Dogs get a whiff of basic tracking techniques
Local dogs learned to use their noses during a tracking workshop sponsored by the Nicola Valley Kennel Club on April 14.
Nearly seven people and their dogs attended the seminar where dog breeder and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) tracking judge Emilie Woodruff taught the basics of training dogs to follow a scent to locate objects.
“Emilie is a well-established dog breeder from Kamloops and a big name in tracking for all of B.C.,” said Yvonne Lord, president of the NVKC. “She shared her expertise with us and it was amazing to me how quickly some of the dogs were picking it up.”
After briefly discussing flagging equipment and proper dog harnesses and leads, Woodruff trained the dogs to track a glove and praised them when they followed their noses.
Lord said the workshop was a starting point, and several of the participants are planning to practise with their dogs, and might consider competing in the future.
While many owners train their dogs to compete in tracking competitions, police use the techniques for specific purposes like tracking suspects, drugs or explosives.
“Many people who train their dogs for tracking often register with the local search and rescue,” said Lord. “Huge numbers of children or hikers have been saved by tracking.”
The NVKC has operated in the area for over 25 years, said Lord who joined the club when she moved here the first time in 1989. Between coming and going, she estimates being involved for 15 years.
“We’re trying to flush out of the woodwork people who want to do things with their dogs,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of enthusiasm.”
Besides workshops like the tracking seminar or a Rally Obedience seminar that the club held last month, members meet once a month. The club also hosts an annual dog show in June, which has been the largest dog show in British Columbia.
Lord said she wants people to know that times are changing with regards pure-bred dogs regulations.
“The Canadian Kennel Club started being about pure-bred dogs,” she said.
“Now, if you have a dog that even vaguely looks like a pure-bred, you can get an event performance number, which allows you to compete in classified events.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Nicola Valley Kennel Club can contact Lord at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 378-5166.