I've recently joined a local chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC). The Triangle Chapter (TriSinC) is relatively new, but I'm enjoying it so far. We meet once a month in North Raleigh, and usually have a program of some kind.
Today Sheila Boneham introduced us to her dog Lily and gave us a demonstration of dog tracking.
As you can see, Lily is an adorable yellow lab. She was so excited to track the scent that one of our members had laid down earlier. She was even more excited when she found the same member in his hiding spot, as that meant she was then able to get all the love and attention that the entire group was waiting to give her.
After the demonstration, Sheila talked to us about how tracking dogs are trained and some of the differences in training between law enforcement tracking dogs and Lily, who is trained primarily for tracking competitions. It was interesting to find out that any dog can be trained to track, as it's an innate ability that all dogs use. It's just a matter of training them to follow the one scent you want them to find.
Another bit of trivia I didn't know (not that I know anything about dogs and tracking to begin with) is that dogs cannot pant while they're tracking. Panting is how dogs cool themselves off, so it's more risky to the dog to track in hotter weather. This also makes it riskier for dogs that have the more compressed nasal passages, such as pugs, to do tracking.
All in all an educational way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I got my doggie fix as well!