Tracking is a sport in which you and your dog follow a scent along a previously laid track.
The tracks are marked out according to the Tracking Rules and walked by a track-layer on the day of the trial.
The only equipment needed is a correctly fitted tracking harness and a lead at least 10 m long. The tracklayer must have some articles with their scent on to leave on the track
The dog’s tracking ability is extremely acute, we still don’t fully understand the dog’s capabilities in this area. The dog’s olfactory sense is much, much more greatly developed than humans. Dogs naturally track for food, we could call this their hunting instinct. We don’t have to teach a dog to track, we use their natural instinct to teach them that we want them to follow a certain track.
In Australia, apart from Police dogs and the armed services, groups of search and rescue volunteers train dogs to find people. From a recreational angle, others train dogs to compete in ANKC tracking trials. All types of dogs of varying breeds complete in these trials from toy breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to larger gundogs and working breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers.