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Bloodhounds join the Search and Rescue team in the Badlands



Bismarck, North Dakota — In April of this year, Matthew Earl, a member of the Badlands Search and Rescue (BSAR), became the proud owner of Copper, a 9-month-old bloodhound from K4 Bloodhounds in Minnesota. The two formed a strong and reliable partnership, and soon, Earl approached his superiors about adding search dogs — specifically, Bloodhounds like Copper — onto the BSAR’s teams.

It turns out that Bloodhounds, as a dog breed, have a long and decorated history in search-and-rescue units around the United States — mainly due to their incredible sense of smell. It’s well-known that a dog’s nose is a lot more effective than one of ours, but the two are as different as night and day.

A Bloodhound’s nose contains 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to a human’s 6 million. Even compared to other dog breeds, that’s still a lot: the other major dog breeds used in search and rescue or police operations, typically German Shepherds, Retrievers, or Belgian Malinois, have around 225 million. In wider, more open areas, having that extra smelling strength is a major advantage and helps locate missing individuals ad quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Between one’s searching sniffer and the other’s rescue knowledge, the union of Copper and Matthew has been a tremendous help and valuable asset to the Search and Rescue team — so much so, in fact, that BSAR has plans to bring on a whole task force of Bloodhounds to help them in their rescue efforts.

According to the BSAR Facebook page, in the Spring of 2023, Matt and Copper, along with a new batch of Bloodhound trainees, will be attending additional training and certification programs with the hope of introducing more canines to the force. We eagerly await updates to the program, as well as an introduction to the new recruits!

For more information about the Badlands Search & Rescue Service, visit their website here.