The American Pit Bull Terrier has so much horrible news about the breed regarding dog attacks and deaths caused by them that nothing else is ever discussed about this terrier. Today I am going to talk about the tracking ability of Pit Bulls, for which they are especially adept due to their athleticism, endurance, strength, intelligence, and determination. Compared to other dog breeds, these traits were originally bred specifically for the purpose of harassing and fighting. However, all of these special traits are equally essential when tracking.
Tracking is not the same as search and rescue (SAR). When conducting search and rescue, the dog tries to pick up the scent of a person in the wind, while sniffer dogs use the combination of the scent of the wind and the scent of footsteps.
The AKC offers tracing tests, however, only purebred American Staffordshire Terriers, or rescued pit bulls who can acquire an AKC-considered Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP) can participate, which means unregistered dogs of registrable breeds. … but the pits will compete as Am Bastones.
The Schutzhund clubs also offer training and follow-up tests.
In reality, these tests are not timed, but rather pass or fail. It is more important that the dog completes the task with a calm, cool and collected demeanor.
There are many levels of difficulty available to try ranging from aroma aging of 30 minutes to 4-5 hours. Variable surface tracks have been introduced in the tests that are also very challenging for dogs. Tracks can vary in distance from a couple hundred meters to 1 mile or a few kilometers.
by Kimberly Edwards