To be effective, individuals working as K9 Handlers must be skilled
in all aspects of the Tracking Dog Triad.
As a K9
Handler, one must be knowledgeable in working and reading scent dogs. In addition it is critical
that a handler be experienced and successful in how to structure and work a missing dog case based on the specific scenario.
Running around behind a dog following a scent is only a small part of what it takes to be successful in the pursuit of
a missing dog. Profiling and Case Structure is the most overlooked aspect of this work but it is as important
as the other skills necessary to be effective.
Tracking Dogs must be able to follow the scent of a specific missing dog. These K9s must also be able to
alert their handler when they no longer have scent or the scent of the missing dog is not in a specific area. Many
pet owners have been befuddled and discouraged with individuals who have claimed experience as they ran for hours
behind their scent dogs apparently hot on the trail only to later find their missing dog at the next door neighbors
house. What was the "tracking dog" following? Clearly not the missing dog. This is a bad situation for everyone
involved and works against the principles and standards professionals are striving to build in creating a credible and reliable industry
pet owners can count on.