One of the things our dogs enjoy is tracking. It is innate to dogs to be able to follow a scent all the way to it’s source. The dog’s ability to smell is said to be anywhere from 10,000 times to 100,000 times better than a humans. There is great comfort in knowing that your dog will be able to find a missing family member. We use this ability of the dogs in Search and Rescue, training them to follow the scent of the missing person.
There are many avenues to go in competing with your dog, from Scent work, where the dog is trained to indicate on specific scents in competition, to Tracking. The AKC offers Tracking tests which evaluate a dog’s ability to follow a human trail. Other disciplines, such as Schutzhund (IPO) trials, also have a tracking component.
It’s a lot of fun to see what your dog can do!