The experience of acting as a training aid or “body” for search and rescue teams is an all-round positive one. Joining a grouping of strangers on an otherwise empty mountain range to help them train their invaluable search dogs is smashing.
Social and often tennis ball obsessed dogs all run around together during down time. Partaking of funny banter between consultant dog trainers and a cold lunch on a warm hillside is excellent fun. It's an honour to be a little bit of this group of people that, alongside their dogs, give up time and regularly enormous parts of their own lives to help other people.
Lots of the search and rescue dog training teams have been across the entire world. Groups enter dangerous areas of natural disaster to play their part in saving lives. By employing their dogs natural acute senses to find the lost and wounded these people and their trained dog partners make a change.
The role of a “body” is to sit as still as practicable in a corner of the hillside. The volunteer waits whilst the search and rescue dog finds and recognizes the perfume then leads his handler to its source. Dependent on the individual dogs training stage this is going to be over a timescale of one or two minutes or many hours. Training periods take place over a full day or weekend with players typically camping or sleeping in short lived accommodation.
If you have an interest in this kind of volunteering the first thing to do is get in contact with your local search and rescue team. They are going to be able to help and counsel on how it's possible for you to become involved. If you have a young dog that you'd like to train as a search and rescue dog they should additionally be able to offer information on whether your dog is acceptable.