Tracking for fun - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Tracking for fun

Occasionally I'll hide things for my dog Lucy to go find. I was watching how she goes about looking for them and I was wondering if someone could tell me a little more about how dogs go about doing this. We do this very informally. When we're outside I'll tell her to go get a certain toy and she just looks around till she sees it and goes and gets it. When we're inside I'll have her stay in the living room or family room and go down the hall where there are three bedrooms and a bathroom and put something of hers in one of the rooms and tell her to find it. Most of the time she finds it in the first room she looks in. Does she smell the object or does she know where I went by my scent? I've tried to fool her by going in all the rooms after hiding her toy but she doesn't fall for it. I will hide the toy in a room out of sight so she can't see it, but she seems to be able to tell if it's in there just by standing in the doorway. It doesn't seem to matter what I try to hide from her. I've used treats, toys, and bones. She finds them all. Usually very quickly. I'm guessing she uses a combination of smell, sight, and memory to find what she's looking for. Am I close?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 07:15 AM
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Re: Tracking for fun

It's probably a combination of both. She can figure out where you've been. That puts her in the general location. She locates the object by it's scent. Tracking is an excellant way to exercise you, your dog and have a ball doing it. I've always said; tracking is the most fun you can have with your britches on.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tracking for fun

That's one of the many things I don't understand about tracking. If I show her something, then hide it and tell her to find it, how does she know it's scent if she doesn't sniff it before looking? At first I thought she was just bringing back whatever she found of hers that was in the room where I hid it. But after watching her look, there's more to it than that. She actually has a plan or method of searching. She will go right past a room that has never had a toy hidden in it, but will go back to the ones where she has found one. It just amazing. I have noticed the longer we play, the harder it seems to be for her to find what she's looking for. Is it because the smells are getting all mixed up in a confined area?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 09:23 AM
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Re: Tracking for fun

The object you hide would have your scent on it. The dog is looking for an object with your freshest scent. As you continue playing you are introducing more and more fresh scent (yours) making it more difficult for the dog to find. Dogs will more often than not, go to the place they found something in the past. My suggestiong would be to start using an article with a particular scent, letting the dog sniff it before you hide it. That way he'll only look for that object. I would also recommend, you start slow, short searches and then increase the distance as the dog learns. That avoids frustration.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM
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Re: Tracking for fun

How young can a pup start? 4 months I would reckon is old enough to start short sessions?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:33 PM
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Re: Tracking for fun

Definitely!!! I start my pups on shrt tracks within a few days of coming home. Havoc did his first puppy track at 8 weeks and 3 days. Kayos did her first puppy track at 8 weeks and 1 day. They are littel sponges as pups so take advantage of it just make sure it is fun for them and you don't demand much.

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