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Kai, The Search And Rescue Dog
by Caroline Mitchell
Kai, the SAR Dog
Our 3 year old Aussie seemed to always have her nose to the ground outdoors, sniffing and tracking some unknown critters. I decided to take her to an evaluation for search and rescue dogs. We then attended a week-long tracking dog camp in April 2012, run by American Mantrailing Police and Working Dog Association. We learned the fundamentals of tracking missing human subjects, working from their scent articles like gloves or pillowcases, then working from the scuff marks left by their feet.
Kai passed her Level 1 Tracking Dog Certification in June 2012, tracking an unknown subject from a scent article for 1 mile until she successfully found her. We are now in intensive weekly training for human remains detection. We get out into the woods several times a week for long practice tracks on friendly volunteers who hide for us, and also attend a weekly training session with the local police dogs for our HRD training. She, like all Aussies, is smart and dedicated and a complete joy to work with, and so excited when she finds 'her' person.