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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-14-2014 10:54 AM
stmcfred Great suggestion. I have a video of her now, but my son recorded it so it's not great. I will do another one this week. I'll post it here too.
05-13-2014 04:03 PM
mspiker03 What about seeing if you can video tape a track once a week and show her and then get some advice to move forward until you can get to the classes? I too can't track with a trainer all the time (although I do see the trainer for Ob/protection each week). When I can, I video a track I did and send him a link so he can make further suggestions.


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05-13-2014 03:45 PM
Liesje If you're in a class/club, I would wait (unless you've trained them before and have a pretty good idea how you want to do it). There's no rush. Articles can be introduced off the track while the dog is still learning the foundations of tracking but you certainly would not be behind. I mainly start them as something to do in the winter when we can't actually track, there's no competitive reason.
05-13-2014 03:27 PM
stmcfred She seems like it. I really like her. Lola has done her basic obedience and is in the intermediate class with her. Now if I can just get to those tracking classes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
Michele will help you a lot. Very experienced.
05-13-2014 01:51 PM
lhczth Michele will help you a lot. Very experienced.
05-13-2014 09:08 AM
stmcfred We are training with Michele Scarberry in Seville. However, we were only able to make it to one tracking class so far. Once school is out I will start going weekly. (My daughter is in preschool the times she has tracking).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Are you training with a club? If so I would defer to their help on how and when to add articles.

I train articles off the track around 7-8 months of age. When I add them to a track really depends on the dog and their tracking, but as far as how I train it, I'm not waiting for specific milestones on the track to introduce articles off the track other than the dog being able to offer a fast, correct platz. I will however wait until the dog clearly understands tracking, is more mature, and is doing well problem solving on the track before I start adding articles to the track. I think I added the articles to Nikon's tracks relatively quickly after he learned them. I introduced articles to Pan off the track and never once put them on his tracks in the two years I owned him, but I struggled with tracking him (though he has a V tracking score and got a 94 this past weekend at the Working Dog Championship so clearly his handler has solved that problem, but trains tracking very differently than I do).
05-12-2014 06:25 PM
Liesje Are you training with a club? If so I would defer to their help on how and when to add articles.

I train articles off the track around 7-8 months of age. When I add them to a track really depends on the dog and their tracking, but as far as how I train it, I'm not waiting for specific milestones on the track to introduce articles off the track other than the dog being able to offer a fast, correct platz. I will however wait until the dog clearly understands tracking, is more mature, and is doing well problem solving on the track before I start adding articles to the track. I think I added the articles to Nikon's tracks relatively quickly after he learned them. I introduced articles to Pan off the track and never once put them on his tracks in the two years I owned him, but I struggled with tracking him (though he has a V tracking score and got a 94 this past weekend at the Working Dog Championship so clearly his handler has solved that problem, but trains tracking very differently than I do).
05-12-2014 04:35 PM
stmcfred Thanks!

We haven't started articles yet. Would it be okay to add them in now? Or should she have more experience in tracking first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I haven't read all the replies but Nikon off and on tracks "too fast" (for my liking) and this is what I have observed....

First I tried to slow him down physically. What I mean is tracking on a pinch collar or tracking with the line tied around his waist. He's not a soft dog so neither of these things had any negative impact on his tracking behavior and they *did* slow him down to a real steady pace, however as soon as I went back to a normal line/Fursaver, he sped up again. It wasn't enough correction to really compute what I wanted/didn't want and I don't use an e-collar with him and am not interested in force tracking or going that route (he LOVES tracking, has always been real good with tracking despite me not liking it much, it is his highest scoring phase in trial).

What helped more was changing the track itself, not how the track was handled. I changed the way I laid the tracks and made them more challenging, but not so challenging he couldn't be successful. He's always like to track for the sake of tracking and ignored bits of food on tracks and scent pads, so the first change I made was stop putting tons of food on his tracks. Instead I thought harder about where to place smaller piles of food rather than once piece every few footsteps. A SchH3 length track would have 3-4 small piles of food on it and no food in footsteps.

Then I did the same thing with his articles. To him an article = time to pause and get a reward so I quit throwing food all over the track and used articles instead. He's always been great on articles (has never lost a point in trial at an article) so I felt comfortable using them more. So a SchH3 length track for him would have 4-6 articles. If there was a more difficult corner, I placed an article a few paces beyond it. If there was a tough section of track (either due to terrain, wind, whatever), I placed an article at the end of that hard part. This helped not only reward him for the tough spots but also gave him time to pause and regroup mentally.

I also quit giving toys anywhere near this phase, period. It wasn't just for a toy at the end but if he *thought* he saw me slip a ball in my pocket or smelled it on my hand, he would track faster trying to get that ball. The use of the articles helped break up the track and the lack of any toy rewards showed him it's not a race, there's no big jackpot at the end, just moments to be rewarded and praised throughout.

Finally, if he does track fast but is tracking correct, clear-headed, being methodical and accurate, I don't sweat it. Every dog is different and I'm more concerned with the overall picture and making sure that I can tell the dog is really problem solving on the track even if he's pulling a bit harder than I want. I try to focus on one thing at a time when it comes to tracking, so if I'm trying to challenge him on corners or doing some step-off type tracks, I'm not going to nit pick his pace on that track.

YMMV, I'm no FH tracker but I had a similar problem and that's what I did to address it and was happy with the result. Also I think the more you track and gain experience (you and dog), the more you will develop a good rhythm and pace.
05-12-2014 04:31 PM
stmcfred We were told to track while the grass is till wet, though I have when it isn't and she still goes fast. And we don't go into the wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
Just a few things to consider. First, you should be happy your dog has strong drive to track, so, don't let the speed concern you too much.

Second, you need to consider the conditions you are training in and adjust accordingly. If the grass is wet and if there is humidity in the air, the scent is higher off the ground, the track borders will be further apart and the scent will stay longer than in dry conditions. The grass breaking under your feet also creates more scent, along with the food. All of that combined creates a tunnel of scent that your dog will rush down because...well, why go slow when you have that much scent to follow?

Third, you need to always consider which direction the wind is blowing, even a light breeze will push the scent. If it is blowing into the dog, he will rush because he can smell what is down the track.

Again, humidity holds scent where in dry conditions, the scent evaporates more quickly. So, for a young or inexperienced dog, you always have to take all of this into consideration.

Some people use kibble in wet conditions because their dog gets too excited with something better. You have to see what works best. Where I am, it is very dry and I never have to worry about aging it very long. Five minutes here is like 30 minutes where it rains and grass actually grows.
05-12-2014 04:29 PM
stmcfred
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-burg View Post
How old is your dog? What kind of bait are you using? Are you baiting every footstep right now? What type of tracking are you doing, AKC or SchH style? Are you tracking in the morning, afternoon or evening?

She's 8 months (almost 9) I bait every 6-7 steps using bill jack treats or something like that. We are doing SchH style. Track usually in the morning, but sometimes during the day.
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