It is amazing to me how the dog sport of tracking can be so simple in its premise and yet be so complicated for we handlers on the end of the leash. Dog's are born knowing how to do this. The handler after showing the dog with training what he wants the dog to follow must now learn the dog's body language in order to follow the dog on the blind track presented at a tracking test. Subtle things the handler does when following the dog in a practice track in training often signal the direction of the track to the dog othertimes the dog simply lacks the confidence to follow a track in the correct direction if the handler hesitates or stands on a turn.
While learning to read a dog's body language while following behind him on the track, pay attention to the dog's speed traveling on , to and over and off the track. Notice if his head is low, middle height, high . Is his nose touching the grass, mouth open or closed, tail high or low or half mast? It all in the details. Snapshots can really catch the body language. Combine that information with the details of the track such as where is the article in relation to the dog' s position, where is the turn, and where is the footprint path of the track. Other information such as weather , wind, temp, terrain etc are influential but as a handler you need to read your dog while he is tracking and concentrate on what the dog is telling you.
Good luck and keep on tracking!