Dedicated Tracking

IPO1 track (Photo by Donna Haynes)

Photo by Donna Haynes

A successful tracking dog must be dedicated to the work, as the dog essentially works on his own. Tracking requires hours and hours of practice to be successful. At the end of a 33 foot leash, the handler follows the dog, which is expected to scent the track. During the track the dog must indicate the location of the objects, usually by lying down with it between its front paws. There are three levels to this phase with increasing difficulty as the dog advances. The physical endurance in the tracking phase is intended to test the dog’s trainability and ability to scent, as well as its mental and physical endurance.