Teaching a Dog to Track by Scent

When a dog tracks, it uses its nose to track a specific scent. Dogs are born with the ability to track. Your dog most likely began tracking when he was a very young puppy—because his eyes hadn’t yet opened, he needed to utilize his nose to locate his mother so he could nurse.

It will be your job to train his innate tracking instinct to follow a specific track. Like other dog training programs, tracking is a game for your dog, so enjoy yourself!

Here’s how to teach a dog to track by scent!

Begin Early in the Morning

You’ll need their favorite toy, some treats, and the track area to teach them how to scent a track. Begin early; many people begin as early as 6 a.m. before anyone has wandered around the area.

Select a Training Location for Your Dog

You can train your dog to track both outside and inside. Because different weather elements (e.g., temperature, wind) can impact scent molecules, you may prefer to start his training indoors to keep the scent in one place.

Whether you train outside or inside, try to keep potential distractions like people, other pets, and loud noises to a minimum. Meanwhile, you can also click the following link if you want to find out some of the most legit online gambling sites.

Choose an Object for Your Dog to Track

a yorkshire terrier smelling a ball

Although there are numerous methods for honing your dog’s natural tracking instincts, most dogs enjoy pursuing the scent of their favorite toy. Select your dog’s favorite toy for every training session.

Play a Game of Fetch

Playing with your dog before your training session will warm him up and get him excited to train. Since it is so similar to tracking, fetch is an excellent game for getting your dog warmed up. Before beginning your training session, spend 10 to 15 minutes playing with your dog. And if you want to make sure that you’ll only play on legit online casinos, click the link given. 

Tell Your Dog to Sit or Stay

If your canine is unfamiliar with these commands, take considerable time teaching him. Keeping him in one spot will teach him patience and make your track training go smoothly. When your dog is in one location, attach his leash to his collar.

Hide Your Dog’s Toy From View

Although your dog’s tracking sense is most likely acute, his training should begin with him fetching his toy when it is in plain sight. Hold the toy in front of your dog while seated or standing in one place. Allow your dog to observe you as you place the toy in a location where he can see it.

Command Your Dog to Fetch the Toy

Take your dog’s leash and give him a word or phrase to get the toy. Cues such as “seek,” “search,” and “find it” are common.

The first time you relay a command to your dog, he may easily follow it. Your dog, however, may not comprehend what you want him to do at first.

If your dog requires assistance, use his leash to lead him to the toy. When he has the toy, head back to your starting point and urge him to follow you while holding the toy in his mouth.

When you and your dog arrive at the starting point, instruct him to drop his toy. You may have to practice concealing the toy and providing your dog with verbal cues several times before he can retrieve the toy on his own.

When your dog retrieves the toy, immediately reward him with verbal praise and a treat. 

Hide the Toy in an Area Where Your Dog Cannot See It

a dog with a ball in its mouth

Hide your dog’s toy, so it is out of his line of vision to challenge him. This will allow your dog to find his toy using his nose rather than his eyes. For example, you can hide his toy under furniture, in a different room, or under a cardboard box.

Command your dog to sit or stay as before, then hide the toy and order him to find it. Remember to let him sniff the toy before hiding it. Reward him right away if he finds the toy and returns it to you.

Improve Your Dog’s Tracking Skills by Using the Wind

Once your dog has mastered using his nose to find his toy, increase the difficulty by integrating wind into your training. After you’ve hidden the toy, take a walk downwind with your dog. By facing downwind, the breeze will bring the scent of your dog’s toy to his nose, making it easier for him to find.

The wind will be in your face if you are downwind. If you stand upwind, your dog will have to speed past the toy until he is out of the way. He probably won’t mind, but it may lengthen your training time.

Hide the Toy With the Assistance of a Helper

This is yet another way to test your dog during track training sessions. While you stand quietly with your dog, have somebody else hide the toy while your dog keeps an eye on them. Instruct your dog to retrieve the toy when the helper returns to you.

Your helper may need to hide the toy in a convenient location at first, so your dog can adapt to somebody else hiding the toy. Your assistant can increase the difficulty by concealing the toy in a more difficult-to-find location and not allowing the dog to follow their movements.

Make sure not to encourage your canine to follow your helper’s movements verbally. Your dog will most likely look at you instead of at your assistant.

Make a Treat Track

a woman holding a treat up for her dog

Take your dog outside and instruct him to lie down or sit and stay. Take several inch-long pieces of hot dogs and mash them into the grass with your shoe. Ensure to crush the grass beneath the hot dogs to release the grass scent.

After which, with the residue on the bottom of your footwear, walk away from your dog in a straight line. Drop a hot dog piece every six or ten feet.

After about 20 feet, come to a halt and drop one of your dog’s toys or one of your gloves; your dog has to find something at the end of the course. Place another hot dog atop the object.

Begin Extending the Track’s Length

When your dog has completed this trick successfully, repeat it by taking ten steps to the side. You can make three or four short tracks for every training session if your dog is excited and having fun.

As your dog improves, lengthen the track, add corners and curves, and drop several objects along the way, but only the hot dog on the one you want him to find when lengthening or adding curves to tracks, use small pegs, flags, or stakes to tag the track to tell if your canine is off track.