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Castlemaid 06-27-2014 10:50 PM

Early article indication?
Both my dogs went through a phase in tracking, where they would down as soon as they got whiff of the article. Depending on the wind and the conditions, sometimes only two feet away, sometimes up to five or six feet, up to maybe 10 feet away.

Easily fixed by encouraging the dog to continue working up to the article itself and rewarding lavishly - but it got me wondering - that is two dogs of mine now that are doing this. How common is this? Have you had dogs that indicated early?

More common when they are tracking into the wind? Is it me? :wild:

Packen 06-28-2014 12:22 AM

Many reasons, need to see video to trouble shoot. Most common is too much scent or too big an article. Cut it in half and wash would be a quick suggestion without knowing the root cause.

David Winners 06-28-2014 07:33 AM

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It's common with beginning detection dogs too. Once the dog reaches a certain volume of odor it responds. It's something they need to learn to work through. Instead of decreasing the odor so the solution is easier for the dog, I would do as you mentioned and help the dog through it a few times until it understands the situation. JMO, and I don't do IPO style tracking so I may be wrong.

David Winners

Castlemaid 06-28-2014 08:31 AM

I was just curious - my first thought about using smaller articles for training, is that I already use the IPO regulation size articles. If I cut them in half to make less scent for training, then at trial with a full sized article, won't the odor just be stronger and again mislead them into early indication?

The good thing about it though is that I know that they are using their nose to find the articles, and not their eyes. But I found it odd that both my dogs were/are doing this, and I don't think that it has been an issue that I am aware off with the other club dogs. So there is the clear possibility that somehow my handling is causing this.

Though the last time Gryff indicated early, I knew that the article was a few paces up the track, so it's not that I was giving him handler help - was I? Maybe just the way I was handling the line made him think that I was telling him to down? It could have been completely innocent from my part.

Gryff is so sensitive to me - a small step instead of a full one, a tightening of my hand around the tracking line - he is aware of it, and is always reading my movements.

Keeta - not so much, she is an entirely independent entity who will follow her own mind and shut me out. Yet same early indication issue, even when someone else laid the track for her, using unusual articles - so I was running the track blind and couldn't have given her cause to indicate early.

Tracking isn't my favorite thing, but I enjoy analysing the dogs and trying to see things from their point of view.

David Winners 06-28-2014 08:43 AM

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I think you probably cued him. I would only run blind tracks with him, and be sure the track layer is there to let you know the dog is right. They can be so sensitive to our posture and movement that we can cue them without knowing it.

I agree that diminishing the odor in training may lead to early indication during trial. I would go the other way and be sure that no matter how large the odor pool is, the dog will still work all the way to the article.

David Winners

lhczth 06-28-2014 11:06 AM

Common issue. I just tell my dogs they are incorrect and encourage them to work to the article where they receive big praise and their reward.

Packen 06-28-2014 01:11 PM


Originally Posted by Castlemaid (Post 5702873)
If I cut them in half to make less scent for training, then at trial with a full sized article, won't the odor just be stronger and again mislead them into early indication?

Nope, new articles are used in a trial. Only IPO 1 lets you use your own articles, anything higher is with new articles. In training we feed on the articles so it becomes a a huge scent cone. Washing them clears off the extra scent, cutting them in half is not going to mess up the dog in a trial at all. Dog should indicate 1/4 size or double the regulation size as if there is no change.

Packen 06-28-2014 01:21 PM

Oh and do not use the same articles every time you track. Many people select 2-3 articles and use them over and over again for years. I'd suggest to make ~20 articles and keep them in your car, randomly select 2-3 that you will using that day.

lhczth 06-28-2014 01:48 PM

I want my dogs to learn to track to the article no matter what. Vala blew a 100 pt track for her 3 when she indicated early. We reward the dogs for indicating so it is natural for them to want to indicate. They must learn that they are only rewarded when they indicate the article itself. I use small articles to increase intensity.

lhczth 06-28-2014 01:49 PM

Changing articles is a good idea. I have two cases of articles. Well over 100 of different materials and sizes. I rotate through them.

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