Right on the Nose: The Sport of Trailing and Locating

The post Right on the Nose: The Sport of Trailing and Locating by Natasha Medvetsky appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire short articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, however all of these articles were designated, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. Nevertheless, we value that you like the post and would enjoy it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of a short article, then connecting out to the remainder of the piece on Dogster.com.

Dogs have amazing noses. Nature equipped them with the ability to pick up even the faintest smells that, as human beings, we can’t even identify. And it’s no surprise they have this capability. Pets have 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while humans have just 6 million.

Any canine can participate in Trailing and Locating. Type– or mix of types– does not matter. As long as you have a pet dog who likes to follow his nose and locate “prey,” you can take part.

How Trailing and Locating Works

The trial’s course supervisor sets a scent over an outside location that covers throughout size from 1,000 to 40,000 square feet, depending on the class. In many cases, the aroma is developed by dragging rat fragrance (often made with a dripping bag of “rat tea,” a yucky mix of water, rat poop and bed linen) or by laying of commercial wildlife fragrance through the trial location. The track that’s laid ultimately leads to 2 rats or other small rodents that are hidden away and securely secured in a little cage.

The objective is for the dog to use his nose to find the caged rodents within 1 to 4 minutes, depending on the class. (No rodents are harmed in this sport. Rules need the rodents be dealt with in a humane and caring fashion throughout their natural lives.)

Canines in between 6 to 9 months begin with the Trailing and Locating Puppy Aptitude Test. The first level of Trailing and Locating for pets over the age of 9 months is Level I (TL-I). In Level I, dogs work on a course that is 7,500 to 10,000 square feet. On a long leash (30 feet or less), the pet dog starts at a “scent pad”– a flat pad that’s about 1 meter large laid at the start of the search area. The pad is sprayed or dragged with scent for a minimum of 15 seconds and marks the start of the path that the pet will follow.

Your canine does not require any unique training to take part in Trailing and Locating.

The clock starts when the dog and handler cross the start line. The pet’s handler knows where the quarry is concealed but is not permitted to assist the canine because direction. As the handler holds the canine on a loose leash, the dog is supposed to start tracking the scent, either on the ground or through the air. The pet dog has 2 minutes to find the quarry with no assistance from the handler.

Dogs who successfully discover the quarry within 2 minutes receive a certifying rating. A perfect score is 25 points. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to get that number when you’re first starting out. The judge deducts points for errors, such as having the pet dog on a tight leash, touching the pet dog or dropping treats on the course. Canines who get certifying ratings at an event are eligible for a positioning as long as at least 3 canines contended at the very same level. Placements are based on the number of points scored, with the dog and handler with the highest rating getting a first-place ribbon.

When The Nose Knows It

What’s terrific about Trailing and Locating is that your canine doesn’t need any special training in order to get involved. He does need to show an aptitude for locating critters with his nose. Without that desire to trail to its source, your dog will wind up wandering aimlessly around the search location, not knowing why he’s there.

If you see your pet sniffing around in the backyard for squirrels or tracking bunnies to their burrows, he’s a most likely candidate for Trailing and Locating. Go to an occasion as a spectator to get a sense of what these competitions resemble and whether it might be something your dog would delight in.


To find out more about upcoming Trailing and Locating occasions in your area and how to get associated with this amazing sport, go to the North American Sport Dog Association site at nasda.dog or on Facebook @nasdadog.


Acclaimed author and editor Audrey Pavia is a previous managing editor at Dog Fancy magazine and previous senior editor of The AKC Gazette. Author of The Labrador Retriever Handbook, she has written thoroughly on horses in addition to other pets. She shares her home with Pittie blends Mookie and Winnie.

The post Right on the Nose: The Sport of Trailing and Locating by Natasha Medvetsky appeared initially on Dogster. Copying over entire short articles infringes on copyright laws. You might not understand it, however all of these short articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we value that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing simply the first paragraph of a post, then connecting out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.