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To be successful with hard surface tracking, especially under windy conditions, the dog must work with a deep nose close to the surface. In a recent VST match the dogs doing poorest were the air scenters. There was very little fringe scent for them to follow and there was a strong wind blowing over the area along with cars and people driving, walking, and parking over sections of the track. The remaining scent available to the tracker was down on the surface of the track.
Dogs who are to be trained for police and hard surface tracking can start their tracking experience on hard surface rather than grass. A VST trained dog who started its training on hard surfaces will show vast difference in tracking ability, confidence, and obedience to the track over a dog who started its training experience on vegetation.
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Dennis Helm did his undergraduate, master's, and doctoral work at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
For 49 years he competed and been has active in the Japanese art of Kodokan Judo, earning a 6th degree black belt and in the art of Heike-Ryu Jiu Jitsu, he holds a 6th degree black belt.
He has now published 4 books and several hundred articles on various aspects of sports, psychology, history, and tracking.
When he was 52 years old he started competing with his Dobermans and realized he could still take care of his need to compete and not get hurt any more. Now all of his Dobermans are titled and he is writing once again
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