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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 06:05 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 481
Welcome to the world of tracking!

The possibilities are endless.

* lay tracks with wind, against wind and cross wind
* add corners, start with right angle then move on to acute angled
* build distance (AKC tracking can be over 1/2 mile long)
* age the tracks longer (anywhere up to several hours)
* different surfaces (sand, mud, concrete)
* blind tracks (someone else lays)
* Multiple articles
* No food on track
* cross tracks (someone else walks (traverse) across a track you just laid)
* track in rain, snow, heat, cold

etc etc

Start slow, read as much as you can on the subject (a bad habit now can be difficult to break later), seek professional training if you feel the need.

Generally vary only one parameter at a time when introducing in new stuff.

Here would be an (brief) example of how I would start a new dog tracking.

* Start with short tracks laid into the wind, article at end
* build distance until dog can do 100 yrds
* repeat with track laid with wind (scent is harder to pick up)
* repeat with tracks laid across the wind
* introduce 1 corner, second leg into the wind, first leg will be crosswind
* 1 corner, second leg with wind
(at this point start weaning off the food drops on track and only reward food at the article, but continue to use some food drops when introducing changes or when problems occur)
* introduce multiple corners
* introduce multiple articles
* build distance (at least 300yds)
* build aging (min 20 mins, up to 1hr)
* blind tracks (same format)

If you can get your dog to that level (and that may take many months) then move on to advanced stuff.

* Cross tracks
* varying surfaces
* longer distances
* longer aging

Good luck!
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