Tracking /trailing dogs: working negatives - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-01-2015, 08:55 PM
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Sounds like you had quite an adventure. Training two at once. ow.

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post #22 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-01-2015, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Lol! Yes indeed! I will focus on one at group trainings, but will continue to progress the other as well. They both LOVE the game. Thankfully I don't have to run as much with Akivah being area search, lol! Don't know what I would do if both were trail and wanted to run! YIKES!
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post #23 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Areli received her new harness today! Yay! Now I won't be choking her while she is hot on the trail! It needs to be broken in a bit and adjusted perhaps ; will know more when she has her head down sniffing a trail... Sure wish she weren't such a sour puss about pictures, lol!
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post #24 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-03-2015, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Had a new subject today (a student) and before her lesson she was willing to hide. Went to airport and she had a 7 minute walk out. This would be Areli's first chance to use her harness...

Both dogs were having breakdowns wanting to be first... Areli went first and started off strong, although I noticed she wanted to air scent (probably due to the start stop situation a couple days prior) first which is highly abnormal for her. She went about 50ft and dropped her nose and started tracking. Several times she air scented when I knew she could have been trailing, but went into a deep culvert and the scent got trapped there... She did work her way out of the pooled scent and got up and out of the (steep and deep) gulley. She was obviously on track when she suddenly lost it.. I could tell she still had vague swirls of scent but was walking out of it... I decided to work her back to where the scent was strong as we were on a time limit (poor decision making on my side... Bad owner bad owner)... About 30 yards from car, Akivah honked the horn! Turkey! I knew that my subject would think I was calling her in, so I quickly threw Areli in the car and sent Akivah out as he could run faster than me and hopefully catch her before she made her way back.... Sure enough they met midway.... Due to time I wrapped up the session..

Feeling terrible for setting my dogs up so poorly and pulling Areli off early, I set up another scenario a couple of hours later - with no time limits! I had my subject do a 4 minute walk out on unknown territory with steep Hills. I cast Areli out on negative trail about 10 yards from the trail.. I could tell she was a bit insecure and wanted to air scent (bad owner bad owner). I wouldn't let her follow the air scent path and cast her towards the know trail. She dropped her nose and followed it up a steep steep hill at her usual run (good Lord I'm getting in good shape!) and found her subject in quick order.. She was happy, confident and content (whew! Dodged a stupid bullet on that one... Lesson learned)

Akivah was ready to go when we got back and I loaded Areli (who spring loaded back out the moment she knew Akivah was going out), again... Akivah took the scent and ranged up the road and past the trailhead (which makes sense as the subject was high against a hill, the wind blowing into the hill) he doubled back and caught a scent and loved on up the trail. He ranged to the left of where the subject was then to the right, a quick head pop and whip around told me he had run into a strong plume and he raced up the hill. I could tell he didn't want to run back up the hill, as he cast a look at me like "I know you can see her! She's found! Do I really have to refind?" I called him to me and he muttered a "woof" and dragged his tired body up the steep hill again for his treats... Both pups were happy and are contentedly sleeping... Team training tomorrow..
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post #25 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Pups have worked everyday since Friday, but I will post on the two most interesting...

Saturday we trained at the Sheriff's TrainingFacility.. After we had done some interesting and fun group work I had Areli do a track. My brother was the subject. He started from the parking lot which was right by the building and walked the sidewalk along the building to the end of it (the building) turne to the right along the building and then crossed onto the huge field and hid behind a shed about 500ft from the building behind a large debris pile. My brother had entered the building prior, and there was a portico for the entrance.... I launched Areli in a mild way as I wasn't really sure how she would handle the concrete, car exhaust, scent pool along the building etc... I figured I would really amp her up at the end of the building if she was lost.... She wasn't.. She pulled close to the building and tracked to the portico/entrance, she circled a few times and I did semi lead her (took two steps in the direction of the trail) after about 15 seconds (people were stilll coming in and out and I didn't want extra confusion) and she continued her path, nose down with occassional lifts (it was windy) down the building to the chain link fence and edge of building. A young man who looked like my brother was walking towards us along the chain link fence on the outside of the field (basically to our left) she air scented and dismissed him, dropped her nose and went through the opening of the gate across the asphalt to the grass of the field and hit a run. She went straight to the shed, over the debris and right to the subject... YAY ARELI!!!

Afterwards, we walked into the building and to the gym... I had my brother enter the gym and hide down the end behind the bleachers and a trash can... We entered and Areli got unsteady on the slippery floor (she also was nervous about crossing the lines)... I had released her from her line, but put it back on and asked her to walk with me, she immediately did, caught his scent and forgot about any slippery floor... she found him (I was trying to grid her a bit as it was a sizeable gym and I figured she could get used to the footing better, but she went straight to the source) and chased her 'baby' with delight... I did the same exercise in the gym with Akivah - he had no issues with the floor and found my brother - he gave a moderate alert as we were only feet from the subject and enjoyed his treat... Good boy Akivah!

