Mantrailing is like no other activity or sport that you can take part in with your pet dog. It is completely unique dog training in many ways but quite interestingly, it can help solve a number of unwanted behavioural problems that may challenge your every day life with your dog such as fear, hyperactivity, phobias, stress, anxiety, reactivity and aggression.
Mantrailing is allowing the dog to make the right choices independently and will be much more satisfying and prioritising the preferred habits in the brain. It has the effect that over time, it changes unwanted habitual behavior and shapes new behavior that is the final, desired goal. It interrupts and redirects unwanted dog behavior, will give the dog satisfaction and can be therapeutic. This, in turn, will provide various benefits and will give you and the dog more confidence and stress free experiences.
These dog behaviours can lead to you becoming extremely isolated with your dog and having stressful and disappointing experiences and missing out on taking part in various activities or even simple dog walks.
Mantrailing is the ultimate sport for turning a pessimist into an optimist!
It is one of the very few sports where the dog can work freely and the handler can enjoy watching their dog work. It is all about putting the dog in control and the handlers taking a back seat and watching how the dog works tricky trails out themselves. Through this, the handler learns to read the dogs body language, which creates a great bond and ultimately will equate to further progression in their behavioural and every-day training.
By taking part in Mantrailing, both you and your dog become a team - the best team imaginable! You will achieve success after success together, getting a buzz each time a missing person is found.
This will also help with building the dog’s confidence and self-esteem up in a very short period of time. It helps the dog to become less stressed, relax, learn a new game and have endless fun along the way. By working as a team, the dog will naturally want to engage with their handler and learn.
A dog’s nose dominates its brain, so naturally Mantrailing provides mental, intellectual stimulation for your dog, providing an exceptional workout for the brain, tiring them out without the need for physical exercise. This is perfect for dogs that are still bouncing around the house after endless walks, puppies, elderly dogs or dogs that are unable to complete as much physical exercise for one reason or another.
"It is invaluable dog training."
It´s not competitive or over arousing like some other dog sports. It is fantastic at getting the dogs to solve problems, which in turn will build confidence and make the dog more likely to respond to behavioural modification training as the dog will want to engage and learn. This will help to change the dog’s reaction to certain situations such as a person, a dog, another animal or person.
"By making Mantrailing the best game ever, we change the priorities for the dog."
Behaviour, that has become habitual for the dog, such as chasing a runner or barking at another dog, can be challenging to reverse. By making Mantrailing, which is a natural game, more fun, exciting and rewarding, we are changing the priorities for the dog. All over sudden, chasing that bike isn´t as important as following the trail that leads to receiving the best reward. A lot of dogs find trailing rewarding in itself.
Once the dog understands the concept of Mantrailing, which happens usually within the first session, there is no stopping them from doing their ‘job’. The dogs are extremely intent on following the trail to find their missing person, that whatever or whoever gets in their way is completely ignored. This has, for expample, enabled dog reactive dogs to ignore any other dogs on or near their trail.
Nervous dogs have been brave enough to pass objects or scenarios they once wouldn’t pass or take food from strangers that they might not normally approach.
Olfaction is believed to be the dogs’ most powerful and perhaps important sense. Their sensory world is impressively different from ours, they observe their world through relentless sniffing and scent discrimination. Dogs can have up to 300 million olfactory cells, whereas us humans have only about 15 million.
"It is believed that they can detect a tea spoon of sugar in an olympic sized pool."
Canine olfaction is a growing area of scientific investigation and there are many new applications surfacing every year. The dogs’ brain is build around the information it gets from scent which is closely linked to emotions. Endorphins are chemicals that are produced in the brain during times of stimulation and excitement, they create feelings of calmness and happiness and decrease stress and anxiety.
When endorphin levels are too low the dog is likely to feel under a lot of stress, which can result in undesired or obsessive behaviours that the dogs use as a mechanism to cope. Anything that induces pain or excitement boosts endorphin levels, so a dog could chew his own paw, spin, or chase shadows all day as their way of creating enough endorphins for normal function.
The more the brain can be engaged and challenged with new behaviours, the more relaxed and content the dog will be. Stimulating the dog mentally and physically can help it cope with lower than average levels of endorphins being produced.
So what are you waiting for? Get trailing!
To find out more about Mantrailing and how to get involved, visit our events page or join our Facebook group "Mantrailing Association UK" https://www.facebook.com/groups/mantrailingassociationUK/