2010 Urban Search Canine Clinic

Lyons, Colorado

August 21-24

"Dog teams are a resource that crosses over between the worlds of wilderness rescue and urban rescue."


Lessons Learned

  • How to determine the direction of a trail from a location that is contaminated by the subjects own scent.
  • How to best use multiple dog team resources on an urban search.
  • How to "leap frog" through a trail using more than one dog team.
  • The importance of a negative alert when the dog is no longer in the scent of the subject.
  • How scent moves through an urban environment.


Our Urban Search Canine Clinic held this year allowed SAR dog teams from around Colorado to practice their skills in real-life situations. 

We had great volunteer subjects that made this happen.

  •  We were able to search for three children that went missing from their schools.
  •  We were able to search for two sisters that went missing from their home.
  •  We were able to search for five elderly residents of a retirement home.
  •  We were able to search for the confused tourist that got lost in a city.
  •  All in all we were able to do 18 different trails in our clinic.



Dogs have an incredible ability to follow scent through an environment.  This ability is nothing less then incredible when it is in an urban environment.  These dogs are able to follow or trail an individual through a city hours or sometimes days after the person went missing.  These dogs must ignore the scent of hundreds of other people, other animals, car exhaust, restaurants and those pesky neighborhood cats!  What makes it possible is the communication between the dog and handler.  These are life saving resources!    


Special thanks to:

Karen Williams- Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado

Jayne Zmijewski-  Larimer County Search and Rescue, Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado
Janet Panebreaker- Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States, Front Range Rescue Dogs
Steve Shertz - Front Range Rescue Dogs
Morgan Wolf- Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States

Kim Sadar- Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States
Cathy Bryarly- Boulder County Sheriffs Office
Jeff Hiebert- Boulder County Parks and Open Space
Dorri Penny- Grand County Search and Rescue
Jane Mathers- Search and Rescue Dogs of the United States 
Ken and Natalie Arnold, Bud Harris, Margo Ruskay and Grace Sims and the staff at the Academy.  Mary Mathers and our youngsters Alexa and Hayley Karsel, Macie Parker, Lucas Hiebert and Dalton Simpson.