schH ?'s (tracking/heel) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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schH ?'s (tracking/heel)

How do you slow a newly tracking dog down on the track? Just switched from pads to short straight tracks about a month ago. Berlin is overly enthused about tracking, and usually misses alot of footsteps, and usually stays on one side. He blows through the track knowing there is a 'jack pot' at the end. *sigh* I have tried not so smelly food, as well as very smelly food to grab his attention and make him get every step. Clearly, he isnt getting the idea of side to side with footsteps...he tracked the scent pads great, worked it thoroughly, worked the edges well..was focused and calm. Just am having a very hard time transitioning him. Also: what (in your opinion) is the best tracking environment? (long/short grass, dusk, dawn, mid day, rainy, damp, dirt, etc etc etc..) Any OTHER tracking advice is welcome too.

Now for the heel. I've been shaping this for a while. A few months..it's been rather hard. I've never trained it before. He has the heel position down, he will heel with me while walking if I have a lure (food usually - the ball he gets overly excited for and then it becomes sloppy/he jumps for it) How do you teach/shape the heel? Where do I go from here? I am trying to transition to using the ball, and adding in the command, but he isnt getting it. Also, his rear end awareness is terrible. If I scoot to the left a few feet he wont come, or he will come but sit angled out. I have used a 'perch', but how do I get him to learn to move his butt around on there and be GLUED to my left side?

Thanks a ton in advance.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 09:55 PM
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How old is your dog?? Do you put food in each footstep?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:17 PM
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I'd do serpentines and bait every footstep for awhile. Keep a bit of constant tension on the line and pulse it some to set a rhythm.
Heeling should be focus on you, mark, reward often when eyes are on yours. It's good to have a spotter when you work so you know if the pup is sitting crooked...when you look back to check, usually the body language of the handler will have the dog not sit straight...keep your body straight and don't move your left shoulder back if you are checking positions. Work against a wall.
It is repetition, small sessions and always a work in progress. Too much details to write out. Is there an obedience instructor you can work on on one with?

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:34 PM
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Bridget Carlsen is in your area.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:45 PM
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Bridget Carlsen is in your area.
Yes she is!! And she is really great, if you can get with her go for it. I've done a few workshops with her.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. My dog is 11 months old. I do put food in every step right now. The problem with tension, is that sometimes he shuts down completely and just lies down on the track () I train at a schH club, but not with any obedience trainer atm. I will look into Bridget thank you!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 10:52 PM
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You need someone to work with you on tracking then...it is always good to have another pair of experienced eyes and the dog needs to get use to others following along when you track.
My ob trainer was at Bridgets a couple weeks ago and Bridget had her young dog tracking and indicating pennies(along with articles) on the track. She was very impressed because the pennies were in fairly thick cover.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 09:07 AM
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Remove the jackpot from the end of the track for now and make tracking about the track itself. Only a couple of extra pieces at the end. I would also add in corners or serpentines, but you need to know exactly where they are, especially the serpentines.

Something that has helped Deja, who I have been trying to retrain, are free tracks. I did puppy boxes/circles first and then laid heavily baited tracks. I take her out and just stand back and let her track on her own. The first few were sort of scary to watch, but then she slowed down and started to work the tracks. There are only a few extra pieces of food at the end. No huge jackpot. I save jackpots for articles and for hidden boxes/cases (something new I have learned about) on the tracks themselves (no articles or jackpot boxes on free tracks). This is something I will be using from the start with my next puppy.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
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Remove the jackpot from the end of the track for now and make tracking about the track itself. Only a couple of extra pieces at the end. I would also add in corners or serpentines, but you need to know exactly where they are, especially the serpentines.

Something that has helped Deja, who I have been trying to retrain, are free tracks. I did puppy boxes/circles first and then laid heavily baited tracks. I take her out and just stand back and let her track on her own. The first few were sort of scary to watch, but then she slowed down and started to work the tracks. There are only a few extra pieces of food at the end. No huge jackpot. I save jackpots for articles and for hidden boxes/cases (something new I have learned about) on the tracks themselves (no articles or jackpot boxes on free tracks). This is something I will be using from the start with my next puppy.
How big are the puppy circles or boxes and how far apart are the pieces of food on them? And you just cover the entire space with footsteps- no separate footsteps, right? I'm just starting out with my 5 month old boy.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 09:53 AM
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Is your dog really hungry when you track? How much do you cut back on his food before tracking. Make sure the dog is really hungry and use food that is appealing and has a strong smell. Don't be afraid to deprive you dog of food by cutting his meals in half or skipping meals for several days before tracking.
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