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BLOOD TRAILING
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What is Blood Trailing?

 

Every year, hunters hit the woods in hopes of filling the freezer with venison, wild pork, and maybe a gobbler or two. No matter how much time and preparation a hunter takes in making sure his rifle is clean and sighted in as well as practicing every shot placement tactic imaginable, there is just no way to account for every situation in the wild. Occasionally, a hunter's quarry moves at just the wrong time, or the wind is blowing a little harder than he thought and the shot misses its mark. Maybe it wasn't in just the right spot, but it was in fact a hit and close inspection of where the animal was standing confirms a trail of blood into the thick brush. The hunter tries to follow the trail of blood but the trail becomes smaller, and what blood is on the ground and vegetation is beginning to dry and become undetectable to the human eye. On top of that, darkness sets in and the trail just can't be navigated. No hunter wants to abandon an animal in the woods. He has spent so much time in the woods waiting on that shot, and he owes it to the animal not to be wasted. However, when you can no longer see a blood trail, there isn't much more you can do.

Or can you?

 

In steps "Man's Best Friend". A Blood Trailing Dog is a dog that has the desire and training to follow the scent of blood even when the trail is several hours old. A dog's sense of smell is far superior to any other animal on earth, and he has the capability of focusing on the blood even when the amount is so minute it is not visible to the eye. The dog is able to move much easier through heavy brush, and using his sense of smell he is able to trail the blood straight to the animal hundreds of yards away. Usually, the animal has expired by the time the Blood Trailing Dog gets to it, and the dog is rewarded for a job well done. In many cases, if not for the Blood Trailing Dog, the animal would not have been found, and its death would have been in vain. A Blood Trailing Dog is an asset that a hunter has which is merely a phone call away.

 

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What does all this have to do with Australian Shepherds?

 

While many different breeds of dogs are able to be used for blood trailing, the Aussie has proven to be an excellent choice as a Blood Trailing Dog. Locating a blood trail is only part of the problem at hand. Many Blood Trailing Dogs are worked on a leash because once on a trail, they will not stop until they get to the animal. This shows good determination, but leaving a great dog in the woods because it became lost is a horrible thought. On a leash, dog and handler become tangled in brush, vines, or prickly pear. The Aussie has such a drive to please, it is able to be worked off a leash using voice commands. If the Aussie gets too far ahead, it is able to be halted and will wait on the "go ahead" from its handler. Having an intelligent dog with a strong work drive makes it possible to have remote control of the dog. He never loses sight of his task, but also never allows his task to take precedence over his handler's commands. The breed's basic nature and drive allows it to be a good candidate as a Blood Trailing Breed, while selective breeding hones the skill, aptitude, and nose to get the job done more efficiently. While there won't soon be a myriad of Blood Hounds in the unemployment line, the Australian Shepherd has proven to have made his place in the world of Blood Trailing.