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Old 01-15-2013, 05:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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hi everyone just new on this site our 9 month old GSD zola has been doing a little training on tracking,just wondering if anyone has done this with there GSD if so ..... do you have any helpful tips as i dont really have much experience in this and wld appreciate any help
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just to add,Zola is an amazing sniffer,honestly i have never known a dog sniff so loudly but is this a good sign that she will be a great tracker ?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i just started with my GSD pup bailey who is ~9 months. i read through "Schutzhund Top Working Dogs, Training Manual" and decided i would just do obedience and tracking. so far ive just been laying small tracks around the yard, but shes been doing well so far. i think its going to get tougher trying to figure out when to bump up distance, give less treats etc, because im just doing it for fun and i am not part of a club or training group with experienced trainers. this site will be my Q&A resource. plus this is the first dog ive ever owned so everything is a learning experience for me . figured i would keep myself and bailey challenged by tackling a chore like tracking.

the only tip i can give you, which isnt very specific at all, but ive recently switched from prong/e-collar corrections (what my obedience school taught) to positive food training and ive seen enormous improvement in baileys performance. i enjoy it more as well since i dont have to jump all over her for the little things, just give her a chance to do it correctly and reward her. in the couple weeks ive started tracking, keeping her excited and having an encouraging tone of voice really helps her want to find the track and the next treat. keep it a very positive and rewarding experience to your dog. hope everything goes well for you and your dog
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is a video of my pup tracking at 9 months old with about three weeks of work on tracking.

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Tracking is a very basic instinct for Mesaticephalic dog breeds. Positive reinforcement will prove to be your best bet. Even a simple "Yes" or "Good Boy/Girl" is a reward for the dog.

We very rarely use "correction" during training. It tends to be counter-productive.

A dog with good hunt/prey drive will many times figure it out with minimal direction from the handler.

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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zahnburg, great track by your dog.

i might as well throw one of my questions out there now, since we are getting some responses here. right now i have bailey doing 75-125ft tracks with a treat every couple steps. with a tiny yard i have to throw a couple turns in to make it long enough (once the weather gets a little better i plan on taking her down to the park with my wife and making better laid out tracks). the turns arent necessarily the problem because i lighten the scent before the turn and practically drag my feet afterwards so that when she circles its a no brainer where the path is going. her speed through the course is what im not sure about. she keeps her nose fairly close to the ground, but will almost jog through straight patches, overshoot a turn, recover the area, and start jogging again beyond the turn. she seems more interested in getting to the end and getting the completion reward more than the individual treats on the path. once i take her out later at night before bed to go to the bathroom she will revisit the track i laid hours before and follow it at a nice even pace and clean up all the treats she left behind. i know when teaching tracking you should do minimal corrections, but should i make her more efficient the first time through? thanks.
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