What is Tracking?

A dog is "tracking" when he is following the scent trail or disturbed vegetation scent, left by a person (or other animal) that has traveled along a certain route. Following a track is one of the many useful things dogs can do to help people. Hounds track game, rescue dogs track lost children, police dogs track suspects, well trained pets can find lost items.

Tracking is a natural skill possessed by all dogs. Dogs that are trained to track people or animals are taught how to focus their skill and attention to complete a specific task. You can start teaching your dog to track with a minimal investment, although as you and your dog advance in skill and complexity, you’ll want or need more specialized equipment. Even if you don’t want to train your dog for a professional tracking career or for tracking trials, the exercise and time together will benefit both you and your dog.                                                                                                                                                               

 Why teach my dog tracking?


1. Mentally challenging – Tracking demands a lot of focus and perseverance. Dogs have to make their own decisions on what track to follow, how to handle the wind and different surfaces.

2. Physically challenging- Tracking can cover a significant distance depending on the style of tracking used.  Definitely an activity recommended for high energy dogs!

3. Suited for puppies, oldies and dogs with disabilities – Dogs all use their nose naturally, although some more than others. You can start a puppy from 7 weeks old. It’s physically safe because the movements are controlled. There are no jumps or sudden movements involved, so the joints are safe. Another advantage is that they learn fast at such a young age.

Older dogs and dogs that have disabilities can still use their nose. When your older dog starts getting stiff and his eyesight is deteriorating, taking part in agility and catching Frisbees may not be an option any more. On the other hand, an old dog can track at his own pace and the movements are fairly constant. Dog tracking trainers have even trained dogs that are blind. One big advantage is that tracking is suited for almost every dog!

4. Your dog likes to search for his treat or toy and your house and garden are not big enough anymore – Dogs love searching for things – tracking is carried out using a tracking line with or without a tracking harness. This gives all owners the opportunity to take their dogs out over long distances whilst keeping control over them. This is particularly useful for dogs who may have difficulty recalling when scenting.

5. Suited for aggressive, fearful and insecure dogs – When you are tracking with your dog, the dog stays leashed. This makes it a safe activity for dogs that are aggressive, fearful or insecure because you can always control your dog; they can’t run away to get in trouble. Some dogs which are insecure in new surroundings or dog aggressive can have difficulty in the beginning focusing on tracking because they want to keep an eye on everything, but after a short while become so intent on tracking that they relax and settle easily.

6. Bonding with your dog – Tracking is a bonding activity. You are depending on your dog’s nose therefore you have to learn to trust him. Reading his body language is very important and so is handling the line. It’s a two way communication you have to learn.

7. It’s a nice trick – Last but not least, you can proudly show off your dog’s skill by tracking down friends and family members. Who doesn’t like that?

Tracking training cost:
£30 per hour session. (sessions can very in time)

To contact me please call on 07939 203414

Email me : adrian@kentdogtrainers.co.uk

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