Hard Surface Tracking - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hard Surface Tracking

Last week I went to a hard surface tracking seminar by Jerry Bradshaw at my local PD. I had a little bit of knowledge on how to do it, but I had a few holes in my program. The seminar was amazing. Jerry and his team were great instructors. So I took my new knowledge, and started my two Dutchies on it yesterday. They are taking to it well.

What are some of the methods you guys use for HST?

Winston 5 months old first Hard Surface Track

Cy, my green dog 18 months old and has zero training. First Hard Surface Track
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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 12:54 PM
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Great videos, as always.

I see you have placed treats along the track but did you place something else? There are darker marks that might just be asphalt fixes or something you put there.

In another words, how did you lay this track different from a grass track?
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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Great videos, as always.

I see you have placed treats along the track but did you place something else? There are darker marks that might just be asphalt fixes or something you put there.

In another words, how did you lay this track different from a grass track?

The dark line, is water. I sprayed water down and walked over the water to hold my scent. I then placed treats along the track to keep their heads down and reward them going forward. Just like in grass, starting with food in every footstep, then slowly fading it away.

The difference between this and a grass track is what the dog is scenting. IN grass, the dog is more tracking the ground disturbance than human odor. The ground disturbance is the stronger scent so easier for the dog to follow. The hard surface the dog is following the human scent. The water helps to hold the odor when they are first starting. So I sprayed the water down and made about 4 passes over it. Then laid the treats down and ran them. The water also helps me know where I went
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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:14 PM
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Your dogs both did very well. We have only done grass tracking. I want to try that. My training is all informal but I want to do it the right away. What do you use for treats and how hungry is the dog before you start?
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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:15 PM
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The hard surface the dog is following the human scent.
This!

Thanks a bunch for your detailed description.

We're doing the grass tracks but it's not very good for actual application (especially considering we don't have much grass in our forest). I've been told grass is ideal for laying a good foundation of nose to ground.
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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Your dogs both did very well. We have only done grass tracking. I want to try that. My training is all informal but I want to do it the right away. What do you use for treats and how hungry is the dog before you start?

Thanks! I'm using hotdogs for treats. I didn't feed them breakfast, and ran the tracks about the time they would normally eat. So not anything too crazy. If your dog isn't super food motivated, maybe only feed half the prior meal.

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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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This!

Thanks a bunch for your detailed description.

We're doing the grass tracks but it's not very good for actual application (especially considering we don't have much grass in our forest). I've been told grass is ideal for laying a good foundation of nose to ground.

It is! I always put a foundation of grass tracking on my dogs. Winston and Cy are the first two that I'm trying hard surface first. Winston did have a couple session of soft surface tracking first, but not enough to really get him going. I do other things as well. Like when I'm busy and don't have time to work them for their meals I'll chuck their food into the grass and make them hunt to find each kibble. I did it to Winston the other night. The little dude was out there for half an hour hunting to find each piece haha. I was impressed that as a puppy he stuck with it that long.

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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:46 PM
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Thanks! I'm using hotdogs for treats. I didn't feed them breakfast, and ran the tracks about the time they would normally eat. So not anything too crazy. If your dog isn't super food motivated, maybe only feed half the prior meal.
I can do it early before breakfast. Mine is on a special diet so treats are limited, but fortunately he loves the food.

Is there a reason why you are teaching hard tracking first to those two dogs?
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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:01 PM
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wow, I've listened to his podcast. Never seen him in action

https://player.fm/series/controlled-...rface-tracking

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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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wow, I've listened to his podcast. Never seen him in action

https://player.fm/series/controlled-...rface-tracking

He was amazing to learn from! He explains things very well, makes it easy to understand and follow.

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