A lot of what we train is based on search experience. A GOOD book is overdue. I think Bulunda may be working on a new one (Ready). Since we get more dementia/rural but not true wilderness calls one scenario is to have someone go wandering around their house several days in a raw, scatter personal belongings (like clothes) around the yard, leave family members in/near the house then hide near the house but keep moving to evade searchers. It is a harder scenario than you may think. .....
You have just described my very first Search I've ever been on. We got called out in the middle of the night and basically searched on the wrong side. It is in my nature to always think outside the box. We were searching for 5 hours in one Area and I had found a footprint that could have been from a family member and I kept looking to the other side of the road and was like "What if he's over there? We have not found anything over here." and they were like "That's not our Search Area."
The police K9 jumped into a pile of broken glas, got injured and pulled. Later when the sun came up, we were tired, wet, dirty but still ready to roll, we got finally sent over into the Area I kept looking at and a Police K9 Man Trailer came out. We grid searched our way to a path and found tracks that were obviously from an older person, dragging one foot. So we finally had the trail and followed it. The Man Trailer passed us, and 15 minutes later, we were just closing in on the Area he was in, we got the call that the Man Trailer had found the missing person.
By the way, the "Moving Subject" Certification is basically for Alzheimer and Dementia people. First time we did it with Indra, she was sort of thrown off. The Subject was walking in a circle for about 15-30 minutes. What threw her off, was the behavior of the Subject. Looking to the ground, babbling, walking in a circle. She was thrown off, then followed the Subject and I was told to call her back and prompt the indication but I know that my dog is a thinker and she likes figuring things out herself, that's how she learns best. They told me again to call her back, and I was like "No, let her work it out. I know her." because I saw her wheels turning and I wanted to give her the chance to figure it out herself. And she did.
However, seeing her first reaction to the moving Subject impersonating Alzheimer, that was a learning moment for me.
This week she will go out into an unknown Search Area, with three Subjects. 2 Brothers and a Dad. However, I think the "Moving Subject" (Alzheimer and Dementia) and Search Time, is basically whats most important, just like you said. Especially with the thrown in Behavior.