Types of hunting dogs.
We distinguish 2 basic types of hunting dogs: a dog looking for top wind and a proper tracker, who seeks downwind.
Representatives of the first type are the pointer and setter. To keep such a dog in style, he should not be required to search the ground. Its advantage is the ability to quickly search the terrain and expose game to the wind over a long distance. So it cannot stop at every trace. The pointer or setter should point to the game there, where she is, not - where she was. It cannot be considered a big mistake, if the dog lets go of a partridge in spite of its nose, when he is simultaneously attracted to the distance by the smell of the whole herd.
The representative of dogs that use downwind is the mountain scarlet or the tropic. Unlike a field dog, looking for game of a given species, he must choose a specific unit and follow its trail, despite the fact that specimens of the same species will be or leave a trace within his range of smell.
In between these two extremes, you can find a whole range of canine handling options from accident to accident, or lower, be top wind. There is a fundamental discrepancy between the work of the field dog and the work of the mountain hound, and even opposition. A hunter is required, that he would respond to the scent of every game within his range of smell. Thus, responsiveness and careful search of the field, with the most sensitive sense of smell, is the most important advantage here. On the other hand, mountain hounds are required to focus all their attention on one trace and exclude themselves from any outside interests. Haste and nervousness interfere with the precise execution of the task. These opposites were perfectly assessed by the English, specializing dogs into several types: field, looking for top wind, retrievers and flushing devices to search at a slower pace in a smaller space, finally trackers, whose highest class in working on the human footprint is represented by the bloodhound.
The consequence of these contradictions inherent in the very assumption of the tasks assigned to dogs is this, that a hunter working downwind on the track or alternately upward and downward while rummaging (how do flippers do it) it does lose style and speed, but thus it does not yet lose its field utility. On the other hand, the post-worker, that instead of calm and focused work on the trail, he would start to switch to searching with the upper wind, would be practically worthless.
It is worth mentioning here, that the pointer, especially versatile, continental type, as well as the retriever or the scarifier, through prolonged practice, acquire experience in distinguishing the smell of wounded game, not even bleeding blood, from the smell of healthy game. This phenomenon will become understandable, if we take into account the so-called. the physiognomy of the smell, which I write about in the next chapter.
Training your dog in the olfactory work can be started very early, sometimes after he has finished three, and, as a rule, six months of age. The beginnings of this work are based on play and should not occupy the dog with anything, which is not within the scope of his natural interests. In this case, it is possible to deviate from the principle of the stability of the feeding place. Before the meal time, we put a mark like this, that on a string we drag a piece of sausage or meat on the ground, and at the end we put a bowl with food. At the beginning of the trail, we lead the dog and encourage us with words: "Search, where is the bowl?”. I underline, that you have to choose a password on purpose in the question mode. Of course, it is not about grammatical sense, but here it is, that the handler should get used to speaking to the dog only in a friendly tone during these exercises, warmers, and never sharp, hard. For later exercises, when the dog, due to various unknown reasons, begins to temporarily fail, the nervous and uncontrollable guide could all too easily fall into the tone of the command "seek loss!”, and the stricter the order would be, the more the dog would get nervous, distracting your attention.
Instead of dragging the mark, you can also drip the contents of the bowl dropwise. A few drops every step or few steps are enough, but always on low, trimmed or bare grass] the ground, and not in the tall grass. The dog will then have no tendency to search with overhead winds, what would he do if he had a trace of food on the tall blades. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, please note, that a dog with a good sense of smell does not follow a clear and easy track with his nose to the ground, for it can quite clearly sense the mark in the normal position. Still, he will look for the downwind, for his guiding thread, on which he focuses his attention, is on the ground.