Tracking Question - Well sort of for sport but who knows - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Tracking Question - Well sort of for sport but who knows

Ok so you know due to my ankle Tilly is not being worked in air scent anymore. Honestly, she is more of a trailing dog who works true to track if she hits it when she is working an air scent problem (that is we had to go crazy setting up problems else she would find and take advantage of the track turning an area problem into a quick find)

Now I know that trailing is not going to cut it for someone with a bad ankle! No fantasies here and people just don't understand trailing at SAR speed is so much harder on a handler than working an offlead air scent dog.

But I want something fun to do with Tilly that may pan out. Here is where she is on lead trailing. No issue with a mile long 3 hour old trail through the woods including crossing a parking lot with people and dogs..including finding the start given an LKP of a vehicle.

Standard tracks and crosstracks only worked <1hour. Works well. Pulls into harness. Deep nose. Commits. Easy to read a negative. Can cross roads.

Asphalt. We actually did that for about an eight of a mile with two turns and she did pretty good. Her first owner actually started her as a pup on asphalt but did not do HITT.

I am thinking of playing with her with hard surface, then proceeding to urban tracking-it may not pan out for SAR but it would sure be fun and keep her engaged. Any good resources, suggestions? Steve White is across the world from me. . She is detail oriented and seems to be good at working out complexities like contamination etc. And, of course the older and more difficult, the slower the dog.

Nancy



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post #2 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:09 PM
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I train all of our patrol dogs in my school to hard surface track on asphalt and concrete. It starts out as nose to surface and a modified Steve White's HITT, except we add a scent article to the water. This method does create a comfort zone on asphalt and nose to surface training methodical training method. However, as we progress, the dog naturally begins to air scent and work both the ground disturbance and the air scent. The dog will trail, however many will continue to track nose to surface when the surface odor is stronger than the air scent.

I do this everyday and have been very successful at teaching K-9 teams to hard surface track. Since I have started the HITT wth scent in the bottle, then tracking in drive our apprehensions have drastically increased.

The HITT and odor in a bottle is the first phase, then we got to run aways and agitation. I'd be happy to go into detail and explain what we do.
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post #3 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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I would love some insight. I have looked at some of Steve White's youtubes and have some familiarity with the method. I think I recall the original Steve White training did use a scent article in the water but it looks like the USPCAk9 articles are not accessible now.

Nancy



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post #4 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:21 PM
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Won't your dog pull as hard tracking as she does trailing? Mine pulls harder tracking, air scent slows her down, and yes it's hard on ankles, knees, backs.
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post #5 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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She pulls into her harness but is not that hard fore me to manage and is very forgiving. But I can restrict what we do in terms of terrain. I am doing outside of team training just to give us something to do fun together. I am just doing HRD with the team with Beau.

The last thing I want is to be "that handler" who should not be out there. I could keep up but the tendons, ligaments, scar tissue have finally killed my stability. Word of wisdom for tracking. Never play with a dog who is not unclipped. I was teasing up a friends dog after she found me, threw the toy and viola. 5" plate. all kinds of mess down there.

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Last edited by NancyJ; 05-25-2017 at 10:36 PM.
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post #6 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 11:06 PM
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Ouch, I feel ya, 3 rods and 9 screws in my spine. Good luck with tracking! I actually prefer the nose to the ground, linear tracking to air scent trailing. I'll look up Steve White.
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post #7 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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if it were not for all the holes in the woods from where trees rotted out and the wear and tear trying to walk along a contour line when the ground falls off to the left of me....I can last about an hour on a contour and I am fried.

I made the decision a short while after coming back from training with foot all black and blue and swollen from one of those darned holes and took a week before it was not hurting....My husband has rods and screws in his spine. That was rough. I can imagine. That must make going through deadfall kind of rough.

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post #8 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:05 AM
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I have a bunch of videos on hard surface tracking on youtube. It is how we start all of our patrol dogs in the K9 school.
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post #9 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:10 AM
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Serpentines help to slow the dog down and teach the dog that the track will change direction. For this we generally track with the track being down wind. Or the wind at our back. The tracks are baited to start, then the bait is phased out and replaced with a person a the end. Then the water is phased out and we do the track layer does "run aways" with agitation.
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post #10 of 136 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Very nice. I will subscribe. Do you set your tracks or do you have a different person. I really think, with a dog already used to working with article it would be strange for me to set my track.

Nancy



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