Why is the task of the trail layer so important?
The trail layer is part of your training team!
You should always be able to rely on your trail layer 100%.
It doesn´t matter if you are doing blue-line training (the dog handler knows where the trail layer hides) or double blinds (no one knows where the trail layer hides). The trail layer should always act in a sensible way and according to the training level of the dog handler team!
A good trail layer knows how to reward your dog, because he/she informed him/herself before he/she set off to lay the trail. Good trail layers always follow the exact instructions of the dog handler and trainer. If anything is unclear, they should ask. They´ve got their scent article ready and know how to retrieve one.
Don´t test the team - “The dog is good anyways, it should find me wherever I am” – This is not OK. You´ve made a plan together with your team – stick with it! You could really mess up someone’s training with this.
What you should make sure as a trail layer:
Safety – make sure you and the team aren´t put in danger
Know how to reward the dog
Take the reward with you
Leave a scent article behind
Know where you are going – don´t ever test the dog handler team!!!
Lay the trail according to the level of training of the dog handler team
Know how to operate the radio – don´t be afraid to use it
Take a drink with, to keep hydrated (maybe a snack and book if it takes a bit longer)
Ask if anything is unclear