What is mantrailing?
Mantrailing is teaching the dog to look for a (missing) person through pursuing the scent that this person has left. This scent stream is called the trail. This trail consists of gaseous sweat residue, hormone substances and air exhalation. The dog will be put to work and use its detective skills. This goes through the use of its nose. A dog’s nose is very well developed. A trained team, handler and dog, can, through cooperation, reconstruct the traveled route and so find the person that is being sought.
The handler is trained to observe the actions of his dog (read the dog). The handler sees if his dog does smell the scent of the missing person on the trail or if in that direction there is absolutely no smell of that person. (body language interpretation)
A handler-dog combination is called a team.
It is important to build the right motivation for mantrailing with the dog. To ensure this we use the natural ability and passion dogs have when hunting.
- Mantrailing is an unconstrained method of searching in which the dog can work independantly from its handler.
- Moments of teamwork between handler and dog are coached.
- The dog’s learning process is built up gradually. After teaching and confirming basic skills in the dog, changes in circumstances are slowly introduced.
Working with the trailing dogs will always be done in a dog friendly way, based on respect and trust. Our methods are built on scientifically substantiated principles.
In our training methods we emphasize;
- Enabling the dog to work independantly
- Teamwork when necessary
- Teaching the dog basic skills with gradual increase in difficulty
- Specific exercises
- Practising double blind trails
- We certify levels 1, 2 and 3 with unknown traillayers in unknown areas.
Is mantrailing suitable for all dogs?
Yes. In principle, all dogs are specialists in the use of their nose through their good sense of smell. By the differentiation of breeding, there are certain breeds that have more developed tracking skills (e.g. sweat dogs, beagles and bloodhounds).
There are also dogs that are bred for hunting game by using their olfactory sense. These dogs are talented at detecting odors and working out their source, such as some hunting dogs.
There are many breeds, and each of them have their special traits. Each breed searches in its own individual way, and so does each dog. Mantrailing is suitable for all dogs at any age as long as they are in reasonably good health.
Mantrailing as a leisure activity will give the dog satisfaction and development. We call this sports trailing. It’s a relaxing activity for both owner and dog. For dogs with specific behavioural problems trailing can be therapeutic, for example build confidence in an insecure dog (theratrailing).
For talented teams (both dog and handler), joining a search and rescue group professionally is an option.