I started training her last fall but had to stop because of all the snow. This year I hope to have the basics down better and we can work through the snow. She has a great nose on her. The thing is I dont have any one that does Search and Rescue training up here I would have to travel 4hrs one way to get the help I need so I bought these books.
Search and Rescue Dogs Training the K-9 Hero it was put out by the American Rescue Dog Association
Track Laying 101 by Ed Presnall
Novice Nosework A primer for Beginning Trackers by Ed Presnall adn Lois Ballard
Last fall I took a tracking seminar from Lois Ballard.
Yea human tracking is different from animal tracking and retrieval. Human tracking though you need control over the dog its not as important as when tracking animals. I always need to have 100% mental control over my dogs so the obediance is much more important because if i see danger ahead on a hot trail or if I need to redirect them i need to know I can stop them mid run.
With human tracking they are more layed back and are able to run with a little less restriction. Not sure exactly what your plans are but if you want to train the dogs nose ya gotta start laying trails. Whatever it may be you just need to train the dogs nose. Start with fresh trails with short distances and minimal turns. Little by little you progress with fresh trails and more obsticals, 90 degree turns, water/open field. Learn how to work the dog and direct the dog in all scenarios such as working up and down stream, circling a fields edge if you lose the scent, and also reading the dogs body language. Body language is key . The more you work with the dog the more you will know whether the dog is hot or just guessing and cruising. It takes alot of field time to get good and to form that working relationship rather then that friends relationship.
You need to plan trails out and mark them to see if the dog is on the scent trail or not. I use 1"x3" pieces of paper stapled to trees to mark the course I layed high enough the dog wont see them and let the dog loose on a 40' lead of para cord (you need to train the dog first to get them use to pulling weight or such a large collar/lead will distract them).
Ive had many of nights in the bitter cold on my hands and knees in the swamp with the blood dog and he was a trooper...i always knew when he was working or fishing for a scent. Took years of working him to understand him and vice versa.
Man i could write for hours of what I use to do and some experiences Ive had with my pups so Ill stop there hahaha. If you need trainign specific stuff or anything feel free to specify what you need and I could try and narrow your learning curve some.
First piece of advice though...get a seperate collar/lead and a catch word. You want a thick collar preferably with padding or a chest harness bc they are going to pull and hard! Get yourself a long lead with no knots to let it run loose yet still have control and train the dog on getting use to pulling it. as for a phrase you need something other then the collar that lets the dog know its not play time its time to work. When my pup would see the collar and lead he knew it was time to blood trail...when he saw the bell and vest he knew it was time to bird hunt. I had several depending what we were doing but tracking he knew "Lets get paid!" People thought I was crazy but it worked! Id be running the woods yelling "Get Paid Cash" (the dogs name) and when he found his prize at the end he got paid with love and treats.
But like I said before feel free to ask whatever you need help on and I could try to give you some advice.