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Old 04-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tracking advice?

So we're currently working our way towards our BH, expecting to get it at the club's September trial (Berlin, 15 months).

We havent done a ton of tracking work. I will be speaking with my trainer on Sunday about doing more. But for now, I've simply been stomping out big circles in the grass, marking 3 sides with a flag, dropping hot dogs or other high value treats behind me as I stomp, and then leading him up to the circle, commanding "track", and releasing him. He seems to be doing good staying on the circle and sniffing out the treats.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not an expert on tracking but my dog is pretty consistent. The first thing I would do is go to one flag to indicate the presence of a scent circle/start of track, and remove the others. The 2nd and 3rd flag are visual indicators of the edge of the circle and you don't want the dog to become accustomed to that. You want them to use the nose to determine that.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I use one flag and I pull the dog off before he gets all the food, so he doesn't wander around and get bored. Are you doing circle tracks or scent pads? If I do scent pads, they aren't that big (maybe 4'x4').
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Circle tracks, we've yet to do anything with scent pads. And yes, I do pull him off before he is done to avoid him losing interest.

Good idea about the flag, I never thought about that
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was taught that scent circles are the beginning foundation. Step 2 would be dial outs, or straight lines leading out of the circle (one per circle). Step 3, once the dog understands footstep tracking is to introduce articles separately from the track.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Since you are doing schutzhund/IPO tracking, you might want to consider that all trial tracks will be straight lines with 90 degree corners. Not sure how circle tracks would benefit you.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Scent boxes, circle tracks, serpentines, stair tracks and other ideas teach the dog to work the scent carefully and not just blow down the track until they lose scent (hit a corner).
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Agreed but wouldn't they be added once a foundation has been established?
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not necessarily. Some trainers do these from the start to create correct behaviors and then mix them in for the life of the dog.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Different strokes, I guess. We go from scent circles to dial outs to the long table. You can't exactly serpentine up there.
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