Can you hide your scent from dogs? Essential Tips

What About Crossing A Lake, Pond, Or River?

Unfortunately, all water is said to do is carry your scent back to the ground as water drips off you, making it even easier for a dog to pick up your scent (so say the experts).

If you cross a body of water and a tracking dog and its handler believes you’ve entered the water, they will either have to cross the water also, or circle around to the other side where they will likely pick up your scent again where you exited the water as your scent drips off you and along the ground.

Crossing bodies of water is a trick to lose human trackers, who rely mostly on visuals. It breaks off your track because you won’t leave footprints or other telltale signs of human activity in a body of water. But this doesn’t work on dogs, who rely primarily on scent.

Not So Much Body Odor — Tracking Dogs Follow Dead Skin Cells

So the fact is when you get wet it’s easier for a dog to track your scent. The reason is this: Dead skin cells are washed off your body and fall to the ground which a dog’s nose is looking for and can quickly detect.

It’s not so much as your body odor they’re following — it’s the “fingerprint” left by your skin cells, which are constantly being shed by our body as new ones are produced to replace the ones we have lost, and so forth.

These skin cells coat our hair (dandruff) and of course our clothing. Our skin cells trail us everywhere we go. That’s one reason that trying to shower and bathe doesn’t remove our scent for these tracking dogs, no matter what kind of soap we use. At the same time, scent concealer (carried by hunters) doesn’t work, though it may partially cloak our body odor, it doesn’t do anything for these skin cells being shed.

Dogs Are Poor Long Distance Runners

You see, while dogs are good sprinters and can travel for hours at a walking pace, they are not good long distance runners and can tire and overheat before you do.

In a cool and moist environment dog and handler are going to be able to travel further and for a longer distance before tiring, but they will not be moving very fast.

In a hot and dry environment they are going to tire faster and overheat sooner.

The better shape you’re in, the better chance you have of getting away. That’s probably the biggest takeaway that you should know when it comes to evading tracking dogs. So if you’re out of shape, start running. Running will build up your stamina relatively quickly, and you won’t need to get that good at it to be fitter than most people (and dogs). Buy a treadmill and commit to running for half an hour to an hour every day.

Evading Tracking Dogs & Throwing off the Scent! Facts and Fiction!