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Since day 1...he ALWAYS has his nose to the ground

1630 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mandalay
Rajko is almost 10wks old now. Since the day I got him about 2 weeks ago, he spends a lot of time with his nose to the floor/ground, quickly or slowly pacing around as if he were following a scent. At first I assumed he was just exploring his new home..but he still does it almost every day. He still does normal puppy things too of course, I just notice he seems to enjoy this.
(Sometimes it's hard to know when he actually needs to be let out to potty but I am now able to tell from his body language).

Are all GSD puppies like this? I am wondering if this could indicate that he has a knack for tracking or something like that? He has a ton of prey drive too so if these traits carry over into adulthood I might have a potential SAR dog on my hands. Just some things I was thinking about.
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Yes and No.

When Cheyenne was a pup she always had her nose to the groups. Smells were far more interesting than me. I swear I could have tied a chicken leg, steak or pork chop around my neck and she still would have been more interested in sniffing.

What plans did you have for Rajko? Then I can hopefully give you some information to get you started on the right track, so to speak.

You want to teach them to track, then you can control better when they track and when they don't. But I want to make sure you get started right.
Well I don't have any plans right now for even doing tracking or any working at all, although I do find it to be kind of neat so if time permitted it, I would look into it further. I was just kind of curious of this is an indicator of future potential either way.
I think that some dogs are wired for tracking at birth. All dogs can be taught to track, but some are just born with that love, instinct, drive, what ever you want to call it.

So you need to look around and see what types of training are available to you within a reasonable driving distance. AKC tracking is different than SchH tracking, so if you ever want to do SchH, start with SchH style tracking first. SchH tracking is deep nose foot step tracking, AKC is more loose, the dog can track or air scent as long as they stay close to the track and find the items. SchH is more exacting, must stay on track with the nose working.
Get yourself a copy of Enthusiastic Tracking by Sil Sanders:

I like to find what the DOG likes to do and then do that.
Onyx also is a nosey dog, her head is always to the ground when we are out if I let her. Today when we were walking, my daughter and a friend were way down the road.
I could tell when Onyx caught her scent(there were quite a few people out and about) and was tracking her as fast as I would let her go. She also will air scent often. I want to get her into this as I think it would be fun to do, but there are no SchH clubs near enough. There is a training place that I will probably go to that has tracking class, it is almost an hour away, though...
It is nice to have some guidance. Books are nice, but it helps if you have other people to track with. Cheyenne will not track my footsteps, she turns around and looks at me like, I know where you are, why would I want to follow some track you walked, foolish person.
Mandi does this as well. At first it made me nervous as I always thought that she was looking for somewhere to piddle (when we were in the house). Now I think she is sniffing to see if she can figure out where the cats have gone as she will all of a sudden catch a "good strong scent" and be off and this is usually followed by a hiss and loud meow coming from the other room when she finds one.

I have started playing games with her and her nose. I take something; a toy, a bone, whatever, and I run it along the ground and then "hide" it in the other room. Sometimes under the ottoman or on the far side of the chair. Then I point to the smell on the ground and tell her to find it. She usually does.

I assume she will either outgrow this or will be a novice squirrel follower one day.
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