Human search

Human search is both good and fun activity training for your dog. During the search, the dog must find and mark people who are more or less hidden in the terrain, in contrast to human tracks where the dog must pick up and follow a track that has been laid.

How do I and my dog ​​start human search?

It is best to sign up for a course, we ourselves have collaborated with the Swedish Dog Club, SHK, in Södertälje and the instructor Britty Andersson, when we arranged a course for podengo Friends members. This is why we describe here SHK’s Human search courses. Britty has also been with the instructor Carina Ahlin.

How do you teach the dog to search for people?

This can be done in a few different ways. Sometimes you need to start by teaching the dog to carry things in its mouth because that is one of the ways the dog marks when it has found the human. You also need to be several crews who are helped to be extras and hide in the terrain.

During the beginner’s course, you go through how the search is done, what a search area is, the handlers role during the search, marking of the search area, the helper’s role, reward, etc. You teach the dog to mark by sitting still and barking when it has found the human, or by taking a marking roll that hangs from the collar and carrying it in its mouth back to its handler.

Are there different levels on the human search courses?

There are 3 levels; Beginner, continuation and advanced Person Search course. The beginner’s course is suitable, for example, for those who want to apply for ID with their dog as an everyday exercise.

Can all dogs participate in human search courses?

As long as they can make their way through tight and difficult-to-access terrain, which the very smallest and youngest may have difficulty with, all dogs can take part in the course.

Does the dog have to be free in order for you to take the course?

During a search, the dog searches loose, you must also be able to have it loose during a test. But at a beginner’s course, SHK has a large enclosure to train in, and you can have a leash on the dog when you search in the forest.

Can you compete or take a test in paging?

Yes, you can take a test in paging. The dog must be at least 8 months old and the driver at least 12 years old. In search, the crew is tested in trial form and receives a pass or fail rating and then in several classes: Start, Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold.

For those aiming for a championship together with the Swedish Kennel Club, it is required that the dog is registered in the SHK, that it has approved results in the gold class and received the assessment Very good at the SHK exhibition. Rules for tests are made up at Svenska Hundklubbens website.

What equipment do I need to start with human search?

For the beginner’s course, you need a collar (no choke) and/or harness and a rope/leash without a loop, which is a maximum of 5 meters long. The dog must also have a service badge on it, which means that the dog is on duty when it searches. It is a small quilt marked SHK, which you can borrow during the course, but you must have your own for the exam.

If you want to take a test, you must also have a search reel that you train the dog to retrieve and then be able to retrieve from the helper, it is a must at the test.

Is there a book I can read about human search?

The Swedish Dog Club trains based on the book Search & Rescue Dogs by Anita Leander Mellin, it´s a book in Swedish. The book can be purchased from SHK.

Do you also want to take a course in human search?

Podengo Friends can organize courses in human search in collaboration with a trained instructor, for example Britty Andersson and Carina Ahlin from the Swedish Dog Club.