Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #31 - Answer

1. The mystery animal is DOMESTIC DOG.
Photo 31G

2. The dog was much larger than the pug shown in Photo 31G (which just happened to be out for a walk when I was photographing), but smaller than Oscar the lab shown in Photo 31H. Oscar’s front track measured 2 5/8 long by 2 3/8 inches wide in wet sand (Photo 31I). My best guess is the mystery dog was something like a border collie or springer spaniel.

3. The front feet are the larger tracks. This is true with the dog and cat families, as there is more weight on the front feet due to the animal’s head being heavier than the hips. Also, the front footsteps land on the palm of the foot, which registers larger tracks than the hind feet which land more on the toes.

Photo 31H

4. The dog’s gait was a side trot, a classic gait for a dog. If you go back & notice the pattern of tracks in Photo 31C, all the front tracks are on the left, and all the hind tracks are on the right. The dog’s body was diagonal to its line of motion, which is usually the favorite mode of travel of a happy dog. Take a look next time you see a dog trotting, and most likely its body will be cockeyed like this.

Photo 31I

5. We will never know exactly what happened here, but my best guess is the dog was traveling alone. One reason is, when masons finish smoothing out wet cement for a sidewalk in a city, they usually put some small barriers around it, and it would be unlikely that a person living in this nice neighborhood would run their dog through the wet cement on purpose. Another reason is, if you look at Photo 31A, there is not good visibility for people to cross the street at this corner – I would expect a person out running their dog would slow down when approaching the crosswalk to look left & right for traffic. But the dog that left these tracks did not slow down – it entered the crosswalk at a full trotting pace. But that’s just my guess – what do YOU think?


I enjoyed these tracks because they showed you can sometimes do tracking even on a sidewalk in a big city.


Quiz #31 - Question      ...on to Quiz #32

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