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Old 06-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Quit tracking

Hogan quit. He doesn't seem to give a rat's hiney about it!

I suppose he could be ill, but no sign of it. I do have a couple of females who may be coming in to season.

Motivation? Perhaps he needs more. I have been adding his toy at the end to try to increase his interest. He is not a super high drive dog, but really, he is more dog than many are and I don't think he doesn't have enough to do a bit Of tracking!

He completely blew off the idea today and went to pee on a tree. Okay, I own some patience, but not a ton. Arrrgh. I have to admit I was really aggravated and rather unable to take a step back and say, "hmmm, would you look at that, what's going on?"

Later, I did put some pressure on him on a short easy track. I have been told many times that you can't "make" a dog track. Leave it to me to try the pressure thing. Not sure what the fallout will be. But, he accepted the pressure, put his nose down and made it to the article. I know such can make liars out of them. I probably did not do the right thing. But, really, Hogan, lie to me!!!! Don't just honestly go pee on a tree! I suck at training sometimes!

Help!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you describe your tracks and your routine before and after tracking? Do you reduce the size of the meal before tracking?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My tracks are pretty simple to my way of thinking, anyway. Nice grass, try to get to dewy morning time though it is dry here.

I show the dogs the tracking gear as I get ready. They are acquainted with the flags, line etc getting piled out. Today Hogan could see me laying the track. He whines as he watches when he can see me. I am not always visible though. His excitement at anticipation has been waning. He knows the word cues and used to pull hard to start. Not so much now.

I don't feed a meal anywhere close to tracking time. The dog is not at all overweight. I had not used a toy for reward until recently in trying to pique more interest.

I have gradually reduced food on the track. This has been thing I was working on. He had begun passing up the track food so I began reducing that to a large degree.

I really think he knows it is tracking and not just out on a lark. Last week I took him out to a horse pasture some 40 miles away. He couldn't even see the flag and yet he drug me to the start and worked really nicely. It was a blind track for me too. I thought he would be distracted at the horse facility, but he was actually very good on the track there.

There has not been anything weird happen on a track and I normally do not insert myself in his work. I got peaved with his lack of effort today, but that has not been the usual way of training at all.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sometimes they can just have a really, really bad day. If he has been tracking well up to this point, I wouldn't think to hard on it or put too much stress on him unless you see it become a consistent problem.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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>>>>His excitement at anticipation has been waning. He knows the word cues and used to pull hard to start. Not so much now.

He might be getting bored of the food reward, have you tried switching. I rotate between red barn sausage and a raw hamburger and that keeps my girl interested. I also play tug at the end of last article (after feeding) and she really likes that too.
I did cut my schedule way down from 4 tracks 6 days/week to 2 tracks 3 days/week. It was overkill (for my dog) and she has really come on on the shorter schedule.
Also my first track is always a "motivational" track. 30 paces straight, with one triple laid turn, article about 10 paces after the turn (or some slight variation thereof). This seems to get the jitters out of her and she does the second "real" track really well.
I always sit quietly in the back of the pickup with her for about 10 minutes after tracking, I sip my tea, she watches the pigeons. I think that down time helps too.

On one of our tracking mornings last week, she got all barky over something, before we started tracking, might have sensed coyotes near I don't really know. She completed the tracks but it was messy, looking up/around and barking at nothing every 10 paces or so. I just chalked it up to a bad day. She was perfectly fine the next session.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It really could be the girls. I had bitches in season last week, and Jag had no brain at all. Couldn't do off-lead heeling, couldn't do Rally, couldn't do agility. He is much improved this week.

I would just do some short, motivational tracks until the girls all go out of season.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the ideas and input!

It helps me to have other people help me "think"!

I won't pressure him more because it really might be harmful at this point. I am over it too.

He is going to be on boredom treatment and I will not let him eat meals or self satisfy with toys. His fun life will center on a track for a bit. He is a smart dog and he has shown ability to track. I will get him some raw chickn too. Also addding skome toy at end.

I have not been laying arduous or "test" tracks so I don't think he is over challenged. Bunch of guessing, huh?
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just in from track. If is so dry here.

Hogan started and nose down the entire track except his corner sdarch. Really nice. Either he had some bad days previously or our head banging helped, or...
Had chicken treats and the loved frisbee toss at the end.

Then the Sheltie pup did everything but start! Okay, tracking...pffffft! Funny stuff.
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