Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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.
Coke (All-American 7/7/06)
Nikon (GSD 9/7/08)
Indy (All-American 5/10/12)
Legend (GSD 10/22/13)
Rainbow Bridge Kenya (GSD)
Last edited by Liesje; 04-22-2012 at 04:45 PM.