Dog Leads Hiker to Remains Believed To Be Missing Alaska Man

by Chase Thomas

Dogs really are incredible animals, aren’t they? Well, here’s another example of just how incredible they can be. A dog led another hiker to what ended up being the remains of a missing Alaska man.


The dog belonged to the hiker who apparently lost him as the dog ran away. While trying to flag his pup down, the hiker accidentally stumbled upon the remains of a man who had been reported missing for over a month. The official report from the Juneau Police department reads, “The Juneau Police Department received a report from a hiker on the Flume trail that their dog had located the remains of a human body in the woods. The hiker reported their dog had run off trail, so they followed it and that is when they found the remains. Officers responded and located the body about 100 yards up the hill from the Flume trail, near the area of Irwin Street.”

So from the report, the dog found the remains of the missing man. A cell phone and a firearm were also found on the missing man.

The missing man’s sister told KTOO-TV that, “They did find some bones and his clothes and the gun and a phone.” She also said, “So we can’t really determine how death was just because most of [his body] is missing.”

So the case is still under investigation as to what happened to the man in the woods and why.

How Do Dogs Do This?

While this particular dog was not a search-and-rescue dog, there are many of them out there. They go out with volunteers or police officers to pick up the scent and find a missing person. However, not every dog is capable of pulling off what the above dog did in Alaska. Susan Bulanda, who has a SAR dog herself and volunteers to help find a missing person when the situation arises said, “SAR dogs have to work with the handler as a team, to not be blindly obedient to the handler.”

It’s a team effort traditionally for both the dog and the human.

She continued, “If the dog knows there is scent in one direction and the handler directs the dog to another area, the dog must insist that the handler is wrong and indicate by the trained signal that there is scent here, not there.”

So it really comes down to the dog’s sheer will sometimes to head in the right direction. This is similar to the hiker chasing after his dog up the hill that resulted in finding the missing person. Dogs are pretty amazing animals, aren’t they? What can they not do, huh?