I became interested in tracking years ago when I began training with CARDA and trained in the mountains with other search and rescue teams. I expanded my formal training by volunteering on missing pet searches, and after a year of training searching for pets and working for donations, I began offering my services for a reasonable fee. I mostly track in the Central Valley close to home but on occasion travel for special cases but usually still within 2 hours of home. I have a BA from CSUS, went to graduate school, and have worked professionally in the Sacramento area for over 20 years. I have over ten years of tracking training and experience.
I work strictly from the scent trail left by the missing pet and then use good signs - to bring in leads. I will also check parks in the area, schools, fast food restaurants for scent as these are places dogs are drawn to most times, but not always. They also hide out in fields and quiet safe places. Even in a one mile radius, these safe places can be many and that is why sightings are so important and following the scent path.
I train my dogs strictly for tracking and tracking exercises and have taught tracking classes. I have studied tracking under various conditions and taken seminars and worked with high profile trackers - when I practice I work on fine tuning my dogs skills. We also have volunteered on lost people cases and have been successful in locating river-drowning victims. My hounds are pets also and live inside the house with me. http://trackingk9hounds.wordpress.com/