beginning tracking with a puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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beginning tracking with a puppy

Hi all, I have a pup who is now 4 months old and I want to start tracking. I have done some searching online but can't find any clear information. Am I right in saying to start off with scent pads? How do you transition from pads to a straight track?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 06:06 AM
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start with the scent pad and stand in the middle of it and be patient. don't rush getting off of the scent pad. When you start to lay a track from the scent pad you take baby steps and put a small treat in each foot print. Tiny little treats like diced hotdog or Redbarn rolled food. Something easy to pick up and gobble down. You don't always want to go straight either. You want to avoid the dog learning, "oh,go this way and then that way to get to the reward at the end" Keep em guessing with gentle curvy lines. If it is warm where you are, go early in the morning. You don't want birds and bugs eating the treats you put out on your puppy track.

When my pup had learned the scent pad well and we started moving along a track, he wanted to rush right to the treat at the end. Now he is slower and takes his time sniffing the whole way but make sure you lay the track with the wind to your back so the smell of the jackpot at the end is not too tempting.

And like all training, finding someone who knows what they are doing to work with is much better than learning online.

(disclaimer: still just learning tracking myself)

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 08:57 AM
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You're trying to get the pup to understand that ground disturbance means reward, so you really want to stomp on the ground to make your scent pad & foot tracks.

I put the bait just under my heel, trying not to fall over.

Also, I like to pull the dog off of the track before the last piece of food is eaten at the end of the track--you know, leave them wanting more.

With babies, I make 3 scent pads with footsteps in between.

Definitely, you'll be much better off working with someone experienced.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 08:59 AM
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This link has some good articles on starting tracking, the methods I've used:
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 08:59 AM
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Post your location, that way people can recommend someone to work with.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 03:30 PM
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Also interested in tracking and someone with whom to work

2 year old GSD is scent crazy.

Tracking seems like the natural thing to do with him as he's bite adverse.

I live near Houston. Any recommendations.

LF
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