Last updated: Feb. 22 2018 2 min read
There are many attributes of your dog that go unnoticed and completely forgotten about. Hey it’s easy to do, considering most people have dogs strictly for companionship. However, you have to remember that these animals have a long ancestry which, depending upon the type of dog breed he is, has underlying qualities and desires that you may find interesting to explore.
One such characteristic would be a dog’s natural ability to catch a scent and then track that scent in order to hunt down and find the prey. Many dogs were specifically bred to track game of all sizes, however, every dog has this capability to some degree. In other words, if your dog has a nose, then he has the ability to track.
But you already knew this to some degree. Recall the last walk you are on with your pooch, his nose was probably going crazy at every corner and at every vertical object. You’ve seen him nose the ground every chance possible and even sniff the air catching the scent of something, or someone.
Tracking Is A Sport
There is even a widely practiced dog sport that has dogs compete in the art of tracking. This sport takes advantage of these animals’ natural ability to pick up on a scent and follow the trail to a particular object, terrain, or person. There are different levels which presents greater challenges such as additional turns in the terrain, a longer track, and even multiple objects to find.
The interesting aspect of tracking competition is that while in most other dog sports, like obedience or agility competitions where people are in charge, tracking competitions have the dog leading the way. The dog as a harness attached to him with a 30 foot leash which his handler will follow as he hunts down the trail. Some dogs take their time and are very meticulous, while others confidently track their scent at a fast pace.
When a test is given, each dog will receive their own track. There are two judges who are then assigned to follow each particular dog handler team. In order to put on such a test, it takes quite a bit of land and the operation is very labor intensive. This means that not every dog off the street can enter and compete. They must have certification on tracking abilities before even entering a particular level of competition.