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Old 04-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. Benny has only been tracking for two weeks so this is new to us both. He did not do as well when the trainer laid the track but it could have been because we were at a new park and he was more distracted. It was also very hot. The trainer did have me flank him a bit and it helped.

I am dropping food just every few steps and last night he hardly stopped to eat the food drops, just kept scenting to the article where he knew he would get the good stuff.
Benny does not see me lay the track, because I leave him home and then go to the park across the street to lay the track, and then go back and get him.

The trainer said to start letting it sit for 10 minutes before bringing him out. The idea of the mesh bag with chicken scent is great.
Letting the track age a bit longer will increase the scent plume. I would give it at least 20 minutes before running it.
I think what Lies was getting at was YOU knowing where the track is, so in case he starts tracking another scent, you know where you actually laid it. I've had problems several times knowing exactly where my tracks are, because most of the time I can't see my footsteps. If I trust the dog, he may take his nose on a cross-track instead of the one I laid.
I use a landmark and head towards it if my footsteps aren't evident. Seldom am I able to track in plush grass where my footsteps are visible.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I do not reward after finishing a track. She simply finds the last article (she doesn't know when or where), instead of telling her to such again I sit her and take her off the track.

Playing and big parties at the end of the track lead to a dog who rushes to reach the end.
So what is her motivation to track?
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Right now I am using flags at the start and where a turn is, so I know where the track is. Julia, our trainer also has me making mental notes of land marks and suggested even drawing diagrams as the tracks start getting longer.

When he loses the track he will air scent and sniff the ground a bit and pick up the scent again I am staying very quiet and not even saying his name because that makes him look at me.

When you say letting the track sit for 20 minutes increases the scent plumes does that make it harder for the dog because the scent has drifted around?

Our trainer has am giving him a big reward at the end, either special treats, lots of praise or a tug game. This is what provided the motivation.

In hot weather she has me misting him a bit with a squirt bottle of water and even misting the track a bit for now in these early stages. If the track crosses a side walk I drop bait in the sidewalk crack.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So what is her motivation to track?
To find the articles. I do not put food down at the articles, but I do feed her at them. I start with food I every footstep, ending with a food pile. But I don't make a party at the end or play with her right after. I don't reward for finding the end of the track. I reward for finding the articles. It takes time, but I've been told by people who have seen her that she'll likely V in tracking.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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sounds like your doing all the right things so far and that your trainer is right on. there really isn't much difference between a 20-30 minute track. also i am sure you know weather makes a huge difference in tracking. rainy, dewy days are easier tracking because the scent stays close to the ground. hot days the scent dries faster. also wind blowing the track off scent, etc.........
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Depending on the conditions(moisture, dry air, clear or cloudy sky, winds) a track is a bit easier to scent when it ages a bit, the plume becomes stronger. Here is a good article on scent/tracking: http://www.uspcak9.com/training/scent.pdf
And this one explains the difference in the plume according to conditions:
http://landofpuregold.com/the-pdfs/sar77.pdf
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This makes me want to track. But it's been SUPER dry and Danni just isn't ready for it yet. Even our dirt is rock solid. The grass is all dead. I need to find more locations!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't throw huge parties at the end either. It really depends on the dog but Nikon will rush and start to show anxious behaviors at each article if we get in the habit of too much reward at the end. The rewards are at the articles and the final article is no different than the first.

I've never been keen on dragging bags of food down a track. The dog is tracking the tracklayer, not food. Food should just be use to reinforce the behavior the dog already knows genetically and weaned off once the dog tracks for the articles. Flooding the track with scent creates unrealistic expectations for the dog and is just one more thing the dog has to overcome to do real tracks. I've seen a really nice multi-SchH3 dog whose tracking is often a mess because of how food was used.

As for water/mist I would dampen the dog's face (nose and lips). I would not put water on a track *after* it has been laid. If the ground cover is already damp when the track is laid, that can help but adding water after the fact is not the same and does different things to the scent than just laying a track on damp cover. Also damp cover holds scent farther/higher from the track, so while it might be easier for a dog to track it's yet again something that the dog should not be trained to expect.

This again gets back to my point about the challenge with tracking being in how the track is laid, not how it is run. If the track is too dry and too challenging for the dog without spraying it down or dragging food, change how the track is being laid rather than introducing more factors.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't throw huge parties at the end either. It really depends on the dog but Nikon will rush and start to show anxious behaviors at each article if we get in the habit of too much reward at the end. The rewards are at the articles and the final article is no different than the first.

I've never been keen on dragging bags of food down a track. The dog is tracking the tracklayer, not food. Food should just be use to reinforce the behavior the dog already knows genetically and weaned off once the dog tracks for the articles. Flooding the track with scent creates unrealistic expectations for the dog and is just one more thing the dog has to overcome to do real tracks. I've seen a really nice multi-SchH3 dog whose tracking is often a mess because of how food was used.

As for water/mist I would dampen the dog's face (nose and lips). I would not put water on a track *after* it has been laid. If the ground cover is already damp when the track is laid, that can help but adding water after the fact is not the same and does different things to the scent than just laying a track on damp cover. Also damp cover holds scent farther/higher from the track, so while it might be easier for a dog to track it's yet again something that the dog should not be trained to expect.

This again gets back to my point about the challenge with tracking being in how the track is laid, not how it is run. If the track is too dry and too challenging for the dog without spraying it down or dragging food, change how the track is being laid rather than introducing more factors.
Said much better than I could have!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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totally agree with Liesje.....................no dragging bait, and not spraying water. the Benny should get used to normal ground conditions.....
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