Photos: Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs practice wilderness search

If you've spent any time around any of the "working" dog breeds, you know how they look on the job: Ears pricked, eyes intent, every fiber of their body focused on the job at hand. The job could be almost anything: Running an agility course, herding livestock or saving your life. Because when it comes to finding lost people, search and rescue dogs have a tool we humans cannot hope to match: Their noses.

"If you see how observant we are with our eyes, dogs are the same way with their nose," explained Eeva Latosuo, one of several veteran search dog handlers with Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs who met last week on the Alaska Pacific University campus to demonstrate their search teams' capabilities. Emphasis on "team": The dog's extraordinary nose may do the finding, but it's the handler who steadies the dog, cares for it and ultimately guides the search strategy.

Read more: Lost? In trouble? These Alaska dogs will sniff you out