International Search and Rescue Dog Day

April 30th is International Search and Rescue Dog Day! Search and rescue dogs truly deserve to be celebrated. They’ve saved countless lives, often braving storms, fires, floods, blizzards, and other hazardous conditions to do so. In this article, a Plano, TX vet puts these extraordinary pooches in the spotlight. 


Search and rescue dogs, as the name suggests, are dogs that have been specifically trained in tracking. They are often used in finding lost hikers or campers, but have also been used to locate trapped or stranded survivors after disasters, such as avalanches, floods, blizzards, earthquakes, and even bombings. There are different sects of search and rescue work, such as tracking, trailing, air scent, and cadaver search.


While tracking scents may come naturally to Fido, this particular job requires quite a bit of additional training. Dogs typically spend two to four years getting their petucations before starting work. 


There are several breeds that excel in this field. The pups that tend to do best in this field are intelligent, energetic, and obedient. Many also have a strong prey drive. The Bloodhound, unsurprisingly, is usually the top dog as far as following scents. Other dogs often found in this line of work include the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, St Bernard, Border Collie, and Golden Retriever. While many search and rescue dogs are medium-to-large in size, several smaller pooches, such as Beagles and Basset Hounds, also do well in this niche.

Famous Pooches

We can’t possibly list all of the Very Good Boys and Girls that have saved people. However, there are definitely some notable canines. For instance, a Rottweiler named Orion saved the lives of nearly 40 people in Venezuela during floods in 1999. Rex, another standout pup, ran into burning buildings to save people during World War II in England.


If you want to honor and celebrate search and rescue dogs, consider supporting one of the many organizations that train them. Some of the most esteemed ones include International Rescue Dog Organization, Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue, Canada Search Dog Association, and Alabama Search and Rescue. Closer to home, we have the TEXSAR K9 Team – Texas Search and Rescue and K-9 Search And Rescue Of Texas.

Please contact us with any questions about your pup’s health or care. As your Plano, TX pet hospital, we’re dedicated to providing top-notch care.


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