Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
If your goal is SchH I would find a trainer or a club to give you some pointers on starting the tracking. SchH tracking is about taking the drive and instinct and channeling it into precise footstep tracking that involves a lot of training and is almost more of an obedience exercise (taking something the dog *can* do naturally, but executing it in a certain style that has to be trained and proofed). You don't want the dog skipping kibble at this stage or dragging you to a reward at the end. Usually before laying a track of any length the dog is introduced to scent pads or learning what they are supposed to be tracking (the human's scent and the crushed vegetation). You don't have to do it this way but most people do. The dog's behavior while tracking is very important. There's a thread in the SchH forum right now with an excellent video of a nice dog demonstrating a near perfect track. That is the type of behavior you want to see from your dog from the very beginning, and you only begin to add the length and make it more complex when the dog is already showing the correct behavior. When it comes to SchH tracking, it's the calm, focused, deep nose, methodical behavior that shows excellence rather than how far the dog can go how quickly.