How often do you track? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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How often do you track?

How many times a week do you track each of your dogs? What is the age and title/level of the dog, if you don't mind? Just curious....

I can't decide how I feel about tracking. My dog loves it. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I feel like it's a chore. It doesn't take that much time or effort on my part, but I wish I didn't have to drive around during rush hour looking for a field!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 09:12 AM
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Re: How often do you track?

Depends on who's asking. You or my training directior LOL.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 09:28 AM
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Re: How often do you track?

I try to track at least 3-4 times a week for my young dog. I'm a firm believer either you like tracking or you don't. I happen to be one of those folks that loves to track.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How often do you track?

LOL just me Jason! I feel like I don't track enough, but it totally varies week by week. Some weeks I don't track at all (besides club day where we always track), other weeks I've tracked 5-6 days in a row. If I lived in the country and had lots of land, I'd probably track everyday. I can't decide if I like it or not. I think I do like it, b/c the dog clearly loves it and it's relatively easy for me to setup, but living in the city there are so many other factors that get in the way. Right now I have to drive around during rush hour to find a place to track. Most of the places we used for scent pads, short tracks, and serpentines he has now "outgrown". Once I find a good place, then I have to wait a week or two to use it again. Our club tracking grounds are awesome, but two hours away.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:11 AM
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Re: How often do you track?

At least 5 days/week. I live in the city but have lots of tracking within 5 minutes and without getting on the highway.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:33 AM
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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.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How often do you track?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SchutzhundGirl
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.
That makes sense. Nikon is my first SchH dog and I'd never done tracking before. The tracks I do now are SchH1 or SchH2 length but no articles yet. We did our first track in July (took a while to get started b/c I had no one good to help me and decided to wait rather than mess it up). I think last night's track had 4 corners (trying to make the best use of an odd shaped space!). He really loves to track and "settles in" once he gets going, so I see it as better use of our time to do long tracks as long as he remains focused, which he does. At the end I have to distract him with playing ball back to the van or he's just obsessively looking for another track! Sometimes he is just a tad too amped up and then seems to settle in better if we take a few days off from tracking and focus on something else. Maybe it is more me than the dog, but I've been finding that we do better if we focus on obedience for 2-3 days, then focus on tracking for 2-3 days, and go back and forth that way taking a day off (for play and tug and fetch) in between, rather than doing a little bit of everything everyday.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:55 AM
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Re: How often do you track?

Bison is 4 and we are still at the beginning stages, doing short straight tracks. Right now I track once or twice during the week and once with the club on Saturday.

I was going out almost everyday when it wasn't getting dark so early. I work until 6:30 or 7:00 most days. Days that I work from home, I take a break around 4:00 and run up to the park that is about a mile away then just tack on the time to the end of the work day.

As for liking it or not... at first I really didn't. Bison would NOT focus on tracking for anything. But, we finally found a food that he likes and he "gets" what we are doing. Now tracking is just challenging rather than CHALLENGING. So, I am starting to really like it.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: How often do you track?

Depends on the dog.

When I was training Baer, I could (based on my schedule) track 2x per week. He was very good at tracking - I was very lucky. SCH 1 was 98 points.

I will be working Enzo 2-3 times per week.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 01:30 PM
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Re: How often do you track?

My first tracking dog, Tara, tracked 2X per week. She was a very gifted tracking dog, but was also 7 years old when I started her.

My first schutzhund, Treue SchH3, I tracked 3X per week. Anymore than that and she would have far too much drive. She was a very consistent 'V' tracking dog.

Nike SchH1 TR3 did best on 3X per week. I never really tried more often with her. She has extremely high hunt drive, but is not a pretty tracker for pts. We were working her towards the FH and I just didn't have the time with trying to raise and then train Vala and her 3 kids.

Vala SchH1 AWD1 I have been doing 3X per week. She is trained through a SchH3 level. Just before we did the AWD1 I actually tracked her for 5 straight days, 1 day off, another track and then 5 days off and she did the best track she ever has on Sunday earning a "V" 99.

Right now I am doing the puppies 3X per week which means I either track 4 dogs during those 3 days or I track just about every day of the week.

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