I’ll have to respectfully disagree that SCH tracking is obedience motivated. The dog is taught to use ground scent. Call it damaged or disturbed ground as opposed to natural ground. The dog learns that the track is the damaged ground. That’s very simply stated but differentiates from air scenting. The dog’s nose is so sensitive that we really don’t even comprehend what or how the dog knows scent. It doesn’t matter.
We teach the dog to follow a marked scent. The dog learns this and gets rewarded. The SCH/IPO sport adds style and appropriate scoring as a test. That’s the obedience part of it. Once the dog learns that you want him to use his nose this way, the dog will find that it is very easy. A well trained SCH/IPO dog is very hard to get away from. I’ve had my dog track a flooded field in a down pour then swim across a flowing drainage ditch and continue the track on the other side. I even had to swim across it. There were many object he had to indicate on both sides. Indication was by laying down with the object in front of his feet. ( a point deduction for not between his feet were it a trial). Length of tracks were not an object...we often spent a whole day working day old tracks.
Some dogs like hounds do air scenting. A very windy day can get them way off course. I did this as as a bad guy in a police certification test. I “shot” (with a camera) both the officers and the dog after they walked past me and about another 50 feet. There were a lot of cuss words but it was a lesson well learned. Situation awareness. We demonstrated our SCH dogs the same day and scored a perfect capture for both dogs. Neither had run this test previously.
So as noted, you need to decide what type of tracking you want to do. Some dogs are very good at area searching and maybe not patient enough for longer distance tracks. We did this with various objects tossed in an area. The dogs did not know what to search for just something out of place. How do they do this? I can’t tell you. The dog just methodically searches just as you might do a grid search. He finds something that doesn’t match the area. A gun, knife, shoe, glove. All have a different scent picture. The dog indicates this by what every you teach. And of course a very great reward. We worked with a bomb dog and as he was also taught area search he would never miss a foreign object. He silently stopped and stood off some distance looking at the object. Never barking. Waiting for his handler.
You could start by dragging a child’s shirt over some nice untrampled grass in a field. Let the dog sniff the shirt.. please don’t stuff it in his face, as the movies, dogs are a lot smarter than that. Just either hold it and let the dog sniff as he wants, or just leave it on the ground at the start of a short track. Reward heavily for success. The dog will get the idea. It takes time however, not an instant happening in one day.
There are other scenting things like finding your wallet. It’s more complicated and time consuming. AKC has some events like this. You maybe don’t want to compete but go to classes for the instruction.
Tron GSD SCH III, AD, TD. Never to be forgotten buddy
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Last edited by Bentwings1; 05-28-2018 at 01:06 PM.