Bloodhounds have one amazing sense of smell and that is why they are said to be an excellent search and rescue dog breed. Their keen sense of smell surpasses all other breeds; they have been responsible for tracking, and finding people lost in remote areas, missing children, fugitives, bodies and other animals. They excel in this field of work. The dogs have a handler that is trained with the dog to perform all duties of a search and rescue dog. Many breeders and organizations breed specific females and males that will have puppies that can be easily trained to go out with a handler and track.
Bloodhounds Never Give Up the Search
The Bloodhound will not quit the search until they run out of scent and even then, they will scan the area where the scent stops to see if they can pick up on it again. A Bloodhound will keep going and many times have literally tracked people up trees. They will not leave the area where the scent is until they find what they are looking for. Smell is one of the traits that make the breed so valuable for search and rescue work. They were used in the World Trade Center disaster when 9/11 occurred and were remarkable in finding what they were looking for.
Training the Search and Rescue Bloodhound
The dogs go through extensive training to enhance their abilities to track. They, however, do not need much coaxing to track since this is one of their admired traits. Breeders breed these dogs for the distinct purpose of tracking. They are vital in search and recovery and have gone so far as to track suspects for law enforcement right into people's homes. They take their handdler's directly to the suspect and do not back down. They do, however, make an overbearing noise when searching. They have an annoying bark when tracking.
Training starts as early as three months old when the Bloodhound is introduced to certain smells and allowed to find the subject in a small area. This helps to prepare them for longer tracks. Each session adds more distance before finding the subject they are tracking. Once they have completed their training the Bloodhound is put to work. It is not uncommon for more than one tracker to be used in cases where there is more than one scent to track.
Success Rates in Search and Rescue
The Bloodhound has a success rate of finding their subject of scent more so than any other breed of search and rescue dogs. They are driven from start to finish and do not stray off course when working. They will keep going for hours and even days before they stop working. Although this may seem stressful to the dog, this is their purpose and they do what they do very well with no regret. They are the happiest when working and even happier when they complete the job and track the scent they were looking for.