Should I Start Mantrailing with my Spaniel?

Spaniels and their cross breeds have gained huge popularity as pets across the UK, and now as mantrailing sports dogs. 

They are happy, energetic, generally a smaller breed and really enjoy mantrailing straight from the get go. Due to their natural ability to hunt. 

Mantrailing is the perfect sport for spaniels as it taps into their hunting instinct and gives them a safe outlet to work, rather than disappear off after a rabbit! 

Working Cocker Spaniel searching for their trail layer in mantrailing

Why are Spaniels so good at Mantrailing?

It is no secret that I love Spaniels, I share my life with Three Springer Spaniels who all do mantrailing and now tracking. I started mantrailing with my first Springer Spaniel Nessa, before I became an instructor, and actually bred Captain from Nessa for mantrailing and he absolutely loves it and has been doing it since 8 weeks. 

I now have Gin, who is currently 10 months old and addicted to mantrailing! She lives for finding a person and her tuggy toy, no other sport captures her attention as well as mantrailing does. 

These aren’t my first Spaniels, I have been lucky enough to have other Spaniels in my life and train them as detection dogs, which they excelled at. 

Spaniels are built to flush game, hunt and retrieve so make the perfect sports dog for many sports. But their natural ability to hunt and work no matter the condition make them ideal mantrailing dogs. 

They have super noses and have been used as detection dogs for many years. Regardless of if they are sniffing out drugs or people, they have super noses and an amazing work ethic. 

They are the gundog of choice for many people as a working dog or active adventure companion or happy pet. They are very trainable and very social, but require a lot of training and plenty of exercise. 

They are one of the most popular breeds in the UK, and they come in a huge variety of breeds and drive to work. 

The most popular breeds I see are the Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel, both their working and show varieties. But I have also had the opportunity to work with the Clumber Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Welsh Springer as well as their crosses such as the Cockerpoo, Sproodle, Cavachon and Sprocker. 

Springer Spaniel getting ready to start a trail in mantrailing

Should I start Mantrailing with my Spaniel?


100% Yes!

Mantrailing is a great way for you to tire out your Spaniel in a constructive way that actually tires the brain. 

Spaniels can go all day and throwing a ball, or just letting them off the lead just builds an athlete, it doesn’t tires the brain and can lead to Spaniels going self employed as a hunter finding the local bunnies! 

Mantrailing is always on lead so it doesn’t matter if your Spaniel likes to return in their own time on a walk, as they are never off lead. 

Your Spaniel of course loves to use its nose and harnessing it to find people hidden in bushes quickly becomes the best game. It fulfils their need to hunt and find “prey” as well as their social needs. 

Many Spaniels are social and the opportunity to find a person and get a cuddle is as much a motivator as food. 

The opportunity to hunt and be a Spaniel is provided by mantrailing. Many Spaniels love to hunt and with the way modern society has become restrictive they can’t always be free and just do Spaniel things. Mantrailing provides them with an opportunity to express this natural behaviour in a safe way, and tired them out mentally as well as physically. 

You can find out more about Mantrailing with Spaniels via the free webinars and group in Facebook

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