Gone with the Wind: Scent and Air Movement in Mantrailing

Scent and Air Movement, the invisible forces in Mantrailing. Master their nuances and they will be your ally on the trail, ignore their subtleties and they will be your biggest adversary.

Let’s delve into the fascinating world of scent – the unseen hero of our Mantrailing adventures.

As you know, Mantrailing throws a unique curveball at us humans. We're accustomed to relying on sight, sound, and touch, yet here we are, navigating with an invisible force – the scent trail. It's both exhilarating and humbling, demanding a leap of faith as we trust our lovely dog to decipher the obscure messages the wind whispers.

Dog nose - the power of scent in mantrailing

But before we unleash our inner Sherlock Paws, let's gain a deeper understanding of this elusive element.

Scent 101: Decoding our Dog’s Compass

Imagine scent as a personal perfume, unique to each individual. As we move, microscopic bits of our skin cells, sweat, and bacteria drift off, creating a personalised "cloud" that clings to surfaces. This invisible map guides our dogs, their powerful noses dissecting the trail with remarkable precision.

The Fickle Dance of Scent:

Mastering Mantrailing requires understanding how scent behaves in any environment in the presence of air movement. Remember, scent is not a static entity; it's a dynamic dance influenced by various factors:

  • Air currents: Anything from a gentle breeze to a strong gust can disperse the scent, making it challenging for your dog to follow the trail. Still air, allows it to linger closer to the ground. It’s not often we get still air in Ireland, air currents will always play a role!
  • Weather: Rain dilutes and washes away precious scent particles, while humidity and heat affects how it disperses.
  • Terrain: Different surfaces absorb and retain scent differently. Think grass versus tarmac versus dense foliage.
  • Time: As time marches on, scent particles weaken and fade, adding an extra challenge to the search.

Reading your Dog:

Now, the magic truly unfolds. Your dog's nose becomes the ultimate scent-reading tool. Every dog is different yet there are some body language and behaviours common to all dogs on the trails. Observe them closely:

  • Head dips: They're intently focusing on the trail, deciphering every nuance.
  • Excited tail wags: They've picked up a strong scent and are eager to follow.
  • Changes in pace: They might slow down at confusing sections or pick up the pace on stronger scent lines.

Dog nose - the power of scent

Remember, your role is to be a calming presence, guiding them back on track when the scent gets tricky. Patience and positive reinforcement are key to success!

Ready to Level Up Your Mantrailing Game?

Join us for our exclusive webinar on Wednesday, February 28th at 7:30 PM! We'll be joined by renowned INBTI instructor Monica Diaz, delving deeper into scent theory, advanced Mantrailing techniques, and practical tips to elevate your mantrailing skills.

This is your chance to:

  • Gain expert insights from Monica Diaz, a leading figure in the mantrailing world.
  • Ask your burning questions and get personalized guidance.
  • Discover advanced techniques to tackle challenging scenarios.
  • Connect with fellow mantrailing enthusiasts and share your experiences.

Don't miss this opportunity to push your mantrailing boundaries and forge an even deeper bond with your canine partner! Register for the webinar today and let's embark on this exciting scent-filled journey together!

Sign up here👉🏻 https://houndsandhelis.ie/products/wednesday-webinar-online-learning

P.S. Remember, Mantrailing is an ongoing learning adventure. Be patient, have fun, and trust your dog's incredible nose – it will lead you to amazing places!


Mantrailing Instructor Eadaoin O'Gorman

Hounds and Helis was born from a deep passion & respect for dogs. Founder Éadaoin has worked extensively with dogs as a Puppy Foster Care Supervisor for the AADI and an Operational Search and Rescue Dog Handler Éadaoin is a qualified Mantrailing Instructor and runs regular workshops and seminars specialising in Mantrailing, Airscent and Cadaver Training. 

Follow Éadaoin  and her canine adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

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