An adorable new addition could soon be joining the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team.
Wynn, a 10-week old Border Collie pup, with her owner and handler, David Warden from Shibden Valley, Halifax, will start the training for mountain rescue search work.
The training, which is expected to take about two years is undertaken to the standards of the Search and Rescue Dog Association.
David has been a member of CVSRT and Search And Rescue Dog Association England for 20 years and Wynn is his fourth Border Collie and third to be trained for mountain rescue search work.
Search dogs have been a part of CVSRT since 1977 and currently the team have four air-scenting search dogs and handlers.
Over the years there have been 15 dogs and 10 handlers assisting the team on searches. The dogs are trained to ‘Air Scent’ so, as a general rule, they do not track the missing person, but react to wind borne human scent.
Why dogs? A search dog can cover large areas of ground, including difficult terrain and woodland in the search and is very sensitive to any human scent it finds.
It will immediately follow a scent to its source. It will then ‘indicate’ to its handler, usually by barking, to let them know its made a ‘find’.
It is not unusual for a dog to pick up a scent from a missing person, 500metres or more away.
As part of the training process, dogsbodies are used to hone the dogs’ senses. Dogsbodies are highly valued people in the development of the search dog.
They go out on the hill and hide for the dogs to find on training and assessments courses.
If you would to know more about the CVSRT Search Dogs or think you could volunteer to be a dogsbody to assist with training, visit www.cvsrt.org.uk/the-team/cvsrt-search-dogs