Puppies are born blind and deaf but their sense of smell is their whole world. They use it to find mom, find the teat, find their litter mates, etc. The largest part of the brain is devoted to olfaction (smell). So it is true when I say that dogs are born knowing how to track. They use their nose to investigate the world with every breath they take. I start a puppy tracking the day after I bring him home but old dogs learn to track just as easily. There is nothing more fun, in my opinion, than watching a puppy discover the world through his nose.
I am often asked what breeds can track. My answer to that is that All dogs can track: young dogs and old dogs, long dogs and short dogs, tall dogs and small dogs. Some breeds have more difficulty, usually due to the physical characteristics of the breed. For example, Boston terriers have a pushed in face and have more difficulty breathing and so also have a harder time tracking. There are still Boston terriers that have tracking titles so don’t count them out or any other breed for that matter. To show my point and to show that tracking looks similar in all breeds, I have included a parade of breeds to show the breeds that I have worked with at Lab Land and in seminars. In addition, I have 2 breeds that I observed at a VST test in Lansing.
I thought you might like to get a feel for camp and for Lab Land by viewing some photos taken at Lab Land during camp and private lessons.
In addition to all the wonderful things at Lab Land, we travel 2-3 miles down the road to access state land. This land has different cover, is more open, has a nice hill to work, an area of furrows, a small woods and a swale. There are areas with tall thick ferns. This land is seldom used by anyone other than hunters and a few locals who walk down the 2 track. Here are a few photos of this area.