Today I had 2 subjects walk side by side on a trail with numerous paths, switchbacks and a dense forest all around.. They walked to a fork and then walked circles (unbeknownst to me) before each taking a different path.. Both subjects are loved by the pups and one is used often as a subject... I launched Areli and she quickly found the path and set off at a fast jog.. I did know which subject took which path but not where they finished or were hidden... Areli bypassed the fork of her subject and continued on the path of the subject she normally works... I noted that while strong on the scent, she did not do her normal tail twirl or bunny hop bounce with her butt... She followed the track of the (wrong) subject right to her, taking several switchbacks and turns (about a 1/5 of a mile). She found the subject and wiggled with delight but received no joy from the subject or me... She looked a bit confused, I said "there is more, find her" and shestarted back down the path we had come.. She did want to cut off the path and drop down a different way, but I had her retrace her steps - she led the way nose down (basically, I just prevented her from cutting off to a new path "air scent to the path") to the fork and immediately took the correct fork, bunny hop and tail twirl obvious.. she followed this path (at her fast trot me gasping behind her... hey, there werehills!) and stopped suddely and alerted in the dense part of the forest, a large tree with a dark overhang of branches.. She seemed like she was on the scent, but she was so cautious about entering i started to wonder if she saw an animal... I encouraged her to find her subject and she would take a half step forward and stop... I asked her to work down the trail a bit and approach the area from the opposite side (her choice when to stop), again she alerted and cautiously moved a step forward... I then saw a flash of blue, the jacket of the subject, and knew it was safe.. I undid the line and told her to 'find her' and she moved with confidence and delight to her subject... I wonder now if she was cautious about the line being tangled, or just needed to be absolutely sure that the sound/scent/movement whatever that concerned her was what she wanted to find... YAY ARELI!!!

Akivah was then set loose for the other subject and quickly took the correct path (the subject most familiar with) and found her... He crittered twice... but gave a strong refind alert..... Quick note on a subjects job... Yesterday, this same subject was used... Akivah found her extremely quickly... HOWEVER, she did not let me know with a 'dog in' or 'he found me' and when I saw him run back to me with his tongue lolling out, and then took the other switchback, I figured he had eliminated that trail... WRONG! We'found' her again 15 minutes later when he wanted to find her.. the turkey! He had found her to quickly and blew through his alert... The second time he found her I heard her say 'dog in' and he gave a strong refind alert.. so I am pretty sure the little brat wanted to play longer.....hmmm.... learning curve, lol
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post #26 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Had a new subject the pups hadn't ever seen before. I had the subject walk a specific path along a fence line, into a pasture, double back midway through the pasture follow along another fence and finally hunker down behind a much pile facing a barn. I set her off on a semi negative cast and allowed her to circle and find her way. Once she found the track, her cute little tail twirl and bunny hop occurred and she was off at a steady trot...

As we passed along the fence line, a family member came into view and saw her and yelled a 'Go Areli!' this disturbance of a beloved family member caused her to veer off the track. I quickly stopped her and told her to get to work and she quickly picked up the trail and continued on... Once in the pasture she ran out of trail (where the subject had doubled back over her tracks) and she paused a split second turned around and continued on the path, reacquired the path along the fence and followed it to the mulch pile and her subject... Very proud of baby girl! At 11 months old and having been only doing this for a couple of months she has passed my expectations and she thoroughly loves it...

I had Akivah work a familiar scent but the first time working it. This subject wandered all over and finally hid behind a bunch of tractor tires.. Akivah took the scent and in his usual exuberance bounced around a bit before finally taking off.. He hunkered down to his task and ranged beautifully, eliminating directions and finding his plume.. Once he caught a strong scent he turned and saw her through a rim of a tire and trotted over realized he needed to do a refind alert and came to me... I think he might want to do a jump alert over bark (ugh) as he is getting closer and closer to jumping on me and only muttering his bark... We will see... Anyhow he re found his subject and received his reward... A goofy smile and a proud pup... For having malamute in him, I'm very pleased with his work ethic... Having a bit of focus issues at times, but he just turned a year and has been doing this only a very short time.. I think it is just a stage as he never quits and so I'm pretty sure he will move through it.
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post #27 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Was at a friend's house today and after they had a lesson their daughter hid for the pups. Since it was there home, this girl scent was everywhere and I knew it would be a challenge.

