Mantrailing vol 1

From motivation to basic trails

course has started
1 March 2020


In this course we will focus on the basics of mantrailing training by analyzing the main training methodologies highlighting the pros and cons.

Mantrailing is a training technique used for several centuries in the United States where bloodhounds have become an icon between reality and legend.

A mantrailing dog is a dog that has learned to follow a human smell and only seeks it if the handler asks for it, as in the case where it is necessary to find the starting point of the trail. Unlike the tracking dog, the mantrailing dog does not follow the footsteps but the scent trail created by cellular decay, a process that each of us undergoes from birth to death. Usually mantrailing dogs learn to match-to-sample, in fact most exercises start with the dog sniffing a scent article, but not to alert on objects on the track.

Mantrailing has spread in Europe from Germany and Switzerland, where the police were the first to use these dog units.

In Italy, my country, mantrailing is a relatively recent working technique: although it is based on the dog’s instinctive ability, its use in the search for missing persons dates back to about twenty years ago.

Already common in the United States, in recent years mantrailing as a sporting activity is increasingly spreading also in Europe.


We will work on building a solid foundation for both dogs and handlers. The course is intended primarily for those who want to do mantrailing at professional level but is also open to those who want to approach it for personal interest or fun.

It is strongly suggested to enrol at the same time in the course “A World of Scent” to acquire the theoretical knowledge necessary to successfully attend the first training step in mantrailing. The basic theoretical concepts will not be repeated.

Main topics 

  • What is mantrailing
  • Mantrailing vs tracking: is it a matter of semantics?
  • How to select a dog
  • Equipment
  • How to built up motivation
  • Basic exercises to built up solid foundation



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