A dog is a tracking and sniffing powerhouse so tracking dog training can both be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. Did you know that a dog can sniff a drop of blood in 55 gallons of water? A dog’s sense of smell is so accurate that it is 100,000,000 times more powerful than a human’s scent!
This kind of training really harnesses this power for practical purposes. A great way to introduce the training is through games. Incorporating it in games makes your dog learn and have fun at the same time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Your dog loves it when you give it a treat, right? Start your tracking dog training with a simple “Find It” game. For starters, you need a dog treat. Have your dog sniff it, but don’t give it to your dog. Then, make a great show of looking like you’re hiding the treat from the dog by going to five or more places.
Then surreptitiously hide the dog treat in any one of the places you’ve visited. Then, say something like “Find it!” or “Go find!” Have your dog find the dog treat and praise your dog profusely when he or she finds it. If the dog becomes proficient in this game, you can make this type of training more challenging by hiding the treat while the dog is in another room.
This is a different take on the first tracking dog training game mentioned above. For this second dog training game, you are going to teach him or her how to find a certain person. This game is useful if you need the dog to find a certain person. First, you have to teach the dog to associate the name of the person with the person you want your dog to find. This training can be very useful if you want to teach your dog to track a family member for example.
Have your target person sit in a corner of a room, and say, “Find (the name of the person)!” Then, let the person give the dog a treat when the dog finds him or her. Do this several times until the dog learns that he or she needs to find the person when you give the command. Then, slowly ease the dog from the dog treats. This part of the training ensures that the dog is not trained to find the person who has treats, but to find the person only.
When the dog learns this technique, go to the next level. This time, teach the dog to find the person in another room. Then make it more difficult by having the dog use the scent from the air to find the person outdoors.
You can let your dog undergo this type of dog training for competition or for search and rescue. You can arm your dog with tracking dog training and you’ll have a powerful ally when someone in your family goes missing.