K9 Professional Tracking: A Complete Manual for Theory and Training by Resi Gerritsen & Rudd Haak
Detselig Enterprises, Ltd.; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 154 pgs; $32.95; ISBN:1-55059-223-8.
This is another great book by Gerritsen and Haak. It is well researched and offers many interesting points and tips about training the tracking dog. It covers many of the myths about odor and explains how a dog detects odor and what they detect. What is especially helpful is the way the authors explain why and how dogs fail to follow scent. They stress that handler error plays a large part, as well as faulty training.
The training methods are detailed with a thorough explanation about what works and what does not. Although this book focuses more on competition, it will help the SAR dog handler as well. There was one point that I did not agree with for SAR work, but I understand why they brought it up for competition. They mention in the chapter on Cross Tracks, that if the track is interrupted, for example the person gets on a bicycle and rides away, that the dog should be stopped because the track ended. In reality the scent from the person riding the bicycle may fall to the ground and a dog can still follow it.
All in all, this is an excellent book that will help both the sport tracker and the SAR dog handler. The chapters are:
Preface; Introduction; Scent and Perception; The Dog’s Nose; The Odors of the Track; By the Sweat of One’s Feet; Equipment and Conditions; Common Training Methods; Asking for Trouble; History of Tracking Research; Scientific Aspects; Conditions for Success; Preliminary Exercises; Clean-scent Tracking; Weather Conditions; Cross-tracks; The Limits of Tracking; Epilogue: A Lack of Character; Bibliography; About the Authors.