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Mantrailing Workshop, with Jeff Schettler and Alis Dobler


Friday 04 to Monday 07 May 2018, Surrey

Mantrailing involves a handler-dog team following a given scent until the person is found. Hunting for a person can be tough, long and physically demanding, but also extremely rewarding. This three-day workshop preceded by an evening conference is aimed at beginner and advanced Police, Search and Rescue or Military handlers, as well as private handlers wanting to take up a fun and rewarding hobby with their dogs. Topics covered:

  • Trailing basics
  • Using productive sources
  • Distractions, surfaces transitions
  • Reading the proximity alert
  • Trailing dog vs. moving dog
  • Using the scent article.

Handler places are limited to 12 for maximum individual attention with two instructors. Dog-handler teams will work individually. The evening conference on 04 May is included for all handlers. If you have already purchased a conference ticket and have a confirmed handler place, please Email A limited number of spectator places are also available for the workshop. Please read further event details under ADDITIONAL INFORMATION below.  



Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler who worked for the City of Alameda and County of Amador in California and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program for two years. This program was designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives on the run. Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the USA and is a specialist in the areas of tactical tracking applications. Schettler is a certified military trainer graduating from the prestigious US Army’s Leadership Academy also known as Drill Sergeant School.

Jeff’s work has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, Unsolved Mysteries, and Mythbusters. He is considered an expert witness in tracking/ trailing. Jeff writes for K9 Cop Magazine and is the author of four books on K9 Tracking Work published by Alpine Publications:

  • Red Dog Rising – a K9 Tracking Autobiography
  • K9 Trailing: The Straightest Path Book 1– a primer on starting a K9 team on human scent discrimination and trailing work
  • K9 Trailing: Tactical Tracker Teams Book 3 – a practical guide to surviving high risk fugitive manhunts
  • The Tao of Trailing – Jeff’s fourth and final book on the art of trailing or tracking human scent with a police, search and rescue, or military K9.

All of Jeff’s books can be ordered from the GAK9 Store.

Alis Dobler is a crime analyst for the Zurich City Police. She was employed with the Zurich Police Dept after graduating from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland with a Master degree in Forensic Sciences. She became a K9 trainer in 2008 and has a background in Schutzhund work and general obedience. Alis later became involved with trailing and currently works with her bloodhound Cannelle. Alis is head instructor of the Swiss K-9 Search & Rescue Association deploying trailing dogs in cases of missing persons. She also has her own trailing school, K-9 Manhunters, working with private handlers, SAR handlers and local police departments in the art of Trailing.

Alis is the GAK9 NTC European Training Coordinator for all general courses of instruction for law enforcement and SAR training schools. She is currently Jeff Schettler’s primary apprentice and assists him with schools in both Europe and the USA.

Additional information


The event starts on Friday 04 May with an evening conference which can also be attended by others. Note that handlers don't need to purchase separate tickets for the conference.
As of Saturday, the workshop starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4.30 p.m. each day, except for the last day which ends at 3 p.m., with certificates at 3.30 p.m.


We will be splitting into groups and vary locations (to be advised) on days two and three. On the first day we meet in the car park outside Merrist Wood House, at
Merrist Wood College, Holly Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 3PE
Note: the post code may lead you down the wrong road with some car satnav systems. Use 'Holly Lane' instead.

What to bring

Note that most requirements below are for handlers, but spectators are also expected to bring their jar and scent article.
For your dog, bring a harness, appropriate high-value rewards – toy or food, their collar and a long line (10 meters), ideally leather (for example, but nylon or biothane will also work, especially if you already have one – no need to buy an expensive one if you're not sure whether you will pursue trailing in the long term.
Make sure your dog has enough water and is comfortable in the car between sessions.
You will need a pair of gloves (if the dog is strong), suitable outdoors clothing (layers, waterproofs) and shoes you are comfortable to walk or run in. Have a folding camping chair in the car just in case. Also bring a jar for the scent article. And most importantly bring a scent article – something that has been worn or in contact with your skin and fits into the jar.
Please bring a packed lunch and a flask with hot drink if you like. Refreshments (cake/biscuits and water) will be provided.


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