Search Dogs - K9

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Animal Rescues:

We do not do animal rescues. We suggest you contact you local Humane Society or animal rescue organization.



 RSAR Search Dogs 


General Information About our K9 Team

Rampart Search and Rescue also specialize in Canine (K-9) search and cadaver requests, our K-9s search dogs are highly trained and ready to respond 24/7.


Our search dogs are available to any Law Enforcement agency, regardless of location.


Rampart search and rescue search dogs respond to any agency's request in Adams County for search and rescue (SAR) incidents. We are training our search dogs year round (weekly) to respond on calls related to missing and/or lost people in the county's urban and suburban areas and for mutual aid in "mountain" country. We train our dogs for trailing, tracking, air scenting, cadaver and water searches across Colorado to assist in searches for lost people. They know that when our rescue dog(s) locates a lost person, the life-saving skills of human searchers are always close at hand.


Our dog handlers are trained in backcountry travel including map and compass, global positioning system (GPS) use, summer survival, winter survival, man tracking, and search and rescue operations.


Rampart search and rescue dog handlers are also trained in emergency medicine. All members can provide immediate life support to injured victims. Skills range in wilderness emergency medicine to basic life support.


Experienced Rampart search and rescue dog handlers are willing to fill a need during searches in the backcountry, urban, rivers and lakes by request from law enforcement.

Rampart search and rescue K9 Division offers a full range of rescue dogs. Our dogs are currently training to meet  F.E.M.A. certification standards.  We offer tracking, area search, scent, article search, and cadaver.  We are currently on the Adams County Coroner's Office list of agencies for call outs, as we do with all agencies in Adams County, Colorado.


One part of Rampart search and rescue's K9 Division is to educate the public about our search and rescue dogs. Dave Bell (seen here seated in the white shirt) our K9 team leader is here talking about how our K9 dogs work in the field. There are several breads that do work well for search and rescue and some that do not.

We have been call upon several time to provide cadaver dogs. For an example - The Adams County Coroner's Office called us out this past summer looking for possible remains. Our bloodhound found what they (the CSI team) was looking for in about 20 minutes after being deployed.


It's worth noting that Rampart search and rescue is not a training depot for those wishing to train their dogs..However If you are truly wishing to get involved and volunteer with Rampart and meet our standards, weekly K-9 training sessions and training with us to National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) level of SAR techs standards. You must first be a full member for one year, then you are welcome to put in a application for the K-9 team.


Cadaver Dogs Page



Some facts about a dogs ACUTE sense of smell.

  • Dogs are always smelling stuff, . Wherever they go their snouts are sniffing. That's because Their sense of smell is about 1000 - 10,000 times better than a human's.
  • Dogs can also hear a lot better than us. They hear high-pitched sounds (like some insects make), that we cannot even detect.
  • The oldest American breed is the American Foxhound, dating back to 1650s!
  • Dogs' ability to track a scent is more than just a function but the ability to distinguish scents, and concentration is the real trick.




Table of Contents

  1. How does a search dog work ... ?
  2. How do search teams deploy ... ?
  3. Handler Requirements ... ?
  4. How can I help support your dogs ... ?
  5. When is K9 training, can I help ... ?

How does a search dog work ... ?


All humans, alive or dead constantly emit microscopic particles bearing human scent. Millions of these are airborne and are carried by the wind for considerable distances.

Air-scenting search dogs are trained to scan the air currents for human scent, any human scent. The dog locates the source of the scent and indicates the "find" to the handler. Air-scent search dogs do not use scent articles and can be deployed immediately in hasty searches, running paths, and trails, or days or in conditions that a track/trail dog can not pick up the scent.

Track/trailing search dog is trained to pursue specific individuals by following the scent left from the particles that have drifted from the body to the ground and surrounding vegetation. Track/Trailing dogs are particularly effective when they have an item of the missing person to be used for scent identification. It can be an uncontaminated article of clothing, or an object such as a car seat. The dogs can pursue the trail and indicate the direction of travel.

We at Rampart Search and Rescue use track/trailing & air scent search dogs, we also have a cadaver search dog in training.

Cadaver search dogs can locate human remains in water or buried under ground or rubble. A cadaver dog can locate human remains that are a few hours old to several years old. More on our Cadaver dogs (click here)

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How do search teams deploy ... ?


A track/trailing search our K-9 team is assigned a segment of the search area, which they must cover very systematically. Handlers work their dogs into the wind and traverse the sector in a manner to afford the dog the best scenting coverage. Handlers are skilled in terrain orientation and will map the area they have covered. Several dog teams may work simultaneously to provide fast, thorough, initial coverage of the highest probability areas. By systematic assignments, the entire search area can be covered.
 Upon completing their assignments, the handler will report to the incident commander and map out the area covered, their POD (Probability of Detection), and clues found. K-9 unit provides support personnel who will coordinate between the requesting agency and the dog teams, operate radio communications and document the search team progress. They also carry GPS equipment and they will download their readings at the end of each pattern at the Command Post (CP).

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Handler Requirements ... ?


The dog is not the only member of a team with specialized training. Handlers are skilled at interpreting how their dogs behavior might be affected by wind conditions, ground currents, temperatures and weather. They are proficient in terrain evaluation, map/compass navigation, search theory, lost person behavior, GPS equipment handling, CPR, first aid, radio communication, National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) SAR Tech level II and wilderness survival. Of course, the handler must enjoy working with dogs and being outdoors in all kinds of weather. In addition they must be physically fit and able to respond to emergencies.
 It normally takes a year of intensive training before a dog/handler team is search ready. Teams undergo a series of evaluations in search proficiency and obedience before becoming operational.

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How can I help support your search dogs ... ?


Rampart Search and Rescue, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. There is no charge for our services. We depend entirely on donations for financial support. Members supply most of their personal equipment. Your donation will be used to purchase communication & safety equipment as well as continuing educational training and materials. Donations are tax deductible and can be made payable to:
 Rampart Search and Rescue
 P.O. Box 33336
 Northglenn, Colorado 80233-0336
We welcome new members who are interested in training themselves and their dogs to be productive search teams. Currently we have no openings for the K9 team. However we need and welcome people to volunteer to be "victims" to hide so we can train our dogs and keep them mission ready. We sometimes call these helpers in this role "Dog Bait".

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When is K9 training, can I help ... ?

Yes we are always looking for new scents for our dogs to look for. Please feel free to contact us at our main phone number listed on the contact page.

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