anyone do scent tracking type stuff with their dogs?


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Would love to hear about it!

I am interested in the subject for my 7mo lab puppy, would like to eventually find a class around here although as he still needs work on "manners in public" I do not expect that'll happen til Spring at the earliest. Have puttered around with some little fun things at home but don't want to do much in my current clueless state as I am afraid to instill hard-to-break bad habits

All experiences and suggestions welcomed, also any good online instructional resources you might know of. Thanks,

when my DH and I got together he had a boxer/black lab and I had a black lab. We would take them hiking and then one of us would stay behind with the dogs while the other went and hid. We started with short distances and every time the dogs would find us. Eventually we increased distances and still they found us. We thought it was neat. So we went and bought a baby blanket and we started using that and they would find it too. pretty much any object, or friend we decided to use they would find.

One day before moving out of our rental home in 2003 our neighbour came to us and said the fireworks had scared their tiny dog away and they couldn't find it. the neighbour brought one of the dogs toys and we let the dogs sniff it. we went around the bush, across a huge field and then the dogs backtracked and went around houses and yards. 2 hours later we were about to give up thinking the dogs were just taking us for a walk but they kept barking at the house we were standing in front of. So my hubby knocked on the door and when the lady answered the door the little dog came running right out. I couldn't believe it.

One of the 2 dogs passed away at the beginning of this year and the other one is 11 yrs old now, but we still get him to do things, we ask him to find a bird he will or a mouse. or we hide balls or toys around our fields and he retrieves and comes back with them, it might take him time now as he is getting up there in age, but he still does it. Its a fun game to him :)
Pat our older GSD Jax is an awesome tracker. Unfortunately my DH and I are lousy trainers, so we muddle along.
We started out by hiding liver treats around in the house and telling Jax to "seek". It's gotten to the point where Jax can find them, even if we hid them well - say under clothes, in a dresser drawer.
Another seek game we play with him is for one of us to hide on the farm, about an 1/8th of a mile away from the house. The other takes Jax outside and tells him to seek mommy or seek daddy and he can locate us.
We took Jax to the PD with us when he was younger and one of the officers that went through the professional training with a drug dog took Jax and handled him as he would a drug dog. He took Jax around a vehicle (in this case a patrol car) and told Jax to seek (the liver baits we had hidden around the interior and exterior of the car). Jax can do that easily. He also loves to go to the sheriffs office where they have a room set up with boxes (that have the scent of drugs in them) and "play" drug dog.
So, we've never formally trained Jax for it, but he does enjoy a good game of seek.

ETA: My DH has often said that if he were a younger officer and not one so close to retirement he would petition the department to allow himself and Jax to be trained as the city's K9 team. Jax would make an awesome cop dog.
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