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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Tracking, snow and younger dogs

Jethro has been tracking numerous time, not as much as Lynn takes her guys (wish I could but.....). Keyzah so far has only been once. Looks like this weekend we will have a couple inches of snow on the ground, not enough for baby Keyzah to be lost in it but would you or would you not take them tracking?

Jethro has been working fast so I am going to try to do some OB and possibly a little play session before he works to take the edge off. Jet has not tracked in 3 weeks because of other issues (work is busy right now) so I will probably take him tracking in it but I am not sure about Keyzah. If it is our typical winter we might not see snow free ground for months but it is also possible that we will have mild winter and snow free tracking. I do not want them to become dependent on seeing the track but I would like to get some more tracking time in with them both......


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:49 AM
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

Ruq ~ I love tracking in the snow as long as it's not knee deep.. I've always taken my young dogs out there to track in the snow. It's good for serpentines as you definitely can not lose your track. Here's a picture of Dante at 4 months of age tracking in the snow.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

We have a little more than that but considering where we live and what we USUALLY have I am NOT complaining. I want to track them as much as I can in the winter but I also know some dogs can get too used to the snow and start relying on seeing the track and have issues when the snow is gone. I will definitely track them some in the snow, pray for some roller coaster days that will melt the snow throughout the winter and work on other scent games at home.


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Lakota, Chimo, Tika, Rayne, Kanuck, Jethro and Keyzah

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:29 AM
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

I agree with, Lynn. I love snow tracking, provided it's a reasonable amount of snow. It provides a different, and more simple, scent profile for the dog to work. And it is GREAT for focusing on searching each footstep, doing serpentines, odd corners, step offs and other weird things while allowing you to know exactly where your track goes.

Last week at SchH training we had a dusting of an inch or two of snow. I think the newer members thought we were nuts when the experienced folk arrived all jumping for joy at the snow, geeked at the opportunity to lay crazy tracks that went all over the place without risking the stupid humans getting lost.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:34 AM
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

Quote:
Originally Posted By: AmaruqI want to track them as much as I can in the winter but I also know some dogs can get too used to the snow and start relying on seeing the track and have issues when the snow is gone.
I'm sure this can become a problem with some dogs, but it's pretty rare. 2 reasons.

One, while a standing human can easily see the footprints, they're not nearly as obvious to a dog whose eyes are less than a foot off the ground. Lay a track, bend down to dog eye level and you'll see that it's not nearly as obvious as we might think.

Second, as a dog's primary sense that they use to relate to the world is smell, and it's the one they're most comfortable using and prefer to use, so long as the nose still works they're not going to choose to follow their eyes over their nose. A hard thing for people to comprehend since smell is one of our weakest senses and sight is by far the one we're most dependent on. But not so for a dog, so even if they can see it a bit, it isn't going to influence their tracking that much. If the dog really were inclined to eyesight the track, the thousands of dogs all over the world trained tracking in dirt because it's more readily available than grass would be sighting the track too. But they don't.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:41 AM
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

Chris stole the words off my keyboard!

Dogs will use nose over eyes. And even if they do some eyeballing they will get over it when springtime rolls around and the snow is gone.

I think snow tracking is a wonderful confidence booster for both dog and handler. The snow holds scent well and the dog can negotiate it ie easier. The handler can see what the dog is doing as they work the foot steps. Using snow tracking for serpentine work especially with a young dog introduces them to the concept that the track will not always go straight. I think they can learn this more quickly in the snow.

Go have fun snd I will be very jealous.

Kathy

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tracking, snow and younger dogs

It seems most of what I heard from sport tracking is to NOT track too much in the snow. But in SAR I loved it so as long the snow is no deeper than my dogs a tracking we will go!

I bet I will learn more about footstep tracking this winter then the "young guns".


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Lakota, Chimo, Tika, Rayne, Kanuck, Jethro and Keyzah

My Angels forever in my heart and watching over us:
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Kaylee Cheyenne 5/09
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