The American Pit Bull Terrier has so much awful news surrounding the breed regarding dog attacks and fatalities caused by them that nothing else ever gets talked about regarding this terrier. Today, I am going to talk about the Pit Bull’s ability to track, for which they are especially adept due to their athleticism, endurance, strength, intelligence and determination. Compared to other dog breeds, these traits were originally bred specifically for the purpose of bull-baiting and fighting. However, all of these special traits are equally essential when tracking.
Tracking is not the same thing as Search & Rescue (SAR). When performing search and rescue, the dog tries to pick up a person’s scent on the wind, whereas tracking or trailing dogs use the combination of the scent on the wind and the footstep scent.
The AKC offers tracking tests, however only purebred American Staffordshire Terriers can partake, or rescued pit bulls that can acquire an Indefinite Listing Privilege (ILP) deemed by the AKC, meaning unregistered dogs of registrable breeds…but the pits will compete as Am Staffs.
Schutzhund clubs also offer tracking training and tests.
These tests are not actually timed, but are pass or fail. It is more important that the dog completes the task with a calm, cool and collected attitude.
There are many levels of difficulty available to test on varying from the scent aging 30 min to 4-5 hrs. Variable surface tracks have been introduced into the testing that are very challenging for the dogs as well. The tracks could range in distance anywhere from a couple hundred meters up to 1 mile or a few kilometers.
by Kimberly Edwards