March 27, 2009, Newsletter Issue #280: Tracking as a Canine Sport

Tip of the Week

Tracking competition demonstrates a dog's natural ability to identify and follow a scent. The track is laid out by a person called a "tracklayer". The tracklayer walks a path of several hundred yards and drops an object belonging to him, such as a wallet or glove. A dog uses only his nose to follow the path of the tracklayer and find the object.

Since all dogs have the ability to track, competition is open to all breeds from sporting breeds to herding breeds to toy dogs. However, some breeds such as bloodhounds have been noted to be exceptional trackers.

Hunting dogs also use tracking to following game. Rescue dogs use tracking to find lost children. And police dogs use tracking to trail criminal suspects.

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