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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Scent discrimination - what an experienced blood tracking dog can do

I have recently come across this descripton of a deer call John and I took together in 2000. It was a very educational experience how dogs can discriminate scent of individual deer.

John wrote:
On the phone it sounded like an easy track so we took one of our young wire males, Alec, who had training but no natural experience. Jolanta handled Alec and I handled Sabina as a backup in case the young dog had trouble. Alec did a pretty good job, trailed out past the hunter's point of loss and went on for another quarter mile without help.

Then came misfortune. Alec tracked right into a fresh gut pile, still warm. Alec thought the guts were better than nothing and he munched a bit. The hunters and the handlers were down hearted for sure. They had called us and we had driven a long way, and now it was all for nothing. Someone else had finished off the deer and dragged him out.

Then I thought of something. There had been some grains of corn in the track on the way to the gut pile. They had leaked out of the deer. It was funny that there was no corn in the gut pile that we were standing over. I took Sabina back on the trail about 50 yards and let her work the line; she tracked right past the gut pile, never looking at it. All concentration, she worked another 50 yards into some thick bush and there he was, the original buck, corn, guts and all.

This is what an experienced tracking dachshund can do.

Sabina with the deer she found when she tracked beyond the guts of another deer.

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