tracking line and balls - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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tracking line and balls

I had a tracking line, but I cut it up to make some leads, so now I need a new one. Any recommendations on length/material? I like that synthetic/ASAT stuff, that's what I use for most everything else, but I'm not sure if people use it for tracking. Are there regulations as far as what you can use for a trial? I'd rather just get that now than have to buy more stuff later.

Also, what balls-in-strings are the best? I've been using the Gappay ones from Hallmark but Nikon can instantly rip the ball off if I'm not careful and we've gone through nearly a dozen in less than a year. I even tried putting them back together by tying a knot on some leather but he pulls that through too. Is there another brand that works good?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 09:58 AM
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Re: tracking line and balls

For trial the tracking line has to be 33'. Though we tend to use 15' more often in training. Ours are nylon, and I prefer the feel of tubular nylon (especially when it's running through my hands as the dog pulls the line out) over regular nylon. I know some people use homemade lines made of parachute cord or thin climbing rope, but those can really tear up the hands and seem more prone to tangles.

I've heard very good things about the biothane/betathane tracking lines. A club member has one and it's great. I've been wanting to get one, but have had better things to spend money on recently. For all other leads I prefer leather over everything else, but wouldn't use a leather tracking line. Those synthetics seem to be the best of both worlds there for tracking.... look and feel of leather but the weatherproofness of nylon.

For balls I like the Elite K9 ones with the little toggle handle. We have several and they seem to hold up well.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: tracking line and balls

I think the line I had was 35", it was half inch I think, and made of the ASAT. I can't remember the cost, but I'm pretty cheap so it would not have been more than $25. I just love the ASAT stuff for everything b/c it doesn't tangle, doesn't burn my hands, doesn't get dirty or wet, doesn't get burrs stuck all over it, etc., but wasn't sure if it's "legal". I don't regret cutting my line up, but maybe I'll try to find the same one again.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 10:26 AM
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Re: tracking line and balls

Yes, it's "legal". I'm not aware of there being any restrictions on tracking line materials in trials, only lengths.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: tracking line and balls

Awesome, thanks!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 02:07 PM
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Re: tracking line and balls

Gappay balls are pure crap now Imo. I used to swear by them. I'm a frabo woman now.

The German Shepherd's faults are faults of education not nature, for if someone worked with him he would be blissfully happy and most obedient of all dogs. - Max von Stephanitz
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: tracking line and balls

Yeah, I like the texture and feel (like the heavier weight) but they just don't stay together and I very rarely even let him tug on them hard. The balls must be soft or something. I tried to fix one by tying a bunch of knots in one end and putting a string through, my TD pulled it through the ball with his teeth, lol. Now I just have a bucket of balls for fetch I guess.

I will check out Frabo and EliteK9. I think those are the ones my TD recommended, just couldn't remember.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: tracking line and balls

I just got a synthetic 3/8" 10 meter line from hallmarkk9 that is the synthetic w/ handle for $37.
I then ordered a leather one w/out handle for $20 from fordogtrainers.com I might shorten this one. The site has some good stuff/I got tugs from there, impatiently waiting for them to arrive.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2009, 08:21 PM
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Re: tracking line and balls

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Chris WildFor balls I like the Elite K9 ones with the little toggle handle. We have several and they seem to hold up well.
I just got a box of these today, they are really nice!

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 12:34 AM
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Re: tracking line and balls

I use and swear by the synthetic leather lines!

Fritz's tracking line has been in nearly continuous use year round for about 5 years now, still looks brand new - sometimes requires a good cleaning of course. Umsa's also has been subjected to serious abuse - and I use these lines with multiple dogs (girls get her hot pink, boys get his blaze orange), and in every cover (high, weedy, thorny cover, short grass, dirt, mud, rain, sleet, snow...). Most often a good portion of the line is dragging behind me in training, so again - lots of heavy use on the line. They hold well.

I have dogs that pull hard on tracks too.

I generally avoid balls in that I worry about choking/swallowing the ball...... but my dogs all love our jute balls. Only problem is that they wear out faster than a hard rubber ball on a string.

As for handles, Fritz once got a toggle handle stuck between his toes while running back to me with one of the hard balls on a string/toggle handle. - my heart stopped........... but he was OK. I think the toggle handles are better than the loop handles tho.

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