Tracking

Command K9 Services offers a variety of tracking classes for Police K9, Search and Rescue, Schutzhund/DVG or people that just want to learn how to track.

Many trainers train either tracking dogs or trailing dogs but we believe the best dogs need to do both. In simple terms, a trailing dog follows the scent of discarded skin cells which are usually downwind of the place where the person walked. A tracking dog follows the scent of disturbed ground and vegetation where the person’s foot strikes the ground; this scent generally lasts longer. At Command K9, we train dogs to track or trail as each situation demands. Dogs trained to do both are more versatile as they can track older tracks and are able to track them faster and more accurately.

All dogs track: they follow their handler’s path to the car, they track the neighbor cat’s path through the yard, and they follow the scent of a deer that ran along the driveway. However, the key to training a good tracking dog is motivating the dog to track what, when and where you want them to track. Just like when we train obedience, narcotics detection or protection, we must find the right reward for each dog. We can motivate dogs to track in various ways. We most frequently use balls, food, or a bite at the end of the track as a reward. When training a tracking/trailing dog, it is extremely important to find the right reward(s) and learn when to use each reward. We might begin a green dog with food and later advance on to a human or bite at the end of the track. However, we must be careful not to introduce a human at the end of the track too early in the training or the dog will tend to air scent and not keep his head down which will keep him from becoming a strong tracking dog. Once we find the proper motivation for the dog to track, we then need to teach the dog in a systematic manner so he learns the right lessons.

Command K9 Services believes that working a tracking/trailing dog takes more teamwork than any other discipline in K9 service except for Seeing Eye Service. Even though humans have a lousy sense of smell, it is still extremely important for the handler to become a working teammate with the dog. Both dog and handler must be actively involved in each tracking problem. For this reason, we train the dog and the handler together to ensure excellent teamwork between you and your partner. For example, when a dog overshoots a track it is important for the handler to read the dog and see that the dog needs to cast to find the scent. If the handler pushes the dog at this time, he will frequently cause the dog to begin moving out without the track and he will lose the scent altogether. At Command K9 Services, we will help you and your dog become a team that communicates and solves the tracking problems together. We offer classes in the spring each year geared toward your agency and personal needs. We teach both rural and urban tracking. Classes are kept very small to give each K9 tracking team the most one-on-one instruction possible.

1 week basic tracking class - $250.00
After completing this class, a tracking team will be well-started in rural tracking/trailing. Each team will learn the basics of tracking along with beginning problem solving. In order to become a proficient tracking team, anyone taking only this class will need to spend time on their own practicing what they have learned.

2 week tracking class - $500.00
Upon completion of this class, most teams will be proficient at tracking/trailing on fresh tracks. Working aging tracks will require practice outside of the scheduled class. We will begin aging some tracks during this class and endeavor to give teams in this class the skills they need to begin completing aging and multi-surface tracks on their own.

12 week private tracking class - $6000.00
At the end of this class, the team will be able to solve complex problems together and track in most environments. Teams taking this class would be considered experts when they graduate.
*We also offer advanced tracking classes that are 1-12 weeks or custom classes and seminars depending on your current skill level and needs.


 
 

Contact Us CommandK9 Services Dale Brandeberry
406-270-1018
PoliceK9@montanasky.com