U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Resource: Canine Search and Rescue Team–Wilderness – Tracking/Trailing
Category: Law Enforcement/Security, Search and Rescue (ESF #9)
Kind: Team
Minimum Capabilities (Component) Minimum Capabilities
(Metric)
Type I Type II Type III Type IV Other

Dog Team:
1 Dog
1 Handler
1 Support Person

Search Capabilities

Capable of trailing in wilderness terrain; Aged 24+ hours; 1 mile or longer; Heavy contamination

Capable of trailing in wilderness terrain; Aged 4-12 hours; 1 mile or longer; Heavy contamination

Capable of trailing in wilderness terrain; Aged 1.5-4 hours; .5-1 mile; Heavy contamination

Capable of trailing in wilderness terrain; Aged 0-1.5 hours; .25-.5 mile; Heavy contamination

Discriminating (scent source must be available)

Knowledge and Equipment for Search Dog Teams  

Personally equipped for 24 hours for dog/handler; Wilderness survival skills; Capable of establishing and maintaining direction of travel; First Aid for both human and dog; Personal/ dog safety; Radio communications; Skill in collection of scent articles

Personally equipped for 24 hours for dog/handler; Wilderness survival skills; Capable of establishing and maintaining direction of travel; First Aid for both human and dog; Personal/ dog safety; Radio communications; Skill in collection of scent articles

Personally equipped for 24 hours for dog/handler; Wilderness survival skills; capable of establishing and maintaining direction of travel; First Aid for both human and dog; personal/ dog safety; Radio communications; Skill in collection of scent articles

Personally equipped for 24 hours for dog/handler; Wilderness survival skills; Capable of establishing and maintaining direction of travel; First Aid for both human and dog; Personal/ dog safety; Radio communications; Skill in collection of scent articles

N/A

Comments:

As these dogs use scent articles, they are commonly referred to as trailing dogs. However, occasionally, a unit may refer to such dogs as tracking dogs. They do have the capability of human discrimination between sources with the aid of a provided scent source. Care should be taken to determine if a tracking dog requires the use of an article or not.

Note:  Many of these resources are capable of searching in a disaster environment, such as a wilderness team in outlying areas of a tornado zone, etc. It is critical that canine management personnel, knowledgeable in multiuse of canine resources, are available to Incident Command. This will not necessarily be reflected in this document.



National Mutual Aid & Resource Management Initiative
Search and Rescue