Ask Skoebidoe: what are Pet Search Dogs?

Pet Search Dogs are dogs trained to find missing pets.

They are also called PetFinder Search Dogs, Pet Search and Rescue Dogs, PetFinder Search and Rescue Dogs, Pet Scent dogs, PetFinder Scent Dogs, …

There are 2 types of training:

1. Training Disaster Search Dog:

the dogs are searching for missing animals after a disaster, bombing attack etc… The dogs are searching in “generally” after missing pets under stones, ground, water,…

The dogs run free under the supervision of their trainer and scent the air and the ground. When they find the place where a missing pet is buried, they give the learned “alert” signal. Some dogs can be trained to help dig out.

The pet search dogs first learn to find missing people after they get additional training to find missing pets.

Like the disaster search dogs for missing people that is the most easy training and search work for a dog (except the under water rescue activities).

2. Training Track Search Dog :

the pet search dogs search a missing pet by following the track after being given a sample of the pet’s scent. The scent can come from some hair the leash, collier sleeping mat etc..

During the search activity the pet search dogs are kept on a long tracking leash.

The pet search dog follows the complete track,.

That means that if a dog has run away and got for example after a rabbit, the search dog will follow the complete track and the chasing after the rabbit.

This can be big adventure because:

The run away dog does not stop before fences and do not choose the easiest way:

or the pet is in a panic and do not know what it is doing

or it has been running away and has the greatest time of his, or her life, following all interesting smells on the ground and in the air. That implies that a track can lead you and your dog into the woods, fields, rivers, streets, gardens of people,… where ever you can imagine

The pet search dogs must discriminate the scent

Like we smell easily dogs, cats, horses but do not catch easily the human scent it is more easy for the dog to scent, follow and discriminate a human track than to discriminate other dog tracks.

To make the training more easy for the dog we first

The pet search dog is first trained as a people search dog and after as a pet search dog.

It is important that the petfinder rescue dogs search at full speed,

They run most of the time. This is necessary to gain time on the missing dog, or other pet to catch up and be able to retrieve it.

It is recommended to work with minimum 2 pet finder search teams and to work alternately not to lose time by resting.

It is ideal for teens from 12 years and plus because they have a lot of energy, a lot of free time, most of the teens like dogs and other pets

and to experience from a young age that it feels goods to help…..

it is good to do it as a family it strengthens the family bonds

It is very recommended for kids with adhd wholoves dogs. It canalizes their energy in a good direction, helps learning to focus and made thim feel to be useful and appreciated

Like Skoebidoe, most dogs love to search, and rescue pets!



Wow! I never knew that there were pet search dogs. I guess all search dogs were the same. I’m glad I learned something new from this article.

Are certain breeds of dogs better at being a pet search dog? Or can all dogs become good pet search dogs? Are there specific breeds that don’t make good search dogs period?

Hello Cyrus

that is a good question, I will make a post about it in the next days or next week.

Most of the dogs can do it, and they love it very much.

All the dogs I have worked with young .older, small, big, male, female ….were able to do it after following the training I had set up and exorcise.

Some were better in finding cats and others were more interested in finding dogs and for the real working dogs such as all the Belgian shepherd breeds, the German shepherd,and the Indian shepherd they just like everything.

For the moment there are not many petfinder search dogs in the world because most
dog trainers think it is not possible to train a dog to become a petfinder
search dog.but they are wrong.

There is a lot to say about it.You will get a complete answer to your question very soon, in my next post…

Have a great day


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