lost in desert terrain.

Slowly build up your dogs skill by hiding things in larger and larger areas.

  • Start with a small area, such as your backyard
  • Slowly build up the size of your search area by hiding things in bigger and bigger areas (e.g., go from your backyard to the block, then to the neighborhood)
  • Don’t start with a large search area and then work down to smaller areas – this can encourage dogs to give up when they don’t find anything right away!

Use food to reward your dog when it successfully finds what you have hidden.

When your dog is successful in finding a hidden object, use treats to reward it. It is important to give the treat immediately after the dog finds the object. The treat should be small and easy for your dog to chew. You should continue giving treats in that same area every time you hide something for him or her to find.

Dogs can be trained to search and rescue

While it’s true that dogs can be trained to search for people, this isn’t their only use. Dogs are also trained to find bodies, whether buried under rubble or in water. In addition to human bodies and live humans, dogs have been known to detect certain scents belonging to different animals. For example, bloodhounds are famous for being able to track down missing persons by following the scent of their last meal (which they’ve tracked down through the air).


I hope that you’re now confident enough to start training your own search and rescue dog. If you have any further questions I would suggest joining a local search and rescue organization to find out more information about the process.

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