H+R Rothound Dogs

Pip the dog


Rothounds are typically part of an H+R specialist surveying team and operate throughout the UK.  They support H+R surveyors by sniffing out active dry rot (Serpula lacrymans). Dogs 2-3 years old are best for training as they have lost their puppy behaviour and are still at a stage where they can bond with their handler.

Sprocker Pip was re-homed from a farm in North Yorkshire and has graduated as a Rothound having passed her initial training.  Pip now currently enjoys her ongoing training with her Rothound handler as part of her personal development.  All our Rothound handlers are Dog First Aid trained to ensure the well-being of Rothound dogs.

When looking for potential search dogs we look for dogs with a good scenting ability, a tendency to be single-minded and the willingness to work. These are not always the type of dog you would select as a pet but are more natural hunting or working dogs.

Rothounds need to safely operate in the mixed environments found in industrial and historic buildings. They also need to be able to operate in areas where there may be distractions such as people, machines and other operations taking place. The handlers need to be able to carry out a risk assessment for themselves and the dogs, read the dog’s reactions to a live scent and interpret how the dog is reacting. Once the location of the scent source is located or narrowed down by the dogs, the handler is able to carry out a professional assessment of the findings using traditional surveying methods

As the dogs become used to their handlers and working in buildings it is interesting to see the dogs actually narrowing down the factors that they attribute to dry rot. They learn to hone in on damp areas (which they associate with their target scent and a reward) and in many cases this can be useful to the handler in identifying other problems

Areas of Practice

It only takes about two or three weeks to train a dog to locate a specific scent. However, it takes about 6 months to train an H+R Rothound. This dog training does not involve any food rewards as this can cause the dogs to falsely indicate. Instead, training focusses on the searching being part of a big game for the dog and their reward is to play with their training toy and to be praised by their handler.

Get in Touch with H+R

For more information contact our team on 01483 203221 or request a call back by clicking on the button below.