What is the difference between tracking (IPO-style) and Mantrailing? We believe that there is a difference between the two. Tracking is a learned behaviour. I have tracked with Rottweilers, Australian Shepherds and also with my Malinois to the IPO (Internationale PrüfungsOrdnung) standards. You can look up the IPO standards here https://www.vdh.de/…/downlo…/hundesport/55-2011-annex-de.pdf The way I build up a tracking dog is by showing them that ground disturbance (grass or ploughed field) is rewarding. It is preferable that the dog puts his/her nose in every single footstep. Tracking dogs are mainly judged on how intense they search the track ("deep nose" etc) and if they indicate all the articles that are on the track. He/she needs to stay on the track at all times and if not, will loose points at competition level.
To this day it is not scientifically proven, what human scent released into the environment contribute to successful searches of individuals. It's only scientifically proven that a dog can identify DNA. https://www.sciencedirect.com/…/artic…/pii/S0379073817304796 When we are trailing, we do not expect the dog to be exactly on the trail, because at the end of the day we don't know where exactly this trail is, simply because we can't see it. It doesn't really matter if the dog goes off, what we believe, is the trail. As trailers we should care about getting onto the trail, gathering information and finding what we are looking for (or the end of a trail - eg car pick up) the quickest way possible. In what way the dogs do it is secondary, in my opinion. As dog handlers it is our task to learn to read our dog and build up a "communication line". In my opinion, this is not required for tracking. The dog handler and the dog build one team and in real case scenarios one never knows what to expect - the handler relies on the dog and its most distinct sense - the nose.