Blood Spoor Trailing Dogs:
Blood Dog is just another name for a Dog that is performing a scent trailing function with the same discipline to find wounded animals or one that tracks human beings.
Trailing Dogs can be classified broadly as either trailing or air-scenting Dogs and tracking Dogs.
Trailing frequently is confused with tracking, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Tracking is based on the human visual visible tracks or spoor.
In the wilderness Tracking & Trailing Dogs can be deployed from the animal or human last known point. Dogs tracking, trailing, air scenting and scent discrimination abilities are all helpful sniffing methods.
Trailing dogs follow scent. The Dog focus on detecting flakes (skin cells) fallen off the surface of the skin. The use of Blood Spoor Trailing and Tracking Dogs is a valuable component in wilderness trailing and human tracking. Dogs will keep the head low to the ground or higher depending on how old the scent is and the weather conditions. Blood Trailing Dogs detect animal and human scent which may include skin rafts (scent-carrying skin cells that drop off living humans and animals), evaporated perspiration or respiratory gases. Trailing is training a Dog to follow a particular scent pattern wherever it might lie, on the ground or in the air. If the Dog is following a scent trail on the ground and suddenly detects the same odour on the wind coming from a direction where the suspect animal or human is located, the Dog will follow the air scent and deviate from the ground track. A Trailing Dog is scent specific and will work on lead. Trailing Dogs will venture off the actual path that a subject took should a scent pool be discovered, as they are following a specific scent and working through all other scents to get to the source. K9 Blood Spoor Trailing Dogs rely on scent of the specific subject.
Tracking dogs follow footprints. The Dog carries his nose close to the ground to track any scents left behind and mainly focuses on following foot steps by detecting the scent of broken vegetation. Scent Discriminating Dogs have the ability to alert only on the scent of an individual animal or person, after being given a scent sample. Considering that ground scenting Dogs focus on foot steps and the effect of the weight of the person causing ground disturbances and crushed grass. Tracking Dogs will typically work on lead and will mostly have their nose to the track following ground disturbance. A good Tracking Dog will be able to work through a variety of terrain as well as successfully manoeuvre turns and double backs.
The key essential characteristics of a good Blood Spoor Trailing Dog:
- Drive can’t be taught, this is probably the most important features of a tracking dog. To teach a Dog to track a wounded animal involve a lot of planning, testing, work and time during the course of training. Drive is the Dog's desire to follow a track or trail of a scent and therefore makes a dog want to succeed and please you.
- Intelligence, tracking a wounded animal is like a puzzle the Dog is required to solve. The Dog needs to have the ability to learn and absorb what he has learned, apply it to the situation by focusing on the problem and work it out without the handler’s help.
- Exceptional scent ability. Most Dogs can trail a lung-shot animal spraying blood but only Dogs with the exceptional ability to smell will be able to track an animal shot days before or that left no blood trail. The animal's scent is absorbed into the blood and scent is the focus of training, the Dog's nose is the key to all of his training and he has to be taught to perform the tracking discipline on command.
- Perseverance, focus and stamina to have the ability and personality to get down and dirty when the situation calls for it, irrespective if the trail leads into a wetland, thorn bushes or rocky cliffs, then the Dog will not quit until the handler calls him off.
- Socializing skills and personality. Trailing Dogs need to be well socialized and friendly and will be exposed to other people on the track and at the hunting camp, the reward for a successful find is the dead animal itself. Obedience training is vital, commands such as "heel - sit - stay - wag - leave it - los - search - soek" should be taught using positive reinforcement such as treats and praise.