An essentials guide on the techniques and concepts of dog evasion, i.e., trained canines; patrol, tracking, sentry, military and law enforcement.
There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter. – Ernest Hemingway
Dogs can be a threat to an operator. For the purposes of this intel, the term dog is meant to describe only the animals specifically trained in the areas of patrolling, guarding, and searching – trained canines.
Operators in such a pursuit is working against both the dog and its handler, as a both a single and dual unit. Evaders have a better chance of defeating the dog handler than the dog itself in most cases. If evaders are physically capable, they should attempt to maintain the maximum distance possible from dogs.
Trained canines use their sense of smell to acquire and seek a “track” identifier left by the target subject. Dogs have a highly sensitive and honed sensory olfactory system, that’s 40 times greater than a human’s sense of smell and more “usable”.
They can isolate one person’s scent from virtually all other scents, including another person’s. At the same time they are or can be trained to visually look for certain cues left by a person they’re pursuing.
Moving fast through rugged terrain will slow and potentially defeat the handlers of dogs. Operators must choose between making mistakes in travel techniques while evading or being caught by dogs if they don’t move fast and efficiently enough.
• Dogs naturally track better when the weather is humid and the air is still – there is less evaporation and dissipation of odor and scent as it retains efficacy.
• If you know you’re are being pursued by dogs, you should try to stay and move in water whenever available, for as long as possible to conceal your tracks and somewhat eliminate your scent.
• When returning to dry ground, it’s best to be as far and or navigationally dis-aligned from the area of which you were previously on dry ground.
• You should always attempt to move downwind of a dog. This should be attempted when they are traveling in open country or penetrating obstacles such as dog guard posts or border areas.
• If penetration of obstacles or escape is planned (after careful location and study of guard and dog areas of responsibility and their methods), you should select a time for movement when noise will distract the dog to a point away from the planned maneuver.
• Potential foods you may on your person (energy bars and beef jerky) may buy you a few seconds of time by dropping them in strategic places as it could distract or divert the dog’s attention momentarily.
In some respects the handler is the weaker link. Most handlers are not young recruits due to the fact that it can take several years to become adept at tracking and training dogs. So, there’s a good chance your handler is a middle aged man or even older.
Unless he’s in great shape, he may not be in for a long distance pursuit or steep climb or scramble through areas of heavy brush and fallen trees, or all three.
As per canines, especially trained ones, outrunning them in a straight sprint is effectively impossible no matter how fast you are. But dog evasion isn’t just about the short term chase, it’s a hunt.
Dogs can run extremely fast with precise agility in short bursts, but not for extended periods of time.
In dense urban environments, the plethora of not just the scent of other humans but the over-stimulus of other sensory input (audio, visual and climate, pollution) may reduce their effectiveness.
Depending on the terrain and your fitness level, you can adapt and take advantage of the limitations and weaknesses of canines and their handlers.
The best specific tactic for dog evasion is entering a motor vehicle then moving – completely cutting off the dog’s ability to track you. The dog can only track you again from the location of where you exit the vehicle.
However, depending on where your scent ended (airport, train station etc.) the handler may still be able to track you through deduction and observation.