Tracking /trailing dogs: working negatives - Page 10 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #91 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well I guess every trail is a learning process... Sometimes it means checking internally and making sure that you are operating as your partners best partner... I kinda screwed that up on this trail...

So the set up is this: 48hr aged track.. It is semi known in that I know of the big freaking hill (read mtn) that my subjects climbed and their general end point.. But it is a 2.59 mile track, I begin it in - 4°F and it in 4°F..there is about 9-12" of fresh snow that have muted any footprints to depressions that could be deer, etc... So I am relying on my girl... Oh, and I have snow boots on that are 2 sizes to big.. Warm as all get out but they feel like bowling balls on my feet and I am clumsy with them on.. But I don't miss the opportunity to run trails, especially when my subjects have given my distance and age.. It is in a wilderness setting..

OK, so my girl is scented and gets DOT without any problems, she seems confident and while she initially gave me the 'hot (cold) foot routine, I knew she would warm up as she worked the trail and she did... (she got a wonderful foot massage afterwards, one of her favorite things) she found a spot where the river brought fish blasts of subjects odor and considered taking the sir scent.. Because I wanted to know how she would run older aged trails in the condition we were in, I asked her to cast herself and require the trail vs the air scent (note, my boy had done just this when the trail was 24hrs old and I let him as it was a blind trail at the time, we'll, this one was too, but I knew up to this point).. She fund the turn that went over a barbed wire fence and she was back on task.. Up the freaking huge and long man we went... And her is where things start to go south.. For me... She wants to follow the odor, which I encourage normally, except when it is Billy grating along the edge of this freaking steep hill.. She is in odor obviously, and when she runs out, she doubles back to what I assume is the footfall (later confirmed by gps, which at the end, she was extremely close to except when I pulled her off because I am human and thus 'know better' NOT).. But I have gone from chilly to hot Hot hot.. I am in pretty darn good shape, but the bowling balls on my feet, new snow, and ascension is taxing my strength, let alone the side tracks where scent has pooled... So I am becoming less patient (so embarrassed) and yelling at her (shame)... What am I saying? Uh, well, stuff like, "if you want to go sherpa the mountains go ahead, I will wait here.. Tell me if you find anything because I KNOW they wouldn't do that (of course they did later on)".. This is said in a less than kind voice...my girl, well Shepherds have a great ability at perception and she knew I was hot and this blowing off some steam.. Literally.. She ignored me like a good girl and continued her job... Once we made up the stupid men, she gets DOT again and continues at her typical jog (ugh)... Once again we come to a summit but all evidence of any type of trail system is gone, and of course she wants to go down hill, then back up (which they did)... Me? I am mad at myself for being mad at her... I know she is doing her job and I believe she is doing it well, she shows all signs of being in odor and on task.. But I have been trippingon every buried branch, twig, and gopher hole with my sideshow bob size boots and I am less then zealous to yoyo up and down the mtnside... So my attitude is less than supportive... I am so embarrassed.. My girl deserves SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more than that...

Anyhow, we sherpa the side of the man for what seems like forever.. Me slipping, sliding, tripping, and turning the air a little blue with my bad attitude (sorry Lord)... I have my moments of absolute control and restabilize my attitude.. And then trip, bash a shin, and there it goes over the hillside.. My girl takes it Liora trooper, occasionally looking at me like I have horns growing out my head (probably did) and then shrugs it off and continues... So in my infinite wisdom, I feel she has lost the track (she hadn't) because no normal person would do what I am doing let alone my subjects (they had like 2" snow when track was laid).. So I generously tell my girl she has 5 minutes and then we are heading down... Well she keeps going sideways, up and down, me just sideways and occasionally uncontrollably down... I work 10 minutes and then start heading down.. Oh, and to add insult to injury, the line is snagging constantly... Making me have to go up and down the min more than I cared to... Finalized take the line off and she works well ahead of me.. Anyhow, we head down, me positive we have overshot the trail by a mile.... My girl wants to keep going sideways.. I'm in a sour mood... And then, to the good Lord remains me I am an idiot and she trust my dog... We cross the trail.. Footsteps that have to be human (because no other animal would be so stupid as to be doing what we were doing) coming from the direction my girl wants to go, and heading the way I think they should go ultimately... My girl trots up to me and the look was 'told you so' I pet her, tell her good girl hook her up again and we continue.. Me shagrined and berating myself for being such a jerk, my girl happily following the odor of her subjects...

