WHAT IS DOG TRACKING?
Tracking is a technique in which dogs are trained to locate certain objects by using the object's scent, for a variety of purposes. Tracking has always been an essential skill for dogs to survive in the wild, through hunting and tracking down potential prey.
Primarily, dogs use their sense of smell, to find and follow a track. Dogs have a highly sensitive olfactory system superior to humans, and are able to discriminate between different human’s scents. Moreover, dogs are also able to use visual cues to follow a track.
There are three phases, which complete the process of tracking:
This is the phase in which dogs attempt to find a track. They move quickly, and take short, quick sniffs.
Once the dog has found the track, they move more slowly and take longer sniffs to determine the direction of the track. This is usually the most difficult phase for the dog.
After determining the direction, dogs follow the track by sniffing at a uniform pace, and moving at a speed similar to that of the searching.
Tracking is an essential skills for many working dogs, including Police, Search and Rescue and Hunting. While the skills take some time to develop, the demonstration of the incredible power of a dogs ability to discern and track a scent is impressive to watch.
KODC runs regular Tracking Training days and holds a Tracking Trial during the year. If you would like to learn more about Tracking, please speak to one of our instructors who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.