So how do you train a bloodhound to trail?
Simply put, you really don't need to (it's rather like a retriever retrieving). You are encouraging them to do what they naturally do; and that is Bloodhounds naturally love to "smell" and that makes them want to follow the smell & the scent that is left behind.
Choose a healthy & sound bloodhound puppy that is a confident & nosey puppy.
Nose to the ground is what you want, but watch your pup move as you need more than a bloodhound head for a working K9.
Starting a Bloodhound Puppy to Follow It's Nose
Most K9 Bloodhound Handlers will want to get and start their bloodhound puppy as soon as their bloodhound breeder will allow (generally about 8 weeks old).
Before you start training with your bloodhound puppy, first & foremost the puppy needs to become familiar with the working equipment (harness, collar, lead, etc.).
Now on to "Bloodhound Puppy Trails"
Have a runner holding a scent article (something for the dog to sniff) and getting the puppy excited (waving the scent article around and calling the puppy's name)...
While that is happening the K9 Handler is holding the puppy but encouraging the pup (sort of firing the puppy up with excitement)...
Now the runner drops the scent article & runs a straight line (15-20 yds)...
Then the K9 Bloodhound Handler will take the bloodhound puppy to the scent article and give his command to trail...
Right after that the runner will call and encourage the puppy to come...
Once the puppy reaches the runner the puppy is praised, rewarded and played with as this should be a fun game that they want to go over & over.
Continue until the pup gets the "Particulars"
CONTINUE with the above until your bloodhound puppy associates the scent(sniffing game) with the command (to trail), and until your puppy understands the reward is for finding the particular person of that particular scent!
Add more & more "Challenges & Differences"
CONTINUE training and trailing (at least weekly), adding different challengessuch as Different Runners, Different Locations, Different Terrain, Longer Trails, Aged Trails, Trails With Turns, Trails in Different Weather, etc.
Training is a big nose game for the dog, so keep it fun, exciting & challenging!
You will go from ENCOURAGING your Bloodhound on a Puppy Trail... To holding on & TRUSTING your Bloodhound K9 to find the runner in any scenario.
Bloodhound Man Trackers Inc.