What is Tracking?
Tracking is when a dog is following the scent trail left
by a human being (or other animal) that has passed along a certain
Following a track is one of the many useful things dogs can do to
help humans. Hounds track game, rescue dogs track lost children,
police dogs track suspects, well trained pets can find lost items.
Many dog owners are involved in tracking with their dogs as a hobby
(for fun) or as a sport (to earn titles), or both.
Equipment You'll Need For Tracking
To begin tracking you need a healthy dog, the proper equipment,
and time. The special equipment needed for tracking includes
* a tracking harness for the dog (or a chain collar for Schutzhund
* a long lead (25' or longer),
* a few articles (leather glove, old wallet, old sock, etc.),
* some treats for the dog,
* several flags to mark starts and turns (brightly colored clothespins
are also useful for marking turns).
Eventually, you will need one or more other people to lay tracks
for you. You should also invest in a few good books on the topic.
You'll also need some open fields or grassy areas to train on. In
early training, only a couple of acres are necessary. For advanced
tracks, twenty acres or more may be required to adequately challenge
Just as importantly, you need to be in reasonably good physical
condition yourself. Tracking requires a great deal of walking in
fields and bush. You may need to to walk up steep hills, hop over
ditches, and climb over fences. To lay an advanced track and run
it later may require you to walk well over a Killometre in rough
terrain. In short, tracking entails hiking.
Tracking is great fun and will keep you and your dog fit and healthy.