Search Dogs Brush Up On Their Skills

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Brad Stahlman brought his dogs to Hidden Valley for a little hunting.

"My two dogs are Labrador Retrievers and they are trained to do tracking.  The newest one is training to do air send." said Eureka Fire District K9 Team Leader Brad Stahlman.

Stahlman leads a search and rescue team at the Eureka Fire department. It's one of only two municipalities in Missouri with search dogs. On Tuesday Stahlman and more than 100 canines and their owners from around the country came to brush up or learn how to become a search and rescue dog.
"Basically what we do is teaching what we call a runaway. we will have the handler hold a dog. we will have a victim to the dog is a runoff and hide behind a tree." said Brad Stahlman.

FEMA rates breeds, best suited for searching. Labradors are on top followed by Golden Retrievers, German Sheperds and Border Collies. But, Blood Hounds and mixed breeds can become good searchers, as well.

It might seem like play, but these teams take their job seriously.

"It is very emotional when we find I do ceased individual but you also know that you are recovering the remains for the family that's not." said Brad Stahlman.

That's why these teams work well together combining sense of smell and sense of dencency.

Patrick Clark, News 11.