Is 8 1/2 months old too late to start on tracking? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-01-2014, 05:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is 8 1/2 months old too late to start on tracking?

Is 8 1/2 months old too late to start on tracking cuz I see a lot of people start their dogs like 12 weeks.
And I don't really know how to do it. Does it has to be on grass, cement, sand, or dirt?
Does it has to be in the early morning?
Do you lay treats or food on the ground? What if the dogs eat some dirt when they try to get food and then they get sick or parasite from doing that?


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Old 03-01-2014, 07:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you want to track with your dog, I would recommend finding a club to train at. The dog is not too old at all.

Typing out instructions to teach your dog to track would be like publishing a small book on the forum.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not too late at all! I started my dog at 7 years old! Definitely find a club, or a trainer, or at least a seminar. I've been to a few seminars and just train on my own.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No, not too old at all.

Tracking in the mornings when there is moisture is easier for the dog, but not absolutely necessary.

Grass or loose dirt/sandy loam works best (I prefer the former).

I still like Gary Patterson's book: Tracking: from the beginning. I do a few different things now than when I started my first dog, but this is a very good book to begin with.

Finding a club is also highly recommended as others have pointed out.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for information.
I feel like most clubs stress on obedience and protection phases, and leave tracking phase for handlers to work on their own. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm just new to this thing. It's my first GSD and I might be over my head to pursue this sport. In the past 6 months, I only tried to build drives in my pup. I just got a working harness, long line, and fur saver( I got a prong when she was 6 1/2months)


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Old 03-02-2014, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That is true about most clubs, but they should also be able to guide you in how to get started. You will probably still have to do a lot of the work on your own.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not too old at all - Keeta started at around 2 years old.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My new young dog is 10 months, he will start tracking as soon as the snow melts....I would normally start earlier but I just got him a couple months ago. But no, it is not too late at all...

The reason it seems that your club focusses mostly on OB and Prot is because that is done most in a club enviroment. Tracking requires the most time and effort on the handlers part. I track 5-6 days per week, Obedience 3-4 days per week and protection 2-3 times per week (for each dog :-) )....if you go just by time consumption, 2-3 sets of protection per week is about 15-30 mins of actual work. 3-4 sets of obedience per week is 40-60 mins of actual work...Tracking 5-6 days per week is 6 hours of time (laying the track, aging the track, running the track) .... It is the most time consuming and a larger club really can't track together every week.

In my club , for one we don't have fields big enough for us all to track together.... So most of us group up together (3 or 4 of us) to meet for tracking before training starts...

Ask the club members if anyone tracks before club starts and ask to join them :-)
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We've had over 100" of snowfall *so far* this season (it will often snow through April here) so my pup will be that age before I can start tracking whether I want to or not!
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, I got LB started and haven't been able to track since. No going to any spring events this year with any of my dogs since we can't track.
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