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WOW!

Thats about all I'm really able to say about our first day tracking. We did a few exercises to introduce her to what we were about to expect of her, so Kadin is a little bit fried on the mental aspect of things. I never realized how mentally exausting it is for a K9 to track (or learn to track)!

We did a total of 3 tracks, each being 25 paces in length. The first one had the toy in plain sight, and from watching the video she pretty much used line of sight to locate it. To challenge her, we shoveled some dirt into a pile with our shoe to create a little mound to hide the toy behind. We started to imprint the fact she needs to rely on her "sniffer" to do this job, not her eyes.. For the 3rd track you can see she really was getting a bit tired of the game, but she ultimately figured out what she's doing.

I just thought I'd post up a little tid-bit and a video of us learning how to track. It was both our first exposure to this venue. I'm by no means an experienced handler and up until recently I've done all the training on my own with no professional guidance. So please forgive the handlers mistakes, as he's learning too!

And his video editing/creating skills are being worked on as well! :blush:


Feel free to comment!
 

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Are you training for Schutzhund tracking or AKC style? I'm not familiar with any style other than SchH, or tracking in dirt/desert so take this with a grain of salt, but for SchH it is more common to imprint "footstep" tracking, as the dog is going to lose major points running down a track to an article because that's not really tracking. Is there any food on the track? I think the third track is more along the lines of Schutzhund style but the dog looks confused. For Schutzhund tracking the dog needs a very solid foundation keeping the nose deep in the track and checking each footstep with a controlled, consistent rhythm. Have you done scent pads or short tails with food in each step? My advice for you has the handler is to stay right with her like you are at 2:19. You do not want to let the dog move too far off the track or keep spinning back. At some points your dog is farther from you than I allow (in training) my two year old dog with a tracking title.
 

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Liesje,

Yes, this is ultimately to prep us for SchH1. Cut out of the videos is the track laying, but here's what we're doing at this point:

Identifying start location.. The track layer will show/tease with the article, about turn and walk directly to the spot the article is layed. The track layer will make another about turn, show the article to the dog and place it at the drop site. Track layer will return to the start location, and back to the article location. Then again returning to the start location and walking off to the side. Making a total of 2 passes in each direction to the article.

The first track you witness here, is her first ever track, so we wanted to utilize a "crawl, walk, run" method of getting Kadin where she would ultimately need to be. Once we noticed she "got" the idea of going down to get the article, we stepped it up a notch by hiding it from line of sight. As you can see in the later two video clips she is starting to learn that I'm requiring her to use her nose, rather than other senses.

There is no food on the track or at the article. We're currently utilizing her "love" of her kong on a rope to teach the behavoir. At least thats what I gather from what I was told. We later introduced Kadin to aproaching a leather strip and giving a "Platz" at the article with it between her front legs. It's my understanding that we'll later put the two together, but we're keeping things fun at the moment since today was only our first day..

Pretty much what you see here, is about all that's been done. The only "prep" work I'd say I've really ever done has been to make a game of hiding her kong and telling her to find it.. So she somewhat understands (at least I think) what she's supposed to be doing.

After reviewing the video, it's pretty clear that at least at this stage of the game I should be closer as you suggested. I was initially told to see how far out she'd be willing to work, and it looks like we found out more than 10ft was just too much. So that's something I'll correct next time out.

Thanks for your input! I've got so much to learn.. All input and or suggestions are welcome. :help:

Are you training for Schutzhund tracking or AKC style? I'm not familiar with any style other than SchH, or tracking in dirt/desert so take this with a grain of salt, but for SchH it is more common to imprint "footstep" tracking, as the dog is going to lose major points running down a track to an article because that's not really tracking. Is there any food on the track? I think the third track is more along the lines of Schutzhund style but the dog looks confused. For Schutzhund tracking the dog needs a very solid foundation keeping the nose deep in the track and checking each footstep with a controlled, consistent rhythm. Have you done scent pads or short tails with food in each step? My advice for you has the handler is to stay right with her like you are at 2:19. You do not want to let the dog move too far off the track or keep spinning back. At some points your dog is farther from you than I allow (in training) my two year old dog with a tracking title.
 

