The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers competitions that improve a dog’s scenting capabilities by testing them in unfamiliar areas. These events are open for purebreds; however, several chapters of the Mixed Breed Dog Club of American also host tracking events for mixed breed dogs. Many dogs that are involved in search and rescue will participate in tracking trials, allowing them to earn titles along the way. During the trial, your dog is expected to track and find a lost person or other animal. The ideal weather for tracking trials would be sunny or even overcast and the cost can become pricey with entry fees and if you have to travel to an event. Most tracking trials will last all day; however, your dog is not expected to be tracking the entire day.
Scenthounds are known for using their noses to find treats and other goodies around the house. Make a game of their natural abilities and play hide and seek with them. Hide various toys and treats around the house and have them find each one. This is a fun, free and easy activity to do with your dog.
Nose work or scent work is when you introduce your dog to a specific scent and then hide a decoy that has that scent. Encourage your dog to search out the decoy. Once they find the decoy, give them plenty of praise and treats. You can repeat this exercise with different scents and in different places, such as the park or backyard.
Your Spanish Scenthound is a fun loving dog that has the ability to use their nose to either get them into trouble or find a lost person. The possibilities are endless when trying to decide what activities best suit your lifestyle and your dog’s abilities. Some activities do require extensive training and dedication such as search and rescue whereas there are simpler activities that you can do in an afternoon such as playing hide and seek. No matter what activity you choose, you and your dog will enjoy the time spent together.