I am often surprised at the number of people, both from the general public and from search dog user agencies, who are unaware that a trained search dog can find a subject underwater. The commonly asked question is “How do they get the scent?” I think that the common misconception is that scent stays with the body, when in fact scent rises to the surface of the water.

To explain this concept to people I start by telling them about the “Pig Pen” concept because everyone knows that Pig Pen is the dirty little guy in the Peanuts comic strip who deposits STUFF everywhere he goes. Then I tell them to imagine dropping Pig Pen in a bathtub, soaking him for a while, then draining the tub.

The line around the tub is deposited from what came off Pig Pen, came to the surface of the water, and stuck to the side of the tub. This is similar to what happens with scent from a recently drowned person. Oils, skin rafts, hair fibers, clothing fibers and much more are percolating to the water’s surface. Dogs are trained to find all of these scents on the ground and in the air, so handlers can teach them to find it on the water and under the water.

To acquire the scent, the dog can sniff the air for scent that is being evaporated out of the water and riding on the breeze and the dog can taste the scent by nipping at the water, and, of course, the dog can smell the particles of scent that are on the water and just beneath the water’s surface. Commonly, scuba divers are used to begin the water search dog training process because divers have similar scent to a recently drown person and they can pop up and reward the dog. This teaches the dog that when he finds that scent – POW – great things happen – the man from the lagoon plays with him! Scuba divers are accompanied with bubbles which are also visual cues to the dog and they help to percolate the scent more rapidly. To make sure the dog isn’t just looking for bubbles a handler would set an empty scuba tank in the water to “proof” against bubbles.

In other words, just because bubbles are there, doesn’t mean scent and reward is there. Dogs can find a drowned subject directly after an accident or hours or days later. That is because the training doesn’t stop with finding divers. Search dogs are also taught to look for the scent of decomposition gases that are commonly found when a body has begun the process of decay. The training material for this can be found in pseudo (or imitated) form. Pseudo scent or (Corpse scent – drowned victim scent formulation) has been designed by chemists as a training material for search dogs.

The companies that produce this training aide claim that it simulates a chemical composition like that of a drowned human body. Handlers will sometimes use pseudo in combination with real human tissue and sometimes handlers will use only human tissues. The source for human tissues can be drawn blood, hair, nails, skin rafts, urine and other collectable human contributions for training purposes.

You have heard the saying “Often imitated but never duplicated”. That is how some handlers feel about chemically made human scent. The scientific tests are not in about pseudo scent , yet many water search dogs have been successfully trained on the substance. The next question I get asked is “How do you get scent into the water?” There are many different systems that can aide the search dog handler in effectively getting the training scent into the water.

The use of divers, scent tubes on lines, bobber systems, bait buckets and a scent pump apparatus are just some of the methods used to put scent in the water. The advantage of the scent pump is that the scent material doesn’t have to enter the water system. The air that is pumped past the scent picks up the microscopic gases and then deposits into the water. The result of careful, well planned out training is that dog and handler can assist in locating a subject. The canine detection tool is so strong that it may takes days for a team of search & rescue divers to find a drowned subject, whereas the trained water search dog can shorten the task dramatically! It is every handlers hope that they will be there soon enough with a trained water search dog to find a person who can be resuscitated.

Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. However, most handlers agree that the reclaiming of a loved one for the family is a very important job. In the case of a cold water drowning some subjects have been revived even after amazing amounts of time underwater because the body systems slow down.

There is always the possibility that a search dog could make the difference between life and death if able to respond immediately. Here are more articles related to Water Search. If the dogs are provided with CBD products, then the performance in the water search is the effective one. In order to know about the benefits, the master will select to do a click to read more information at the official site. The health problems of the pets are reduced under the guidance of the experts. 

Julia
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