Tracking: Tracking is a canine sport that demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent, and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work. In Tracking, the dog is completely in charge, because only he knows how to use his nose to find and follow the track. Tracking is an outdoor-only activity, utilizing natural (field/woods) and urban (office park/college campus) areas. Dogs in training start with very short, easy tracks and get rewards for every “find,” and through practice can build up to following a ½ mile track that is over 3 hours old. Tracking is a good activity for dogs of all ages and it is mental and physical exercise.
Bull Terriers & Tracking: Bull Terriers can be successful in Tracking if you can figure out what motivates your unique egghead. Do they want to be rewarded with a very good treat? Or play with a special toy at the end of the track? Bull Terriers enjoy getting to play outside with their human while still learning a skill. They can train and compete in Tracking while having no contact with other dogs, if this is a concern for your Bull Terrier.
How to get started: Check with your local Obedience or Dog Sports Club or Training facility. There are people tracking with their dogs in most areas of the country, and they are always happy to help you get started!
National organization: American Kennel Club: akc.org/events/tracking.
Equipment: Ultimately you will need a non-restrictive harness and a 30- to 40-foot line for the dog. A collar and leash are fine to get started. Handlers just need the proper outdoor clothing for their climates.
Time: When first learning Tracking, it is best to practice several times per week. Once the dog is more skilled, many teams track about once per week. It can take as short as 15 minutes and as long as several hours for a practice session. If earning a Tracking title is the goal, teams can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to be ready to test.
Bull Terrier activity expert: Ellen Griffin--has multiple Tracking titles including the first Bull Terrier to earn the Tracking Dog Excellent title, and who loves to geek out talking about tracking! Contact info: (315) 430-0086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.