WE PLANT THE "SEEDS OF IDEAS" IN DOG OWNERS MINDS - THESE IDEAS EVENTUALLY BLOSSOM INTO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DOG BEHAVIOUR - Sally Hopkins
WE PLANT THE "SEEDS OF IDEAS" IN DOG OWNERS MINDS - THESE IDEAS EVENTUALLY BLOSSOM INTO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DOG BEHAVIOUR - Sally Hopkins

GROUND SCENT

Dogs detect scent molecules in two different ways - sniffing the air for traces of a particular scent, or from sniffing the ground or objects with scent on. Some dogs seem to have a preference for air scenting or ground scenting but all dogs are capable of doing both to some degree or other.

 

GROUND SCENT
"Ground scent" is the term that is used when dogs are following a track along the ground.

  • DISTURBANCE - Scent molecules are left on the ground by an animal or human disturbing the surface as it walked across it. For instance, blades of grass would be crushed, earth disturbed by the weight of the human or animal, fallen leaves moved or crushed, twigs and stalks snapped and bruised.
  • ANIMAL "DUST" - Animals leave minute fragments of skin, feather or fur (and pheromone scents) as they move across the ground and a dog can detect and recognise the subtle differences between not only species but specific animals as it follows this trail of dust particles.
  • HUMAN "DUST" - Humans not only leave fragments of dead skin and hair behind them, they also leave particles from their clothing, footwear, and the manmade scents that they are wearing such as perfume or deodorant. Dogs are also able to detect the emotional state of the human it is tracking by the scent of the pheromones in the air or on the ground.

 

Tuna Tracking mimics ground scenting by leaving a very unusual but highly stimulating ground scent which the dog has usually not come across before. The dog soon realises that this exciting scent game only happens when their handler is around and so it builds a strong bond with the handler and the dog is far less likely to wander off and "read the newspaper".

 

 

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