Tracking- How do you do it? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Tracking- How do you do it?

I have to go tracking now since it rained! A RARE occurance here. However, since Carolina asked one question about slowing dogs down in tracking, I thought I would start this thread to ask others how they teach tracking and how they tackle certain issues like speed.
Everyone does things a bit different and that's how I learned to track my dog...by walking with lots of people on the track and watching how they handle and also how they teach. Everyone has a different idea of what is the "right way". Since I was the person who offered the idea behind the T-shirt that says " The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is what a third trainer is doing wrong", I KNOW there will be all kinds of different opinions IF people will post on this topic.
Lisa is quite good at tracking, I know because I have a dog she trained. So, I am certain she will be willing to post on my thread.

I also know there are others because I have watched your videos.

So, how do you train tracking ...corners , speed , etc.?


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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 01:12 PM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Oh this could be a GREAT post!!! Can't wait to read everyone's views. Thanks Anne!

Carolina Johnson

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 04:46 PM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Anne,

Entire books have been written about tracking and I believe I saw somewhere that posts are limited to 1000 words. Perhaps you should limit the scope of the discussion to one aspect at a time. Also, people need to realize that tracking builds upon itself, meaning that the way the dog is trained determines what can be done to solve certain problems. Additionally, I think that discussions where actual training techniques are discussed always fall short. The reason for this is that it is nearly impossible for people to fully comprehend what is being said unless they are already familiar with the particular technique being discussed. Or the author of the post is willing to write pages of explanation.


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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Fine....how's this? How do you slow down a fast tracking dog and when do you start to to work on that aspect? Also I am not expecting anyone to provide a step by step guide, I am asking in a more general sense. People have to try different approaches with each individual dog, whether they read the idea in a book, on the internet or saw it demonstarted once. So, this is more an "ideas" type thread.
Even when you see something demonstrated, you always have to try it out with your own dog to see if it works for you. I expect that people have the sense to figure that part out. Most have been doing this for a while now.


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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 06:00 PM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

There are many ways to slow down a fast dog. I like to use small articles to slow the dog down. When I do this the dog already knows that there are consequenses for over-running an article. And he learns very quickly that excessive speed results in over-running articles (particularly when the articles are very small), thus he learns very quickly to be slow and careful in his work. Obviously this is a gross simplification of the actual process, but it gives an idea. The thing that I like about doing it this way, as opposed to using more food, is that when there is no food on the track the dog knows that he must be careful.


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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 06:46 PM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Anne, that dog has tremendous talent in tracking. I just needed to show her what I wanted.

I use a mixture of things to slow down a dog. Experience, corners, food, articles and a set pace.

Something that people must understand is that great tracking dogs are developed by actually tracking. I see too many people trying to track one or two times per week and then wondering why they make little to no progress. Dogs must get experience thus they must track. You will also find that the more you track the easier it becomes to read your own dog. Something I also see too much of is handlers micromanaging their dogs and never allowing the dogs to make any mistakes. I, personally, think a dog must make mistakes to understand how to work through difficulties. Of course I mean within reason. We are a team and the dog is not out there working on their own especially in training. Another thing that the handler must do is they MUST know where their track is especially with a young dog. I also have found that my dogs really settle into tracking in their 4 year old years. Well, except for Vala who took until she was almost 5.

I like tracking and I like developing tracking dogs. They are not always point dogs, but they know how to work through things and will work their butts off to finish a track.

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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 07:10 PM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

What I've worked until now is to use more food on the track. I think I started to remove it too early, before a calmer tracking were established and I created a bad habit. That and more angles and longer tracks. But there is a point where I have to remove the food anyway to let the dog advance and then more obedience plays its role.

I'm always afraid of messing with my dog because she's the first one and I have nobody around who knows more than me, but in this past weekend seminar with Claudia she showed me how, with the dog I have and with her love for tracking, I could kick her (figuratively speaking) and she won't loose drive. So I will start putting more pressure on her, nothing excessive, but the pops on the leash you saw on my video. Lets see how it works...

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 02:48 AM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ZahnburgAnne,

Entire books have been written about tracking and I believe I saw somewhere that posts are limited to 1000 words. Perhaps you should limit the scope of the discussion to one aspect at a time. Also, people need to realize that tracking builds upon itself, meaning that the way the dog is trained determines what can be done to solve certain problems. Additionally, I think that discussions where actual training techniques are discussed always fall short. The reason for this is that it is nearly impossible for people to fully comprehend what is being said unless they are already familiar with the particular technique being discussed. Or the author of the post is willing to write pages of explanation.
If you didn't want to answer the question then dont. Its not very hard to explain how people slowed down their dogs. For the other questions people didnt have to answer all of them. They could have picked and choosed which ones.

This is a forum people have questions. If you didnt know how to answer it then dont. Everyone else had an intelligent answer that wasnt over a 1000 words.

Just my .02 on people that answer threads without having any meaning behind it.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 02:51 AM
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: ZahnburgThere are many ways to slow down a fast dog. I like to use small articles to slow the dog down. When I do this the dog already knows that there are consequenses for over-running an article. And he learns very quickly that excessive speed results in over-running articles (particularly when the articles are very small), thus he learns very quickly to be slow and careful in his work. Obviously this is a gross simplification of the actual process, but it gives an idea. The thing that I like about doing it this way, as opposed to using more food, is that when there is no food on the track the dog knows that he must be careful.
This should have been the only post you made. Sorry if you feel offended by this. There is just too many forums I've been apart of that made me leave because people try to talk down to you for just asking questions.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tracking- How do you do it?

Thank you Jesse. While I certainly understand what you are saying about other boards, I didn't really take what Art was saying as condescending. Maybe I am more used to the way people write on these boards but I think he was just asking me to narrow down the topic.

No one else has anything to add? Again, not asking for a seminar, just things you may have done with your dog to slow them down a bit or if you have not had this problem, why do you think you have not?


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