I told her to head up and out of the pasture (where the arena was) and towards the house, then down their dirt/gravel driveway to the other pasture, through it and down to the creek and hide somewhere in the dense brush. I had the subject mark a spot in the grass where the track would begin... (a quick note, before laying this track she had to head the same direction to the house to the stable area to out her horse up... Not sure how either pup was able to know that a track was being laid, but Areli started sniffing around including the jacket laid on the post to be used as a scent article.. The mom who is NOT a do person commented on how Areli especially seemed to suddenly start sniffing and acting like she was looking for a track... Interesting how sensitive dogs can be!)

I tried Akivah and put Areli's harness on and led her to the start of the track as the contamination of her scent was everywhere.. Areli immediately cast herself forward and side to side to isolate the path she wanted to follow and started up the hill towards the house. The subjects brother was walking towards us on the path (not planned but great for seeing a distraction) to talk to the mom, Areli air scented to be sure he wasn't her target and contined on up to the stable area. She cast herself the length of the line (I didn't allow more as the area was so polluted with recent scent of the subject) around cars and down towards the other pasture... She entered the pasture then came back out and debated the scent trail on the outside of the pasture (possibly wind, but could have been heavily traversed scent of subject from previous walks) but opted for the pasture (good girl ), she trotted through the pasture and under the hot wire (which I had asked to be turned off but am not sure if it was... I rolled under it like a ninja... Sort of) and air scented the subject (her nose had been to the track up until then) and her pace went to a run.. She ducked into the heavy brush and found her quarry and goodies... Everyone (including me) was impressed with her focus... Their noses are so freaking amazing!!!

I tied Areli and let Akivah loose.. I brought him to the start of the track and gave him the scent article.. He jumped on me a few times in excitement (ugh) and began to range beautifully up the pasture to the stables, he quickly eliminated the stables, cars, house area and moved towards the pasture... He ranged through the pasture under the hot wire (I ducked this time - no ninja moves) and down to the left of where the subject was.. However, I know he caught her scent because his nose went up with typical head pop and he eye lined the spot but decided to do a quick crittering to the left.. I called him on it and he found the subject, I called him and he gave his refind alert with less than what I want in enthusiasm and took me to the subject.. The subject unfortunately would not give a good excited reward... She didn't with Areli either, but Areli is highly driven by the scent and the challenge... Akivah is gaining a better work ethic but is still immature in his confidence.. I tried to bolster him some and he enjoyed his treats... Good boy Akivah!

Quick note (and anyone reading please feel free to join in With your experiences and thoughts! This is why I post these in the hopes for feedback ) : Akivah needs to be done first as he frys himself barking and fretting when Areli goes first.. Much much better refind alerts when he is done first... I need to spend some one on one time with him and try to build his confidence. His ability is there and usually his focus... Just recently when he has consistently gone last have I noticed his desire to critter or less enthusiasm in his alerts...
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post #28 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Worked Akivah alone today... Took him for a walk and a car ride solo.. Had a favorite subject (boy do I need new subjects, lol) come along to a new area and do a fairly easy hide - no scent article (he knew her scent but also want him working without scent articles too). He got out of the car ready to work...

It was at a church with a large pasture, some burn piles (not burned yet), and a stream behind it. He ranged to the building, around it and through the different halls and portico... He then took to the pasture and ranged nicely there.. As we neared the creek I could see the subject hunkered down in a low section of land and a Grove of trees. Akivah passed her by about 30 yards and ranged a little beyond, turned around and came back caught her scent and ran to her... He gave a decent refind alert and got his goodies... Since he was being rebuilt from yesterday's less than enthusiastic reward, I did a couple of runaways... He was delighted and it helped get his refind alert a bit more solid... He got extra goodies and an obvious bounce in his step was back..

Areli was worked with another group and one member from my team. There were 3 new members who had Shepherds and were doing runaways for air scent. Areli and my team member and the gentleman from the other team were working trail problems
... We worked his dog (of which I was the subject) and the two Shepherds on runaways all around the area Areli would be set to work in - which was fine as it taught me a valuable lesson..

When it was time for Areli, the subject of whom she had never met, or seen before went to hide and the gentleman from the other team helped her get placed. I honestly was nervous as this would be the first time Areli worked in front of a team member in trailing, along with having 3 other people I didn't know at all following behind (and worse, Areli had liquid diarrhea all morning do to eating something out of the trash! She was looking a bit peeked but her appetite was fine (chicken and rice) and while tired she wasn't acting crampy))... Anyhow I harnessed her up and gave her the scent article... BUT, rather than cast her in a circle and let her take in the scents, I let her pull forward into a scent, but one of the older tracks her subject had inadvertently laid while wandering around and doing runaways... I was told she was off, and recast her on the path, she took to the opposite side where the subject had been also, and while on the scent she didn't give me her usual tail pop and bunny hop tells... So I don't know if she knew something wasn't right or if I was telegraphing nerves.... Anyhow, I was told again she was off... Normally I would have let her work through the scent trail as it would have ended and she would have found the correct track, but I felt pressured to perform and so cast her to the other side where she picked up the scent again... This time the most recent track, and followed it to her subject...

