Why is tracking in the winter a challenge? I still need to get my tracking certification so I can enter a TD ( Tracking Dog ) test to get my TD Title, which means I need to track in the winter. Winter tracking is challenging for several reasons.
Most people assume tracking in the winter is like cheating. Humans assume every track is like the one in the above photo and a dog would be stupid to not just follow the foot prints. It is true that the track layer leaves a nice track in the snow, but for a dog it isn’t much different than a track layer walking through the grass, trampling it down in the summer. Humans are very sight based, we dogs are thinking with our noses.
This track I ran on a play field was not extremely difficult, but it had challenges. I did a great corner on this track and did not get distracted by the track parallel to mine after the corner at all.
You can see in both the above photos there are other sets of tracks crossing the track I am on. In the cold, odor doesn’t really spread, it tends to sink and stay put, which means I need to keep putting my nose in the snow to check for scent. With all these other tracks, it is like a puzzle I have to solve to find the correct track.
I did some practice in a field as well. I was cruising along on my track but ahead there is a cross track. I have gotten my speed up with tracking. Mom says it might be the snow making me move faster, but I think it is being more comfortable with my job.
This track turned into a puzzle again real quick. Humans may think it is easy, just go straight, but I know my track can take a turn, so I have to check out all the other tracks.
Once again, for humans this is an eye thing. In the summer these same cross tracks are out here, but humans don’t see them. We dogs have to sniff them in the summer as well, but in the summer the odor spreads with the heat so we don’t have to spend as much time figuring out the puzzle.
I’ve sorted it all out and sniffed my way back to my track. Even though I went off to the left to sniff I found my way back to the correct track.
Finally, I got to the end article, and am waiting for my reward. It is hard work going through the snow when a girl is short, but it is fun. I hope I can get certified and try my nose in a test in March. We will see!
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!