Re: How often do you track?
The 2 dogs that I track with are;
Arlo, 5.5 yrs old, SchH 2, TD
Eros 4 yrs old TD
Both dogs are very confident on a SchH 3 track level of difficulty.
I track minimum 3 times per week each dog, but typically I do 4 to 5 tracks per week for each dog. I struggled with tracking for Arlo's first few years. He loves to track, but trying to refine his technique for SchH was challenging for me... mainly because I really didn't have access to fields to practice on, and I pretty much hated tracking... mainly because I didn't know enough about it to help my dog improve. I was tracking only 1 to 2 times per week, if that, sometimes going 2 weeks or more at a time without tracking. That was just not enough for my dogs. Luckily for me, last summer I was able to gain access to 300 acre sod farm about 10 minutes from my house... I then started tracking 4 or 5 times per week (including the club days), and within a few weeks, Arlo's confidence level went up by leaps and bounds, and we ended the season last year with a 97 point track at the Schutzhund Club of Buffalo's fall trial. I credit this score to my ability to track Arlo so frequently. This spring he passed his TD title, something that I once thought was so far out of our reach, we would never get there. Now I plan to try a TDX and FH with him.
I have found (and some long time SchH competitors have also told me) that tracking is something you just have to "get out there and do...". I have seen dramatic improvements in both dogs the more I get out and do it. Now I love tracking, and Eros did a 100 point track at our first attempt at our SchH 1 (we did not pass OB unfortunately), but if you had asked me a year ago if I thought I could get a V tracking score with either dog, I probably would've bet money that I could not... So... practice, practice, practice.
I do sympathize with you for not being able to reliably find a place to track, that is so frustrating and does make the whole process much harder.
Finally, I would like to add that it is my own personal preference to train a dog to track at a level that is beyond the current level that you would enter at a trial... i.e., Eros still needs to get his SchH 1, but he is now doing SchH 3 length tracks with confidence. So, in theory, a SchH 1 track should not prove to be too difficult or challenging for him. Of course anything can happen in trial! But it makes me feel so much better going into trial knowing the dog's confidence level is typically far beyond what is expected at the trial.
Good luck, and I hope you are able to find some fields.
Dianne and Dogs
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Blaze SADC SSGDC SAGDC SAADC VMADC VMJDC ExSt Bronze MSCDC, MGDC, MSDC, ATChC, Bronze Award of Merit, Cole, Arlo AD BH TEC SchH2 TD, SG-Eros TEC BH AD TD
Sara, Tess, forever in my heart