By rural we mean searching in forests, fields, open country, moors, mountains and hills. The dog works free and off the lead, while a sort of invisible connection is maintained between the dog and his handler. The dog works independently across an area while the handler keeps a careful check on which area needs to be searched and which places require extra attention.
During training the handlers also learn to work with a GPS. This enables us to see how we need to navigate, where we are, where we have been and where we have to go. By examining the tracks we have followed we can also decide which sections of a specific area still need to be searched. In practice it’s quite a job to keep an eye on your dog and the GPS at the same time!
As soon as the dog has found someone, they will make it clear by indicating in one of the ways mentioned above. In addition to this indication, the handler will also carefully observe the dog’s body language. A dog will show through body language what he is up to. It is therefore of the utmost importance that every handler has studied the body language of dogs in general and its meaning, and most particularly that of his own dog.