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Old 05-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3rd tracking lesson

Benny and I had our 3rd lesson today. The trainer was also training two policemen with their dogs, both mals. One of the mals was black and I had never seen a black one. These dogs and handlers were having their 5th lesson so are two weeks ahead of us .

Benny was easily following 150 yards track and indication three articles. We only dropped food randomly, 10 steps, that 5, than 20. The trainer gave Benny an A but me a C-! She said I was making it harder for Benny by starting next to a fence, having a turn right by a tree. I was using these things as landmarks and didn't realize that these things give off scents that can confuse a beginner. She also told me not to use my hands to point at the ground. For an italian like me to not use my hands will take practice!

I am happy Benny is making progress despite my mistakes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like fun! I was thinking of doing Tracking with my girl.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It would be interesting to hear your opinions (as a newbie tracker) of what things you would have done differently to prepare Benny for tracking. Or, things that you are glad you did that are helping him now.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
It would be interesting to hear your opinions (as a newbie tracker) of what things you would have done differently to prepare Benny for tracking. Or, things that you are glad you did that are helping him now.

I did not do anythings special to prepare him other than since he was a puppy we played "find it" games.

When we started tracking last month we started with very easy 30 yard straight tracks, with a food drop in each step. Gradually we just increased the distance, added turns, used less and less food. Always a great reward at the end. I just do a short session once or twice a day and leave him wanting more
My trainer suggested keeping a journal of each day you track. Log distance, weather and wind conditions, whether the grass was wet, dry, high or low, how long track was aged.

It is important to stay quiet and let the dog do all the work. Let him pull you along. After only three lessons I am a real beginner, but Benny is learning fast. Today I just learned how to lay a better track by not starting or having articles near trees or fences that have other scents.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is really cool! How does Benny feel about tracking? Does he seem to really engage in the game?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is really cool! How does Benny feel about tracking? Does he seem to really engage in the game?
He loves it! As soon as I pull out the harness he gets excited! I think he loves to be able to use his nose, think, find the article and then get a reward. It is enough of a challenge to keep him interested,gives him a job and we are going at a slow enough pace that he always ends with success.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad you have something you both enjoy, it can be lots of fun!!
Definitely keep a log or journal. Log the bad stuff and the good. It will help you as you progress in training to go back when you have an issue and say "oh yeah, when that happened before we were doing such and such" Anyway, it is extremely helpful.
Sounds like he is going to do really well. You, though, need a good scent theory class. It will help you to understand what is going on with your pup and will help you learn how to read him with the terrain and atmospherics.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i missed this thread, but so glad Benny is doing good. we learn things as we go along, and the way tracks are laid is so important. smells do confuse them being close to trees, fences, buildings etc. but as they get better they learn to detect the right tracks and smells.

Sam likes to follow other peoples tracks the best, more exciting. the biggest thing is learning to trust the dog once he knows whats he's doing. a few times i had forgot how i laid the track, and Sam was right every time, you learn to read them well..........

have fun!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Also when I take my dog to the start of a track since he gets so excited I take and put him in a sit or down for a few seconds to calm him and clear his mind this helps him to have plenty of drive for the track plus keeps him more focused on the track.
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