German Shepherd Dog Forums

German Shepherd Dog Forums (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/)
-   Tracking (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/tracking/)
-   -   I feel like we are not getting this right. (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/tracking/414250-i-feel-like-we-not-getting-right.html)

Kaimeju 02-21-2014 03:43 PM

I feel like we are not getting this right.
 
So far we have had 3 sessions with a tracking club and I practice 2-3x a week at home. We are doing 70 yards with bait every 4-5 feet or so. These are single-laid tracks on short grass that are blind for the dog, but not the handler. Next week we start turns. This is all well and good. I feel like my dog is not actually tracking, though. I think she is just looking for the bait visually, or possibly air-scenting. She doesn't move in a straight line and if she can't see the bait, she gets confused and starts turning in circles looking for it. She misses a lot of the bait even if she gets to the end of the track unless it is something very obvious like pieces of white cheese. I always start in a down before the track and point out where it starts. I don't see her "take off" after scent like I do with a friend's dog that I handle. Usually when she gets closer to the article, I do see a positive indication from her body language.

She knows how to use her nose to find articles. If I hide them in the yard she can solve that puzzle fairly easily, no bait required. I am starting to see something similar when we practice tracking. For instance if there is a track with one turn, she will try to cross the diagonal to get to the article instead of following the turn. I don't think she can see the article so she must be smelling its scent cone somehow.

I'm wondering if I'm not doing something right. Should I be using more bait? Less? Part of me thinks I should not be obsessing about the track at all and just keep making it harder for her to find the article, making sure to lay a straight track and maybe double-back on it.

I will ask my instructor, but I think I know her idea: she said to restart the dog at the point where they last had scent. She also wants us to keep a very short leash and not allow them to stray from the track. Well, if we did that we would be restarting every 10 feet so I feel like something must be fundamentally missing. If I try to guide my dog physically where the track is, she gets frustrated and lies down.

Mary Beth 02-21-2014 09:27 PM

Since Gypsy is getting frustrated, maybe it would help to back off a bit and take a break. Focus instead on what she likes doing - finding the hidden objects in the yard, and like you said - make it harder for her to find them.

onyx'girl 02-21-2014 09:52 PM

You are asking for too much if she's shutting down. Did you do scent boxes to introduce the difference between crushed vegetation and undisturbed cover? What type tracking are you doing? IPO? Does the instructor watch you lay your track and walk it with you when you run your dog? Articles already after three classes? Sorry for all the questions....

mycobraracr 02-21-2014 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onyx'girl (Post 5064410)
You are asking for too much if she's shutting down. Did you do scent boxes to introduce the difference between crushed vegetation and undisturbed cover? What type tracking are you doing? IPO? Does the instructor watch you lay your track and walk it with you when you run your dog? Articles already after three classes? Sorry for all the questions....


I also think you're doing too much too soon. I prefer to break my tacks up while the dog is learning. That way I can stop on a good note before the dog quits. So instead of 70 yards, I will lay three 20 yard tracks and go as long as the dog is still driving.

Kaimeju 02-22-2014 09:39 AM

We started with articles on the track- I think the idea was having a sock and a glove mark the beginning and end would give them a reference point. We are doing AKC classes. The instructor tried hard to watch us and give feedback, but since our class meets the same time as the main tracking club, other people vye for her attention. This was supposed to be a 4 week intro course so I don't think it was meant to be super serious, just to give people an idea of what tracking is about.

We have never done scent boxes but that sounds like it would help. Can you explain how to do it?

I also feel like we are moving too fast and I would rather get a good foundation going so she doesn't burn out! She really loves tracking. I think she is mainly frustrated because she doesn't know what's expected, and I would like to make things easy so she can succeed.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App

Kaimeju 02-27-2014 11:44 AM

Okay, had our instructor watch us do a 60 yard straight track that someone else laid. She said my dog was doing fine and I should actually move to a long line so that she can get farther out in front of me and do her own work. Apparently I am hovering too much. Also I need to let my tracks age longer and do shorter tracks before moving on to more difficult stuff. It all makes sense and I'm glad we got that sorted out.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2