Dog Training World Forums Specialized Dog Training Search and Rescue Search and rescue training – is it worth doing recreationally? Reply To: Search and rescue training – is it worth doing recreationally?

  • Krzysztof

    June 13, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    I started my olfactory work with mantrailing. In mantrailing, dogs work on medium and heavy molecules – what settles in space for longer. When searching, dogs work mainly on light molecules – hydrates, primarily on the smell of exhaled air. The task of the rescue dog is to find people who are ALIVE and only the living (although here there are differences in different countries when it comes to the training methodology; in Poland cadaver dogs are trained separately).

    Mantrailing has limitations – the mantraling dog will not search the rubble. A search dog is also able to work longer and check a much larger area than a mantrailing dog. Besides, a few years ago, when I was still training mantrailing, trainers had a stupid rule that the dog is only rewarded by the helper at the end of the track. At the same time, the dog is required not to follow the shortest path (e.g. when he gets the wind and smell directly), but to follow the track followed by the helper

    (not foot to foot like in tracking, but cutting corners is not good).

    Fortunately, some trainers have come to their senses and started introducing elements to reward the dog for working on the track – elements taken from sports tracking, marking objects, etc. This makes more sense, because the dog actually learns to follow the track. I don’t know what it looks like today, because I was drawn to the work of search rescue dogs 😉

    There is indeed a belief that mantrailing is a great sport to help solve behavioral problems – I have my doubts about that. Although it can help indirectly by providing activities related to the naturally strongest sense, related to the elements of the hunting sequence, cooperation with the guide and work with helpers (socialization). But personally, I wouldn’t overestimate it as a means of “repair” dogs. Of course, such activity is valuable in itself – that’s for sure 🙂