We ended up doing a mile over, mostly due to my doubling back to untangle her and her scent pools, then doubling back.. When looking at the GPS she is almost dead on the whole time, until I drop her down and we run into the track again... Thankfully my dogs are used to me talking during the trail, so even my embarrassing attitude didn't phase her... She was rewarded well and I have been extremely careful to watch my attitude (and got a pair of boots that fit)... Each trail is a time to learn.. Sometimes frustration is possible... I never thought I would get so mad over something so stupid... So unfair and not cool... I learned a lot about myself and what I need to work on as a human and a handler... My boy probably would have continued working, but he is more sensitive and might have shut down due to my stupidity... Also, I learned I need to trust my dog more... Even when I 'think' I know best, I don't.... I was deep in the wilderness and had no clue they would have done what they did... Lots for me to continue to mull over and learn from... And change..
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post #92 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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So no hiders today so we worked on HRD... My girl is awesome.. She has learned the game thoroughly and loves it.. She gives her passive trained response, although if you know what to look for her normal body language tells the story, and she holds her sit well... My boy used to be phenomenal but went through some immature air head moments and totally changed his trained alert on his own (used to be a sit, then nothing) now it is a refind alert and a down and nose on source... He is back to thoroughly enjoying it and knowing his job, although I have to occasionally remind him to finish the refind alert... Since he changed it of his own accord I don't want to change it yet again...

Anyhow, we have a couple feet of snow on the ground and watching them bound through it, ranging and then trying to sit in it (my girl had such funny looks as the snow froze her bumper and went places no lady wants it to go)... They both did great and then ramped and played in the white oasis... Now they rest warming up and content.. Good.. Maybe they will leave me alone for a bit, lol... They love the games so much that if they don't do it for a day or so they hound me everywhere in anticipation... If I get a text or alert on my phone, watch out, they know it has to be a mission, haha.. Love it... Sort of ;0)
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post #93 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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A fun day for the dogs today.. Took them on a walk in the forest, which I often do.. They romp and play and wrestle but when they venture far off, I hide... When I first started doing this I could see the concern and they only used their eyes looking everywhere.. Of course this was when they first were learning to use their noses this was common, but as they got better they learned how to think and follow the scent trail and pools... Now it is a fun game they enjoy (although my girl 'cheats' often and doubles back early)... They have gotten so good in this and I've seen it has helped in their trailing... Tired pups and fun.. Awesome
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post #94 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Did a fun trail(s) at Wal-Mart today.. About 12F and the parking lot was icy! I hid for my sister and she worked Akivah.. She is learning a lot and this was a hot trail... The wind was blowing about 14mph from SW and scared across the lot.. She was good handling him but missed some obvious tells and went around the pharmacy before reading him better... Once she got on track she read him well and he found me.. It was about a 1/2mile trail...

Areli started her track like the hotrod she is... I managed to keep her at a slow jog for me praying I didn't die on the ice.. Her trail was what my sister laid finding me and then she disappeared and we had to find her... Most of it was blind as I couldn't see what she had done except for the trail I laid.. Seems my girl was right on top and had the good backtrack solved quickly.. Avoiding shopping cards, people and cars while skating on ice is no fun, but it was a cool track.. Once we got close to my end spot my girl head popped and I knew she was in fresh odor (the other was about an hour aged).. She ripped through the rest of the trail ~about 3/4mile total in blinding speed.. Fun trails
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