Tracking is a sport where the people take the passenger’s seat. The dog is in the lead and is able to confidently do what comes naturally to it, and we must learn to trust in this ability. For some people, trusting the dog and letting it lead are two of the hardest parts of beginning work in tracking.
Everyone is familiar with sit, down, and come and other similar commands that are standard fare in the general obedience training class. The novice handler might not be familiar with what competitive obedience looks like or realize that it’s really just a continuation of those basic skills.
A well trained SAR dog is a sight to behold. The dog can evenly maneuver the most difficult of terrain with the grace of a mountain goat all the while looking for a trapped or hidden human being. This type of work is often done on the fly, at the drop of the hat, with little advanced warning. It requires a talented dog and a special handler willing to invest the time and effort.