Observation- GSD vs. Non
I will preface this with the following: I love scent work, but my GSD has low prey-drive, so for him it's just a fun, rewarding way to bond with me... although when he is motivated, he is very, very good at it.
We have a miniature schnoodle and of course, a GSD. In our scent work training and exercises, I've noticed that the schnoodle prefers to just bury his head down and follow a scent in typical terrier fashion... Erratic would be an understatement, however he eventually gets to the goal (object/treat/person) about 80% of the time.
Our shepherd however, is very calculated in his approach, and what I want to figure out is if he air-tracks or if he just hones in more quickly and knows exactly where he is going. When we give him the command to "find" he just goes. There is no pause to sniff the ground or the wind, he really only puts his nose down when he's within 20 feet of the target and when he's "zoned" he'll find the target nearly 100% of the time directly, no circling, no looking around, no nose down- he just gets there... but he is lazy and sometimes just doesn't want to do it even though he is very happy when he's in work mode.
Has anyone else had similar experiences with tracking GSDs vs non-GSDs, and if so, what body language differences have you noted between the breeds? Also, can anyone lend a suggestion as to what processes my GSD is going through mentally while tracking? Is he really just air tracking, and if so, how do I redirect the air tracking to a more focused scent-work approach?
Feedback is appreciated!
Kaleef Black Bear Bugatti
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CGC, Advanced Obedience, Intermediate Air Scent Tracking,
650+ trail miles