I trail, the distinction being not a FST, however, I've never had difficulty with dogs on VST or hard surfaces.. They have just naturally followed the odor wherever it was laid... Even my newest who is now 14mos old, worked hard surfaces as young as 12wks old...
I've never had difficulty on VST or hard surfaces.. My dogs have just naturally continued to trail.. Even the pup at 12wks was working hard surfaces.. I am not sure if it is us as humans that have the issue more then the dog
If you know how to teach a dog to track on grass you can teach them to track on hard surfaces... I really think it is the unban that has the issue, lol.
Hydrating the area first is the new fad, and has some science behind it as odor is hydrophilic and gives moisture to dogs nose. Using bare or socked feet can deposit a bit more odor... But if your dog already knows how to follow odor, and they are loyal to it, they will follow it over any surface... As to IGP, the slow FST track will require a bit more finesse, but the theory is the same
Yeah, trailing is different. Generally they are gathering scent from everything, not just ground scent. When Kimber is doing building searches or open field searches, she is more trailing. It's awesome to watch. She hits the edges of the scent cone and it looks like she ran into a wall.
The reason a lot of police dog trainers are going to tracking over trailing is because the speed. Trailing is generally faster. Tracking is slower and more methodical. Since they are generally tracking to danger, they don't want to rush into a bad situation or a bad bite.
There are a lot of similarities, to grass tracking, but some differences. The water is a newer fad. Not super new, but... The reason it works is the surface tension of the water. It suspends the skin graphs and such to the surface making it easier for the dog to pick up. Also and in my opinion equally important is that it lets the handler know where the track is. Otherwise how do you know if your dog is on it, or if it's just smelling the roses? The water and food are only for the beginning stages. It gets faded out.