As mentioned previously, many of the skills that were so essential for particular breeds excelling at their intended functions have easily transferred into other activities. Today, dogs not only still work as hunters and herders, but they also perform extremely beneficial jobs such as pet therapy and search and rescue. There are quite a large number of search and rescue organizations throughout the country and a wide variety of dogs, both purebred and mixed breed are employed in these important activities. Though Redbone Coonhounds at the moment are not in high numbers in search and rescue organizations, the set of skills that make them such versatile hunters have allowed them to successfully break into the job.
There are different types of search and rescue dogs. Air scent dogs have the job of tracking scent in the air; sometimes a scent article is presented to the dog, though this is not always the case. These dogs work in specific areas and can find any human in their search area. Tracking or trailing dogs work with a specific scent, using it to find a victim. Scent articles are almost always used with these dogs, which can be worked either off or on a lead. There are also what are called cadaver dogs, which have the function of locating human remains that are usually buried or hidden. Water dogs work with scents in the water; cadaver dogs usually also have water dog training and are sometimes employed when there is a drowning. Lastly, there are avalanche dogs, which can pick up the scent of a person trapped under snow or ice; once they pick up the scent, they dig to reach the victim.
To become a search and rescue canine, a dog must undergo rigorous training and a series of tests aimed towards certification. A dog must have a friendly nature and show a good level of socialization to both other dogs and humans; furthermore, the dog must be full of energy and have a desire to please his handler. A properly trained Redbone Coonhound demonstrates all of these characteristics; furthermore, it is an extremely intelligent and focused dog, making it very suitable for the rigorous training required of search and rescue dogs. Most dogs require an average of 16 months to two years of training and the like before they can actually work in a search and rescue capacity. And let's not forget that the Redbone Coonhound is one of the best scent trackers there is, often exceeding other breeds of coonhound. The extreme adaptability of the Redbone is also an asset; there have been Redbones that performed each of the search and rescue activities described above, in a variety of situations; Redbones have proven useful in wilderness searches (including water searches and snow searches), urban situations and at disaster sites.