It may not be the "best" or the most practical form of tracking but the dog is demonstrating excellent behavior, drive, training....I see SchH tracking as a combination of a dog having the right drive for tracking (without being hectic) and the drive to track long relatively boring tracks and also the amount of training to get such precise footstep tracking, consistent pace, article indications, etc. It's a combination of what the dog brings to the table and how you shape and mold it. I like the dog in the video because he is calm and methodical yet maintains drive and a nice pace. He is tracking each footstep (and picking up the bait) but not frantically casting around. His tail just hangs and his body language shows focus without leaking drive. I also think it's interesting the handler is only about 10 feet back. I see a lot of people try to work down the line with their dog way too soon, now I don't feel like I'm behind if I'm only tracking 10-15' back during training. Finally I liked how the dog puts his nose right into the track at the flag and after the articles.
Yeah you're all exactly right. Its really hard to get 100 in track - its the consistency, calmness and confidence that the judges look for and even if the dog speeds up 1% after a corner or something thats enough to lose that final point (which is why he got 99 instead of 100 at the worlds!).
Kai isn't the best tracking dog but he does have show good consistency.
His tracking scores are 100 IPO 1, 98 IPO 2, 98 IPO 3, 90 2011 UK Nationals, 78 at the first 2012 Team GB Qualifier, 98 2012 Team GB World Championship Qualifier Finals, 99 at the 2012 World Championships and 99 at the 2012 UK National Championships.
This is one of his worst ever tracks at the 2011 UK Nationals where he scored 90 points
The video doesn't do justice to how windy it actually was but you get the picture. The wind picks up, he gets into difficulty and then the tail starts wagging. Waggy tails are not a good sign in tracking! However one of the competitors in the same trial scored 99 (Beckenberry Casper and Henriette Bohnstedt) - the same dog scored 100 at the World Championships. To get a dog to do 99 in those conditions is as far as I'm concerned as close to tracking perfection as you can get as far as the GSD is concerned.
You also mentioned how we don't train at the end of a 10 metre line and I totally agree, you shouldn't really spend a whole lot of time at 10 metres as you can't really assess whats going on and be close enough to deal with problems quickly enough. Its more important to have a good level of control in training. Obviously you need to do a few tracks at 10 metres just so you're not throwing a curve ball at the dog in the middle of a competition but short tracking lines are, for me, the way to go for 99% of training tracks