Now that I have covered the basic scenting dog lessons that show you how your family dog can learn how to find you or a loved one, it would be helpful for you to learn how the weather affects the scent your dog will be following.
Learning how climate changes affect scent will lead to you reading your dog better which makes this an easier task for both you and your dog.
Tracking, trailing and air scenting all have one common factor that must be taken into consideration at the beginning and during each attempt to locate a missing person.
The weather affects everything on Earth. Especially the way scent is dispersed and scattered by the wind, heated and cooled by day or night temperatures or diluted and spread by rain and storms.
Your dog has a natural ability to understand climate changes and how they affect the scent the dog is following or they would not be able to hunt. Your dog will follow the scent as the weather manipulates and disperses it to settle in places that only a dog can find.
Scent can settle and move through cracks in rocks, under doorways, through overhead vents and auto filter systems or be sucked up and inhaled by the Earth herself during the natural cycle of the day.
In order for us humans to read our dog’s actions that relay what the dog understands about the scent work they are performing we must learn about how the weather affects the scent or our dog knows more then we do.
Once you understand how the weather affects scent then you can use the weather to your advantage when tracking and help your dog to be able to work quicker and smoother in locating a lost person.
The next four posts will teach you the fundamentals of how the weather affects scent. First will be a discussion about how the Earth takes a breath every day just like we breathe so does the world we live on.
In the next 4 posts, I’ll discuss the effects of the wind and scent, then temperature changes, followed by rain and scent; concluding with how different storm situations will affect the trail you and your dog are on.
In the meantime, when you are out with your dog notice how your dog behaves when the weather changes or in different weather conditions and take these actions into consideration while you are training.
Many times when a dog appears to have made a mistake in training we do not take into account how outside influences might affect performance.
Take time to look around and feel the wind, the air temperature and ask yourself; is it humid out? Or which way is the wind blowing from?
Then notice how your dog works in this weather, take notes and if you work in every type of weather as a good search dog should, after a few weeks, the notes will show you different things your dog did at different points along the search.
You will learn how to read your dog in different weather conditions and see in your notes that your dog did indicate or change how they worked when the weather changed.
From there on, when you are working in that weather you will know what to look for in your dog’s behavior and Congratulations, you are reading your dog!