Because I screwed up and set my dog up so badly (very good learning experience!) it was suggested to give her another track with just one big turn. The advice and comments given had already helped me know if needed to be a better partner for my dog so I put her harness on near the PLS and per a suggestion, had her eliminate the enteraouge following as their tracks were everywhere too... I did and then cast her towards the scent article and she hit the trail hot and solid (always helps to have a good start) and overshot her turn which I'm fine with as it as allowed in ttd (tracking through drive) because the dog is moving fast - before the comment could be finished about the overshot Areli had doubled back and corrected herself and was hot on the path again quickly finding her subject (good eyes on reading my dog on the gentleman's part.. He is not familiar with ttd training but he had good advice and experience I will utilize... Same with my team members)... Proud of my girl... If she can work well with my failings then she can go far! As long as I catch up, lol
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post #29 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Worked the pups at a friends house... Windy, about 50°. I worked Akivah first... The subject was on a hill up wind of us... I used a grid type pattern so he could work some negatives around the house, backyard, pasture and ultimately up the hill... He stayed on task and while the winds were playing some weird games and became really still when he was near the subject (behind a burn pile) he found her and gave a good refind alert... Good boy Akivah!

The same subject moved back to the backyard and started her track for Areli... She walked behind the house, by the road to the hill just walked and down the pasture fence line, turned left and walked the fence line to the marshy area at end of pasture...she ducked under fence and hid in the reeds... This time, I prepped Areli near the PLS and cast her the opposite way, she ranged a bit to the gloves (scent article) and found her track.. She took off at a steady jog and came to the hull, she trotted a few feet up and ran into a negative and turned around and started back on the track... The wind was to our back, so when she opted to duck under the barbed wire fence I knew the scent had probably pooled in the Grove of trees... I told her that she was off, but she was determined so I ducked under and let her run into the negative or out of scent.... She cast herself back under the fence (told her so, lol... One time I'm right) and found her trail and wanted to go... Unfortunately, I am now stuck in three places and hung up in barbed wire... Ouch! 2 minutes of dislodging myself while an impatient dog wants to find her subject... Freed, we moved forward fairly rapidly as she took her turns and headed to the marshy area, she really knew she was close and ran to her subject and sat for her treats and praise (forgot her toy again, darn it)... Considering she was still a bit under the weather and had a day before playing in the country with Akivah I was happy with her focus and performance... I learned a few things too... Although I need to work through how to apply them.. Lol..
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post #30 of 94 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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The day I get it all together (consistently) we will be a rocking team!

So I worked the pups at the airport today.. Variable winds about 55°F Akivah was first and he as his usual self, ranged nicely had a momentary 'must chase deer!' but a hard 'out!' had him stop and refocus.. He was obvious when he caught scent, gave a good refind alert (although I did still have to remind him to come to me) and nonchalantly took me back to his subject (a family member)... Was about a 1/3 of a mile - we didn't grid too much as he was a bit off his feed the other day and looked tired..

Poor Areli, if she could just get a handler that could work her as good as she is.... So I had the subject lay a trail that ended up being about 3/4 of a mile. She (barely) marked her turns and dropped two scent articles.. I cast Areli and she settled on the trail... MY BAD came when she tried to take a turn (could not see the marker) which was where I had initially let Akivah go for his search. Normally, Areli wants to find the subject Akivah just did - which in this case was the same subject, same location, but she was doing a track and Akivah was area - so I stopped her.... Grrrrrr... I will learn to trust my dog.. I will learn to trust my dog... I will learn to trust my dog.... The scent articles had been dropped I this turn and it's path so we missed those... Anyhow, my amazing dog was able to circle and pick up the trail a bit further up and gave her usual tells that she is on the scent... She lost it at a turn and circled the opposite direction back across the road back to the turn and worked her way up to the road again back to the turn and back to the road and settled on the direction - both were correct, the subject had (barely) marked her turn and had taken the road Areli chose... She continued at her steady trot and out onto the runway (wind was blowing at our backs, trail behind us so scent probably plumed that way). I circled her and she took herself back to the track and continued on.. She circled on or two other times and there was one moment I knew she was not really on the tracks scent (I believe it was to the right of us, however, the wind very well may have kept her in the scent cone), she did drift back to a strong scent alert and before I knew it, we were at the subject... Now if I can just get better at my job... On a plus I know I handled my line better
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