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This video clip shows the correct methodical pace ...I bet tracking on dirt is a challenge compared to vegetation! Have you done scentbox's before going to the straight track? Or is this the first time you've done any tracking? Food is great for motivating pace and keeping the nose down. I would use it if you can, I know ants are a huge problem in certain areas/seasons...
 

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I think how you train depends on the goals. If the goal is "finding" objects, then it can work. But if you want to score high for Schutzhund 1, she will need to track down the track and not just find or air scent the articles or the reward. I used to reward my dog with his toy at the end of the track and no longer do this because it actually creates too much drive for the toy and muddles his mind as far as drive for tracking, if that makes sense. The dogs need to show a clear understanding of when they are on the track, footstep by footstep, and not just finding rewards. There's a gazillion ways to train it and some people never use food on tracking but I think *most* people start Schutzhund dog tracking by laying scent pads and then starting with very short tracks where the handler is very deliberate in guiding the dog to sniff out every footstep, and the dog is initially rewarded with a treat in every footstep. You only add an actual track and start lengthening tracks and/or moving farther behind your dog when it is absolutely clear the dog understands to keep the nose down in the track. Like I said, I've never tracked on dirt but over here we typically start puppies in "manicured" grass (like a mowed lawn or sports field) so that there are few challenges and distractions (and usually the handler can clearly see the pad or track).
 

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I like this video because you the viewer can see where the track is laid so you can watch this puppy putting his nose into each step and keeping his head down. The track itself is rewarding so there's no need to rush to the end.

 

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Man do I wish it were summer I just checked the temp outside its -7 as I type its good watching some nice tracking on a cold Minnesota winter night.
Ill put one up to, any one else got some to kill the winter blues ain't goda be perfect but green is good.
 

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As much as I complain about tracking(finding the right places) I so miss it, these video's are good for my soul!

Nice score Mike and Jett that video sounds quite breezy!
 

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As much as I complain about tracking(finding the right places) I so miss it, these video's are good for my soul!

Nice score Mike and Jett that video sounds quite breezy!
Thanks yeah first leg was into the wind sustained 20mph and gusty should have been his his easiest corner.
 

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Yeah this thread made me want to go track! I have a 5 month old puppy that needs to get started. Nice video, thanks for sharing.

ETA: Where is that trial? I like the grass! I have some challenges trialing my dog b/c the only think I can ever find to train on regularly is mowed grass.
 

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Yeah this thread made me want to go track! I have a 5 month old puppy that needs to get started. Nice video, thanks for sharing.

ETA: Where is that trial? I like the grass! I have some challenges trialing my dog b/c the only think I can ever find to train on regularly is mowed grass.
A Minnesota sod farm, I tack/train on prolly 75% cut lawn it keeps my dogs head down and his nose deep, I can study him easily also and my dog has the most difficulty on lawn it even though 100% of his foundation was done on it.
 

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This thread has blown my mind. There are people who have never tracked on dirt??? I don't track on dirt often but all trials in our area are on dirt. I don't consider it to be difficult at all.

I need to try to get video of our tracking tomorrow, and more importantly the ground conditions. We get, with a little luck, 12 weeks a year of green stuff to track on. Rest of the time is straw-like on rock hard earth (cracks in the summer) and a dusty trail in the air behind you. When traveling for training I've received apologies from the locals for the poor tracking conditions and I just laugh at them as I take pictures of the pristine tracking so I can show people back home. On the bright side we do get to track year round, though summer is where you find out if your dog can really track. Just look out for the ants.
 

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I've always wanted to but wouldn't have the first idea where to find a dry dirt place like that. Now mud....that's another story!
 

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To me, the way that the OP's track was set up was how we used to set up trailing scenarios for new pups in SAR - with a person at the end WITH the toy, not just the toy by itself...The way I was taught trailing and the way that I've been taught tracking is quite different - I feel the scent picture is drastically different...
 

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To me, the way that the OP's track was set up was how we used to set up trailing scenarios for new pups in SAR - with a person at the end WITH the toy, not just the toy by itself...The way I was taught trailing and the way that I've been taught tracking is quite different - I feel the scent picture is drastically different...
That ain't the way you get a dog set up for Schutzhund tracking. OP posted in Schutzhund section so prolly good to see what the end product is supposed to be, should prolly get with some Schutzhund tracking people or this ain't going to work out to good if he wants to do.
 

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Best place I've found to dirt track is a baseball field.
 
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