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Glossaries: K9 SAR Glossary

Rafts  (skin rafts): dead or dying skins cells that have left a human body. They are composed of 1 or more cells, carry bacteria, and are microscopic. An average human sheds around 40,000 cells each minute.

VSRDA Glossary

  • Turbulent Air Flow
    Turbulent Air Flow: When flowing air hits an obstacle/object and causes airflow chaos.  
  • Thermal
    Thermal: Layers of air, separated by temperature (and humidity).  
  • Tracking
    Tracking (Dog): dogs are able to follow a human scent, by following the footsteps. Tracking dogs may also be following the odor of crushed vegetation and soil bacterial action.  Visualize the dog's
  • Trailing
    Trailing (Dog): dogs are scent specific and require a scent article, with a track. Visualize the dog's Nose Down and Up, working some distance from the actual footsteps.
  • Target Odor
    Target Odor: (aka Source) odors which detector dog are trained to detect. 
  • Temperament
    Temperament: The general consistence with which the animal behaves. 

Teaching Direction & Control

Article by Shirley Hammond on teaching Direction & Control to K9s, using platforms and markers. 

Effective Use of Dogs in Search Management

Article by David Godfrey-Smith provides guidelines for law enforcement and search managers, in regards to how best to utilize SAR K9s. 

How Scent and Airflow Works

Article by Jennifer Pennington with custom illustrations on how scent and airflow affects search dogs.