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Sri 04-07-2014 07:29 PM

tracking and nosework
Hi everyone,

I would like to get started in AKC Tracking. Should I do a Nosework course first, as I also see a Foundations of Tracking course? Sorry if the question seems too ignorant.

I looked for tracking clubs near me, but the closest is about 90 mins away.
I've been browsing through the posts here for general getting started information.

DJEtzel 04-07-2014 07:36 PM

No. Nosework and tracking are two completely different sports, and IMO very confusing to cross train. I have heard this from others as well.

Nosework is air scenting and encourages dogs to leave the ground to smell higher for scent. Tracking is ground scenting and the dog is not supposed to leave the ground with his nose.

I would stick to one or the other, personally.

onyx'girl 04-07-2014 07:42 PM

AKC allows air scenting. IPO does not. I would not start a dog in nosework if my goals were to teach tracking. Tracking is scent discrimination, but it is thru footsteps(crushed vegetation or disturbed ground) and trailing, not so much finding a spot where a particular scent is hidden/ a dog would be trained to seek out certain odors isn't so much tracking but detecting.

Sri 04-07-2014 08:00 PM

Thanks both of you :).

So I guess since I don't have any tracking clubs near me, i am on my own if I choose tracking.

Would this course be helpful?

Fenzi Dog Sports Academy - TR101: Foundation Tracking 1

onyx'girl 04-07-2014 08:07 PM

another option would be finding an IPO club and learn to track IPO style...after the dog learns the fundamentals, AKC tracking should come very easily. The online course would be fine, but it is really good to have others track with you(lay your tracks and observe your handling) I like having others to track with for their eye/critique.

mspiker03 04-07-2014 08:20 PM

I actually started out doing both at the same time after having a pm conversation with someone who has dogs titled in both IPO and NW. I ended up stopping tracking for a bit because I didn't have someone to consistently train with (unlike NW). Paisley is just starting her 3 session of K9 NW and we will be starting IPO style tracking again soon now that our OB/Protection trainer is going to start that up.

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Slamdunc 04-07-2014 08:43 PM

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If you want to do tracking whether AKC or IPO it is far better to have people to track and train with. The NW is a lot of fun and the two can be quite complimentary. I see many handlers (K-9) that become better tracking handlers after beginning doing detection work. Detection work, like NW causes the handler to really learn to read his / her dog. The subtle cues the dog gives like "head snaps", changes in breathing and body language are very evident to good detection handlers. Similar signals are also given off by a dog when tracking. A dog will "head snap" on a turn and loss of track indications will be easier to read.

IMHO, both are excellent things to do with your dog but require time and dedication. I might start with the NW and then go to tracking when your dog is performing the NW reliably.

The tracking is relatively easy; but it is far harder to retrain a dog that has a poor foundation. I really think that you need some experienced tracking folks to work with, or you will make your life a whole lot harder. Even if you get up with knowledgeable folks once a month and then do exactly what they say for training while on your own.



I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO 04-07-2014 08:49 PM

As everyone else said, they are two different things.

Nosework - very similar to narcotic detection. The dog uses air scenting to find a specific smell anywhere in a container, a room, an outdoor area, and around vehicles. The scents used are birch, anise, and clove.

Tracking - (AKC tracking) - dog follows human scent or another school of thought is that the dog follows crushed vegetation - maybe it's both. The dog has to follow the scent for over 440 yards for just the TD title. The dog does not have to track footstep to footstep, their nose does not have to be on the ground, and they can even go off track as long as they don't go too far.

I do both and have been successful - Mikko is titled in Nosework and hopefully will have his first tracking title this fall (TD). We were supposed to certify (test you have to do before you can attempt a TD) at the end of this month, but recent events have halted our training for a bit. I have found no problem with training both. I use different words (search and track), different equipment (harness for tracking), and just the scent in general is so different - a dog knows when there is birch, anise, or clove around! I have never felt like my dog was confused.

I agree - tracking is something that you want to work with other people. Maybe there is a seminar that you can find and attend and then gain contacts? My area had no tracking clubs, but after a recent seminar I started a Facebook group and invited people from the seminar and now we can plan to get together and train. Before that, I just attended seminars and put my husband to work. :)

Sri 04-07-2014 09:06 PM

Yes,makes sense to me that it is better to track with a knowledgeable group of people. Thankyou all :)

Gwenhwyfair 04-09-2014 02:42 PM

It's a LOT of fun too. Just got back from tracking training and (if I may brag a bit) even a pile of deer doo-doo a few inches away didn't take my girlie off the track. :D

I'm doing IPO tracking, from what I gather from posts here and what my trainer has told me IPO is more precise more OB oriented then AKC. If you want to compete in IPO tracking you will need to get your BH first.

Don't know what the parameters are for AKC tracking.....I watched a lady with a Beuceron running a training track for AKC and was sort-a jealous, they just took off at a pretty high rate of speed, casting about a bit, then he dropped like a rock at the first article. Then she released him and he was off through the bushes in no time. Didn't look as precise as IPO but the dog was impressive, 2 hour old track and he nailed each article perfectly. It looked like a lot of fun for handler and dog.

Also, one down side to IPO tracking is many clubs won't help new members who only want to do tracking (at least that's my experience. I can't do the other phases since Ilda has HD). I'm lucky that I'm friends with my trainer who happens to also be a helper with an IPO he can help me train just for the tracking.

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