You need to know about mantrailing

Have you even heard of mantrailing? What is it I hear you cry and why would I want to hunt for men with my dog!?

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:22 am
Yvonne Myers from Daisy Dog Academy

It is only the fastest growing dog sport, worldwide.

We are training dogs to find a specific person. Using our dogs’ noses in this way has huge benefits not only to our dog but also to us.

How does it work? Our scent is our genetic fingerprint, your scent is unique, our dogs’ noses are so sensitive they can smell and identify those unique scents that we are not even aware of.

Did you know that your dog’s nose is 100,000 times more sensitive than ours? I am going to repeat that 100,000 times more sensitive! They ‘see’ scent in 3D.

To be honest, we don’t have to train the dog to do this, we just need to teach them the game, so they know what they are looking for. All the training is for the handler, as you and your dog work as a team.

We ‘see’ the world through our eyes, they see the world through their nose. We can see clearly for approximately 1/3 of a mile, when you equate that to their nose, they could see clearly for approximately 3,000 miles. That’s London to New York, in case you were wondering!

So that time your dog is in the garden barking at nothing at 10pm, he can smell hotdogs in Times Square.

We teach the dog the game by presenting a scent item that carries the specific person’s scent they are looking for.

The dog can follow the scent that is made up of skin cells and bacteria that is falling from our body all the time, these scent particles hit the ground and move in the air and this is what the dog is following.

When they find the person, they get a huge reward. This helps the dog understand the game.

Dogs have been used for generations in the Police Search & Rescue and the Military and they have saved countless lives with their amazing ability to find people.

Your scent particles will be detectable to the dog for at least 36 hours, but they have found people much later that have been missing for days.

OK, we won’t be teaching your dog to be operational for you to go out and find missing people, but you will be learning a fun game that you can progress with your dog working as a team.

You will learn how to read your dog’s body language and what they are telling you when they are on the trail, you will have a much better understanding of what they are doing when they are working that amazing nose.

For our dogs, the benefits are enormous. Have you got a dog with no off switch? A dog that is nervous of the world? A dog that is dog reactive? A dog that is people reactive? A dog with behavioural issues? Mantrailing can help with all of these.

When we trail you have the camaraderie of other teams, but we only work one dog at a time, so all those dogs that can’t cope with the classroom environment, can come along and not be isolated, continue learning and benefiting from the training and social experiences.

When you have a dog with issues, whatever those issues are, it is not only isolating for your dog, but for you as well. This is the sport where you do not need the perfectly polite well-behaved dog, all dogs welcome, if they have a nose, they can do it.

You don’t need a special breed of dog to have this much fun with them. We have trailed all breeds, blind dogs, even dogs trailing in wheels, clients trailing in wheelchairs, this is the most inclusive sport you will ever find.

Using our dogs’ nose not only provides mental stimulation for them but it also helps them to build calm, it is the most reinforcing thing you can give your dog to do. Scent work is like meditation for dogs. You end up with a calm, relaxed, tired, happy dog after a morning’s work.

The sport is not competitive, it is about you and your dog working as a team, learning together, and building a stronger bond.

You are not just holding the lead, you are the lead handler, that is very different.

The buzz you will feel watching your dog do the most natural thing in the world will be second to none.

This is the best sport for dogs, it uses their natural ability, and they can do it from puppy hood through to their old age.

When you have seen how magical your dog’s nose is, it really is a very special feeling.

We are lucky we now have three Mantrailing UK instructors in Northern Ireland.

If you want to learn more, look up our Facebook page for the province and learn more about how this sport could help your dog.

At the Daisy Dog Academy, we are offering Mantrailing for Kids during the summer holidays, so why not get involved and start having serious fun with your dog.

For more information visit www.thedaisydogacademy.com, https://www.facebook.com/Daisydogacademy or https://www.facebook.com/mantrailinguk.ni.