From the BMDCA Info Series: Tracking is a basic form of search and rescue utilizing the instinctive canine scenting ability. Tracking usually takes place in fields and woods, and Bernese Mountain Dogs enthusiastically take to this sport. Bernese love having a job to do, and Tracking is one of the most natural! The challenge is to teach the dogs to follow a specific scent trail, one of our choosing, instead of theirs. And, as an added bonus, partners at both ends of the leash will benefit from all of the exercise involved.
AKC Tracking events demonstrate that a dog can follow a human scent trail through a myriad of other scents to locate a lost article, such as a glove or wallet. In a Tracking Test, the trail or "track" is laid by a tracklayer who is a stranger to the dog. The handler follows at least 20 feet behind the dog on a long lead and can give verbal encouragement. Finding the article dropped by the tracklayer indicates the end of the track. The dog has then demonstrated scenting ability and the perseverance to follow a track under a variety of conditions and, if in a test, would have earned a TD title. For more in-depth information on tracking, please visit: http://bmdca.org/breed_education/pdf/06_bernese_activities_tracking.pdf
We have found that tracking is such a nice way to get a puppy some low impact exercise and it also wears them out, both physically and mentally. So far, we have only tested with two of our dogs (Heidi & Ruby) have they have passed the Tracking Dog (TD) test, but several of our dogs have been trained for tracking.
Ruby passed her TD in April, 2013 with Pat handling her.
Heidi is hot on the track!
Anna found the glove at the end of the track!