What is Scent Tracking?

Petsearchers Canada uses highly skilled and rigorously trained bloodhounds in order to track/trail your lost cat or dog. Bloodhounds are natural tracking dogs, but to develop the skills required to carry out a successful search in any circumstance (busy city streets, deep in the forest or in a highly trafficked residential area) we go through a long, difficult training process and continually refresh and test their capabilities to ensure they are consistently on point.

Technically, there is a difference between “tracking” and “trailing” – the definitions provided here are our own loose interpretations of the difference, based specifically on searching for missing pets, rather than criminal/human searches.

Tracking is when a bloodhound can recognize and follow a specific scent and, while following that scent trail, alert us to what we call “scent pools”. Scent pools are areas of concentrated scent – somewhere your cat or dog may have nested or slept in, a clump of fur snagged on a branch or a collar that has fallen off during your pets travels.

Trailing is when a bloodhound can “scent discriminate”- not only follow a scent trail, but can also include the use of “air trailing” (catching scent from the air) and differentiate the pet being scented when the trail is cross contaminated, even if it is with another cat/dog scent. Part of the definition of trailing is also that, at the end of the trail, the dog can distinguish the specific animal being tracked when grouped with other animals that have contaminated the trail.

We have developed a highly effective custom training program for our bloodhounds that incorporates both “tracking” and “trailing”, very specific to searching for missing pets, rather than items or people.