Tracking articles in trial - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Tracking articles in trial

Saw a video a trainer put out recently about how much tracking article are touched by the track layer while laying a track during trial. This seems to go against the rules. Is it normal for the track layer to not touch the articles and even use gloves while laying them. I would think the results of the trial would have to be questioned. Scenting or not scenting articles should be known before the trial. I thought we were supposed to train our dogs to ignore objects on the track that did not have the correct scent on them.

https://www.davekroyer.com/videos/fr...cking-articles

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 04:51 PM
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It does seem contradictory to the rules, but I would trust Dave to know the reality of what you might face in a trial.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 05:18 PM
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Even with minimal handling and gloves, the track layers odor will still transfer to the articles. I do agree to train with minimal handling on the articles before an IPO 2 or 3. You never know what the track layer will do, or how much they will handle the articles. It doesn't take much to get human odor on an article. To proof my dogs I will use a rock, dandelion flower, stick or even a blade of grass to see if my dog recognizes human odor as opposed to plastic, metal or wood. If your dog can alert or indicate to the correct dandelion flower in a bunch of untouched flowers, then it really understands that it is alerting to human odor only.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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In the video he states that when he laid the track at the WDC last week he NEVER ACTUALLY TOUCHED THE ARTICLE. Sorry if it was cold but he still should have touched the articles by hand at least once without the gloves.
I understand that Mr. Kroyer knows far more about trialing than I ever will but the rules are there for a reason. Just because he is who he is does not make it acceptable for him to break the rules and possibly cause someone else to do poorly because they assumed the track layer would follow the rules.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by J and J M View Post
In the video he states that when he laid the track at the WDC last week he NEVER ACTUALLY TOUCHED THE ARTICLE. Sorry if it was cold but he still should have touched the articles by hand at least once without the gloves.
I understand that Mr. Kroyer knows far more about trialing than I ever will but the rules are there for a reason. Just because he is who he is does not make it acceptable for him to break the rules and possibly cause someone else to do poorly because they assumed the track layer would follow the rules.
Do you really think that those articles did not have his odor on them? Even with his minimal handling?

As long as he did the same thing and handled the articles in the same manner for every track he laid and competitor it is fair, IMHO. As he said, the rules call for the articles to be on the track layer for a 1/2 hour before laying the track. He followed the rules and if you are going to compete in the Nationals or even at a strange club, you shouldn't expect any help and should train for the worst case scenario. I've competed at clubs and certainly was given worse tracking conditions than their club members and no "track layer" help. I remember tracking through a bramble field with so much goose poop some dogs ate the entire way. I saw that and proofed my dog off the goose poop 15 minutes before I ran my SchH 3 track. Then I watched their club members track on a green grass sod field. That's what you get when you don't have the "home field advantage." I didn't complain or saying anything about it, I made a mental note about that club and learned something. I learned to prepare my dog for track layers that will try to screw you, for people that don't put a lot of scent on articles and tip toe through a track. I prepare my dogs for these things and take it in stride.

Based on my experience with article searches and hard surface tracking in the real world, articles on a person for a 1/2 hour have plenty of odor. Enough odor for a well trained dog to alert to them 6, 8 or 12 hours later. I've done it when working plenty of times, and the other day at training. Walking, even lightly through a vegetated surface leaves plenty of ground disturbance and human odor for a dog to easily follow for hours.

I have spoken to other National and world level IPO competitors who train in a similar way as Dave Kroyer explains. They train for minimal odor on articles, this is not new or any secret. They simply train for all contingencies and track layers that may do something similar. It is a good video and good tips for those looking to compete, cover your bases and prepare your dog well.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:50 PM
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OK, curious though, how do you train for a picked dandelion in a field of dandelions that you walked through, so crushed vegetation for both {picked would still ooze the wounded plants juices) and get the dog to down on the correct one? If you can, holy poop! That is awesome!

Seriously though, I agree wholeheartedly with training for the worst and hoping for the best. It seems that rules can be subjectivily read and executed, especially in clubs that feel the need to prove themselves.. It is the best principle for life, imho... To train for all contigingencies and scenarios and pray you get the best..
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:58 PM
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OK, just reread your post.. My bad, I kissed the part where you said 'a flower in untouched field'.. Agree with your position.. Was totally jaw dropped if you had dog that could do the other (pock the picked flower in the walked on flowers track).. As human odor and crushed vegetation would be everywhere)... Anyhow, I will read more thoroughly next time
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Hineni7 View Post
OK, just reread your post.. My bad, I kissed the part where you said 'a flower in untouched field'.. Agree with your position.. Was totally jaw dropped if you had dog that could do the other (pock the picked flower in the walked on flowers track).. As human odor and crushed vegetation would be everywhere)... Anyhow, I will read more thoroughly next time
You should try it, seriously. I am willing to bet that my dog would indicate to the dandelion flower that was held as opposed to the ones that were walked across. The odor of crushed vegetation would be different than the stronger human odor on the flower you held in your hand. I will do it tomorrow. It is not something that I do regularly, just a way tonsure the dog understands the concept of human odor as opposed to the odor of metal, wood or plastic. One thing you will see initially, is the dog is obviously in "odor" when close to the flower or blade of grass, but will have trouble locating it. The dog will diligently work the area and get close to source but not initially indicate or alert. This is because the dog doesn't recognize a natural object vs a man made commonly used article.

For those training or teaching articles and want to do "varsity" level searches, use tiny tent stakes or a small nail. Push it into the ground so only the head of the nail sticks up a little bit, or the top of the tent stake sticks out of the ground slightly. Know exactly where it is or you won't find it. You can always call me and I will bring a dog that will alert to it. Small articles increase intensity when searching. Articles used in IPO tracks become huge when a dog can alert to a tent stake or a nail in the ground. All of your dogs can do it, it just takes some training.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 09:06 PM
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Actually, after I wrote the post, I thought about times when my girl has paused in a given area, later talking to my subject, they had either stopped to tie shoe or adjust something. One particular time, my girl detailed an area of flowers and I asked my subject if she had picked a flower there and she had.. So it isn't as impossible as my mind made it out to be. However, while my dogs have passed and detailed the area as an alert, they never gave an indication (there wasnt an article except maybe a missing flower, lol) which is where the true test comes in. Knowing to alert on vegetation would be a natural extremely high level and if your dogs do it, my commendation to you for sure

On a blind 12hr urban aged 'test' my team gave me, my girl picked one Yurba tea can put of about 70 cans and bottles strewn on the side of the road (disgusting people, but that is another story, lol) having bypassed probably another 50 or so cans and bottles (I hate litter!).. Dogs noses are truly amazing and they keep me humble..
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 10:03 PM
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It never ceases to amaze me what our dogs can do with their noses. I love doing detection work, tracking and article searching. Actually, any nose work. Part of the training we do is to push the the handlers past their comfort zones and let them see the potential in their dogs. I have a patrol school going now and have two experienced handlers with green dogs. We've been doing hard surface scent discrimination tracks. The tracks are about 1/2 mile long so far, down streets and through busy shopping centers, blind to the handlers. One handler has commented several times while following my dog or other dogs on tracks "Wow! I would have called this track with my other dog. We are going to keep going?" His previous dog while a good GSD never had great success tracking on the street. Mostly because the handler lacked faith in his dog. I hope I have been showing him what a dog can do when handled and trained properly. Every day this handler is surprised at what his 13 month old green dog can do tracking. I'm happy to be showing him some new stuff and opening his eyes and expanding his views on tracking.
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