Tracking as an Art

Tracking with a Dog

Human body emits the smallest odorous molecules every minute. A subjective understanding of the world around the dog is determined for him by a whole complex of elements: specific smells (individual, group, species), chemical odors (skin, grease, clothes), soil odors, smells of the environment (forest, meadow, alfalfa, other crops .., ), atmospheric conditions.

Perception of the smell of the dog can be influenced by various factors. Their simultaneous impact coinciding in time significantly complicates the work on the trail.


Tracking Dogs: Beagle

External factors

Temperature. Its effect can be either favorable - cold weather prevents the dispersion of odor molecules, or unfavorable - elevated temperature promotes an increase in speed of scent dissipation, drying of the nasal mucosa and increasing fatigue.

Tracking Dogs: GSD

Wind. It displaces the smell of the trace, drains the mucous membrane and promotes a significant dispersion of odor molecules.

Elements. The elements' nature of influence on the track depends on their intensity. Minor humidity, hoarfrost or a weak snowfall preserve the trail. Strong rainfall washes off the trail and affects adversely the sense's of smell poignancy, because small droplets or snowflakes inhaled through the nose accumulate on the olfactory mucosa, and this makes the work on the trail impossible.

Soil. The nature of soil greatly affects the quality of the track.

Types of soils:

  - solid and dry (sand, gravel, stone, road, etc.), smells do not stick to them;

  - loose or damp (meadow, undergrowth, etc.), traces remain very long on them, sometimes more than a day;

  - arable land, such a soil is favorable for working in overcast and damp weather, but it is unfavorable in dry and hot weather.

Electromagnetic field. According to general observations, work on the trail is difficult in a thunderstorm or near high-voltage lines.

Internal factors of the animal

Breeding factors: German shepherds are most often used. They are unpretentious, they have great flair.

Sex: The dog is very disturbed by the presence of another dog, especially if it's a female dog in season.

Physiological condition: only a healthy dog ​​works well on the trail. Work on the trail requires considerable expenditure of physical and nervous energy. Regular training without excessive loads contributes to reducing fatigue and improving the quality of work.

Dog Gear for Tracking Dogs

Nutrition: any qualitative or quantitative nutritional deficiency adversely affects the general condition of the dog and can lead to a weakening of the senses.

Track factors

Dog Tracking Training Harness

 Length: the dog can not successfully synthesize a flesh odor without a sufficiently good and fresh odor-sample (object, clothing) and if the trace does not have the minimum length necessary for its working. Moving on the trail and discovering all the newest smells of the body, making the picture more complete, the dog can identify the individual smell of the person who left the trail.

Recentness: odor molecules are scattered and volatilized into the surrounding space. The intensity of smells gradually decreases until they disappear completely.

 Track: The line of the track is also important for the dog. Obviously, a simple and straightforward track is much easier to follow than a track with repeated changes of direction.

Effect of the conductor

The conductor's attitude should be neutral, otherwise the dog can quickly turn into a deceiver or finally "break down".

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