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Thread: Teaching my dog how to track. Am I doing this right? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-25-2014 04:39 PM
Lauri & The Gang Back when I was teaching my Cocker Spaniel to track I bought the book Enthusiastic Tracking by William Sanders.

Very easy to read and understand, great exercises and a well laid out training plan.

Amazon has it for around $20:
04-23-2014 10:41 PM
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
Charlie Barkin wish you were closer because I love your eager enthusiasm !!
Tell us a bit about your dog . Does he/she have any training . I think from what you describe you have a good candidate to work with , hunt/search drive seems to be present.
Charlie is a 2 and a half year old male with a tonne of energy. I have countless nicknames for him because of all the silly quirks that he has. He is always inspecting things. Whenever I do groceries, or wear new clothes, he always sticks his nose it in and starts sniffing around. If he is lying down, if he hears me say outside, he immediately jumps up and starts running around. As a way to manage that I've amassed 105 feet of leashes that I connect together (3 leashes) to allow him to run around our unfenced yard. It seems to work out pretty well.

The only training class he's had was the entry level obedience at PetSmart. I then took what I learned there and continued to train him at home. I don't know how to rate him, but he only has a few "problems". Those include pulling on leashes, not always coming back when called, and sometimes barking at people. I'm currently working on the pulling and the recall. I let those slide for much too long. As far as the barking, it almost seems random. I live in an area where there aren't many people walking around outside, so it may be a lack of interaction with people outside the family. I drove him into the Heart of Ottawa and walked around in the very busy market area and it had no effect on him. It was great!

That reminds me, we let the poodle on furniture to let her escape Charlie's nagging and when she jumps up onto the couch or my bed, he'll lunge for her. Not in an aggressive way, but it annoys the poodle. It seems instinctual, like a reaction to some quick motion. They also constantly steal each other's toys. Particularly, if the poodle takes any toy, Charlie then wants that particular toy. 90% of the time he'll sit there waiting for an opportunity to snatch it. He has a few things that I need to work on. Thankfully he has never shown any sort of aggression towards anyone or anything. He really is the kindest dog I've ever had.

Sorry about the long post. Everywhere I go I'm known for them :P
04-23-2014 07:09 AM
JakodaCD OA I have the book carmen suggested,,love it
04-22-2014 11:17 PM
David Winners
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
Gary Patterson -- Tracking from the Beginning is more practical .
You may enjoy having a look at this - tracking through drive
I have seen this book recommended by some well respected tracking trainers.
04-22-2014 11:06 PM
carmspack Gary Patterson -- Tracking from the Beginning is more practical .
You may enjoy having a look at this - tracking through drive
04-22-2014 10:22 PM
David Taggart Yes, Glen Johnson. Very good for a starter.
04-22-2014 10:10 PM
NancyJ Maybe someone can recommend a good book on tracking. It has been too many years for me ....... the last name I remember was Glenn Johnson
04-22-2014 10:07 PM
martemchik OP, the easiest thing to start, by yourself, is tracking. Although trailing sounds fun, you really do need other people's help for that. With walk a track, you place rewards along the track, your dog starts connecting your smell to a reward (hopefully your dog is food motivated).

For trailing you're going to need specialized equipment, the help of other's hiding, going off somewhere, ect. For tracking, you just need your feet and plenty of treats.
04-22-2014 09:42 PM
bill Dog alerts on drugs" but it's a bomb instead!! How would you know the difference? With a bomb dog only! He is a specialized tool to find a bomb!! Bill

04-22-2014 09:39 PM
NancyJ I will leave it to David about mixing drugs and explosives together in some stew. Still don't know of any situations where drug and bomb dogs would ever be cross trained.

What the cadaver dog smells is not necessarily amino acids. We still don't have everything deciphered. We know there are approximately 400 different volatile and semi-volatile molecules in the odor of decomposition which seem to vary in different proportions depending on the organism. Ironically we thought humans smelled most like dead pigs but recent research shows we smell more like dead chickens. In the states we actually use dead pigs and other animals to train the dog what NOT to alert on. I think the Brits train using dead pigs to simulate dead humans as you have greater restrictions on training with human remains than we do over here.

It is true the more a dog trains on an odor, the nose apparently regenerates more scent receptors for that odor making the dogs a better detection tool and it is also built into the memory of the brain. The cadaver dog needs a wide variety of source odors to train with to become proficient and generalize. There is something to be said for working the older more experienced dogs on some of the more difficult problems.

The drug and bomb signature odors are less complex but then people die if a bomb dog misses and drug dogs wind up in court a lot more than cadaver dogs (who may wind up for a murder case but cadaver dogs are not used to establish probable cause as are dogs in the other disciplines) ............
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