Terra hot on the trail
IF YOU are confident you don't smell and that your body odour is minimal, wait until you meet Tracey Knox's tracking dog, Terra.
The Hungarian Vizsla bitch is just 18-months-old, but has already obtained her Tracking Dog Title.
Mrs Knox has trained Terra to be able to identify and track a scent.
With her tail in the air, nose on the ground and her trainer following behind at the other end of the leash, Terra sets about tracking the scent.
"She has her game face on as soon as she's in harness… she absolutely lives for it," Mrs Knox said.
Mrs Knox started training Terra when the pup was nine months old.
She won a title at the age of 12 months.
"I vowed and declared I wouldn't do anything with her until she was old enough for the harness to fit her," Mrs Knox said.
Mrs Knox said the smelling ability of a dog is hundreds of thousands times better than that of a human.
"The smell of a person is like an aura - when the dog starts smelling, they can smell that scent all the way," she said.
Tracking is physically and mentally strenuous on the dog and there are many levels of testing.
"When I ordered the puppy, I asked for the naughtiest one because she's so high drive."
"Terra gets that excited to track that I sometimes struggle to get the harness on her…. But I'll never discouraged her or tell her to sit down, because I want that drive," Mrs Knox said.
Mrs Knox also has a seven-year-old Hungarian Vizsla dog named Kalti.
He has obtained his Track and Search Dog Title.
"Track and search is a step up from Tracking - it is like a person is lost… they meander and they drop different things along the way," Mrs Knox explained.
She said tracking was hard work, but plenty of fun. "You need friends that will walk around the paddock to make tracks," Mrs Knox said.
"They seem to disappear when you ask them to walk a few kilometres and then hide for a few hours."