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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-20-2012 05:11 PM
Questforfire
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
You want to find ways of rewarding the dog during the track and not just at the end. For most dogs that is food. My dog is very food motivated (he will do obedience and all sorts of fancy tricks for food) but for some reason skips food on the track so for him, I taught him article indication early on off the track and now use articles as rewards. He prefers to get a larger chunk of food from me rather than kibbles or small bits off the track, so if there is a challenge on the track (a really dry patch, a difficult corner, etc) I put an article afterward so he gets a chance for a reward and to regroup into the track. If there is a long, boring leg I will put one or two food piles (like a handful of treats) instead of one piece every few footsteps. Some dogs seem to track better when really hungry; for my dog it makes no difference. Part of the foundation will be learning what rewards are best for your dog and how to use them to train the dog to problem solve on the track, not just get to the end of the track.
This is really useful information for me. Initially I was training my dogs with just their ball and/or sardines at the end of the track, but have now started to add in a couple of articles on the track, as one dog in particular just wants to rush to the end to get his ball. Is it ok to put articles such as gloves or socks on initially, so I can have a game of tug with them to reward him for indicating, before moving on?
12-20-2012 05:03 PM
Questforfire
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
I'm glad to see you so enthused about tracking.

Look at this blog Birch-Bark Hill written by the CKC tracking rep for n Ontario -- she can tell you which clubs are active in your area, inform you about trial dates. The blog itself offers a great deal of information on tracking .
I am absolutely loving Sue's blog. It holds a wealth of information on tracking, as well as having many fantastic photos of the beautiful dogs and Canadian countryside and wildlife.

Definitely worth a look.
12-16-2012 04:52 PM
Liesje You want to find ways of rewarding the dog during the track and not just at the end. For most dogs that is food. My dog is very food motivated (he will do obedience and all sorts of fancy tricks for food) but for some reason skips food on the track so for him, I taught him article indication early on off the track and now use articles as rewards. He prefers to get a larger chunk of food from me rather than kibbles or small bits off the track, so if there is a challenge on the track (a really dry patch, a difficult corner, etc) I put an article afterward so he gets a chance for a reward and to regroup into the track. If there is a long, boring leg I will put one or two food piles (like a handful of treats) instead of one piece every few footsteps. Some dogs seem to track better when really hungry; for my dog it makes no difference. Part of the foundation will be learning what rewards are best for your dog and how to use them to train the dog to problem solve on the track, not just get to the end of the track.
12-16-2012 04:19 PM
Blitzkrieg1 Makes sense guys, seems like I started running before I learned to walk lol.
I really like the circle idea. Also, the comments about the ball were very interesting I will try removing it and encourage more focus on the scent itself instead of the finish.
12-15-2012 10:39 PM
lhczth If you would like to do some fun scent work you can play games and just hide things around your house or yard. Use a different word than what you would use in tracking and keep it fun. Meanwhile research tracking and talk to some of your club members about getting tracking help.
12-15-2012 05:05 PM
Liesje
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
She actually doesnt see the end item. She has her nose to the ground and is clearly scenting I think once she figures out what the goal of the exercise is she picks up speed still keeping her nose to the ground she just finishes the track fast. She still gets some of the treats, but I get what everyones saying about having her take more time on the track. I just assumed you wanted a drivey type of scent work.
Two things:
1. Drive is not speed. A dog that has drive to track, will show drive to track, not just plow to the end for the reward.
2. The problem with this is that if she is already picking up speed on the track because of the reward at the end, this is only going to get worse. By worse I mean she will get faster, skip more food, etc. Tracking in SchH is not just getting to the end of the track but showing the correct behavior throughout the track. What you're describing is pretty common and is not the end of the world but if you already have this behavior in your very first few tracks, why not change up the training so that your dog can do better? Again this is assuming you want Schutzhund style tracking. I had this exact same problem with my dog. I started putting a ball at the end of his track for more motivation. It worked for about 5 tracks. Then, on the next several tracks he would start to get faster, pull harder, and show more anxious behavior after each article on the track (so his pace on the first leg would be good, second leg a little fast, third leg going like a freight train....). For *some dogs* having balls at the end or even during a track works but not for all dogs. It doesn't sound like your dog has had any foundation so I wouldn't worry about putting toys on the track yet. You may go back to it later on, but right now the dog needs the foundation which is learning what tracking is about and shaping the correct behavior.
12-15-2012 02:20 PM
martemchik Just to add on the method I was taught...the reason you do a circle is so that the dog never picks up on the fact that its just a straight line and there will be something good at the end of it for them. The circle never really ends, and so the dog can keep going and going and there isn't a super high value item in there. The point isn't to advance your dog as fast as possible (although I know you really want to), but to really instill good tracking habits in them early. The way I learned we also don't hold the long line at all, just let it drag behind the dog. This way, you guarantee that as a handler you aren't helping at all. Every time you corrected her, to get her back on the track, would be either points or a non qualification. You really don't want the dog to depend on you at all...because in a trial you won't know where the track is, so if she loses it, and you just make her go back to where you think it is, you might be completely off.

It is pretty good that she can take turns, and also cross paths where other dogs/people have walked, but her finish isn't tracking at all. She knows the thing is there and she's going to go get it.
12-15-2012 01:28 PM
bocron We have 3 people in our club who just got their BH and are planning on titling further in tracking and obedience. We are having a great time working with them.
You've gotten some great advice here, so I won't bother adding except to say that your early tracks need to be such that the dogs head doesn't need to come up at all, ever. When we start puppies we kind of overload the beginning tracks just so we can reiterate the "Such" (pronounced Tsook) command.
12-15-2012 12:35 AM
Blitzkrieg1 They do do Scentwork just not during the worst of the winter when there is lots of snow on the ground. We train indoors during the winter OB and protection. Scentwork will likely resume in april/may.
12-14-2012 08:02 PM
onyx'girl I agree with you on your last sentence. Onyx is not a protection phase dog either, but she loves to use her nose.
Doesn't your club track together? If not, maybe you could get with one of the members to help you. Tracking a dog that isn't real confident will help grow that confidence. Another option if you don't want to continue w/ IPO would be nosework classes.
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