Category: scentwork

@trapperweasel Some very very very basic instructions for tracking (anything, really) is to…

@trapperweasel Some very very very basic instructions for tracking (anything, really) is to associate the smell with a reward. For my dog, the reward is food, and the smell is crushed vegetation and the smell of human scent.

So what I do is I lay a trail by dragging and scraping my feet very hard, and lay a ton of treats in the trail. I mark my trail with small blue pylons so I know where it is. Whenever he is in the trail sniffing, I praise heavily. Whenever he leaves, I stop all praise. At the end of the trail is a big pile of treats.

As he progresses and gets faster and more focused I put less treats in the trail and he has to rely on smelling footsteps to find the end, and as he progresses with this I stop dragging my feet and the footsteps get more spread out.

Eventually, he will rely entirely on the smell of crushed grass to find the reward at the end, and the reward will not be on the ground, but instead will be an “article” (wallet, person, dead monkey, whatever) and the reward will come from me.

This is very very rudimentary “tracking” but it’s super fun to see your dog succeed. You can use this same tactic for tracking wild game, and I definitely think you could use this for finding truffles. Every item has a specific scent and when carried, drops those scent particles in the grass.

It’s just making the association with a smell and a reward, and the rest is Peach and Cake.

Floyd is really progressing quickly with his tracking. If you give him the search command, he…

Floyd is really progressing quickly with his tracking. If you give him the search command, he immediately puts his nose to the ground and searches for a scent. If he finds a scent trail, he follows it all the way to the end.

Unfortunately sometimes this ends in nothing being found, in which case I put treats in the trail and give him the command again. (:

“Bloodhounding” after a scent somewhere. I really…

“Bloodhounding” after a scent somewhere. I really ought to get him into tracking. He liked this scent so much that he started crying when I pulled him off the trail. He very rarely makes noise!