I decided to take Stark out today after work to run a track. He hasn't tracked since the beginning of last summer, so I was unsure of how this would work.
As some of your know I have struggled with Stark in his training. I love my big "goober" but he is not an ideal working partner.
This past year he has really changed. I am not sure if it is because I have laid off him a bit, allowed him to mature and just "be" or if it is genetics. Who knows. He has some nice balanced drives, no where near my little Czechy girl, but definitely has something under the hood. He is so mature and thinks before he acts.
He has been ready for his BH for awhile now and I have been holding off and continuing proofing him in fear that he will regress when I add pressure again (trialing). So far he has worked through this with ease.
So back to my story...
took Stark out, laid a 300 pace track, 1 "S", 2 right angle corners and food every step for the first 20 or so paces then I laid off and did every five or so paces, ending up with nothing after about the first 50 or so paces. I also put 2 articles on the track at about 100 paces and 200 paces.
Well, he surprised me! He ran that track like a pro! Looks like all our training coupled with maturity is paying off! I was so excited.
Methodical, steady pace, deep nose, could care less about the distractions around him, indicated when appropriate (although a tad off center) and hit every corner with ease.
I was VERY proud of him. We ended the day with some fun obedience and ball play and me chasing him around the field like a goon.
I have plans for Stark to achieve his BH/AD in June and I would like to put some tracking titles on him and possibly some OB titles. He doesn't enjoy protection and so I am not going to continue with that aspect of the sport with him. He also will continue with herding when I can make it out to the field (the one with the sheepies
Anyways, just very excited that our first track went so well. Looking forward to working with him this spring/summer!
Now... wish me luck for Zeffie's! She has done some scent boxes, circles, straights but then the weather turned and we stopped. She gets to go for her first track Monday!