Search and Rescue K9 scent theory. This presentation was designed to help canine handlers in a wilderness setting understand what scent may be doing, essential for setting their dog up for success and make the find.
sniff sniff sniff sniff
Shared by Permission of Jennifer Pennington of Lead With Fun LLC.
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What is Scent?
Each human sheds about 40,000 rafts of skin per minute
What is a Skin Raft?
cornflake like skin cell clusters that may also
bacteria, fungi, parasites
sweat, enzymes, hormones
personal hygiene products
Some are lighter than air and travel far
in air currents
Some are heavier and settle on the
Bacteria that feed on skin rafts are different
for every person
Dogs can smell the difference
So how does scent move?
Skin rafts are carried in currents of air
Pay attention to the movement of air
Scent and Physics
warm air rises (light)
cool air sinks (heavy)
Air is made heavier
Cold - it becomes denser
Moisture - humidity
a prevailing wind
helpful with a subject that has been
stationary for a longtime
Your sector down to where you are
scent can move in different directions
within a few feet
movement can be different at dog’s
in still air - scent moves evenly in all directions
from its source.
straight flow of air not interfered with by
laminar air hits an obstacle that creates chaotic
Is the cause of all our scenting nightmares
Types of Air Movements
knowing different patterns of air movement will
correctly analyze potential problems
--So you can--
Set your dog up for success
clear sky or with high clouds
at midday, a high convection situation
scent rises, cools, falls, heats up, rises,
cools, falls, etc.
Dog will alert by putting his head up,
but will lose the scent.
What affects scent movement?
time of day
time of year
Use what you know in HOW you search
A search dog team will prefer to search into the wind
Zigzagging into the wind on small areas
parallel sweeps across the wind on larger areas often
along ridges and downhill with normal daytime
See you in the woods!
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