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Berlin and I learned how to track this weekend. I gotta say....I really enjoy it, as does he. Goodness he gets so excited when he sees the flags and gets right to work. Its fascinating to watch. He got the scent pads down pretty quick. Ive been doing 3-6 of em a day...how many a day is good? How long do I do these scent pads for?

Ive also been doing them in various types of grass...plush, long, short, thinned out grass. How many days do I have to wait until the scent from my previous scent pad is gone? Right now the scent pads are about 2x2 or 3x2 feet big. How long should I age them for? Right now Ive just been aging them less than 10 mins.
 

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I usually do them for at least a week. With a baby puppy I'd do them longer, but starting a more adolescent dog, if he's got the drive and the instinct I don't do them to death. Doing them in different types of cover is good. I usually did about 3 at a time. You don't want to bore the dog or wear him out. I think mine were usually about 4x4'. You want to see the dog working methodically, with drive but not hectic, keeping his head down (not looking up at you, looking at distractions), and see that when he hits the edge and finds no food he self-corrects and goes back into the scent.
 

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I started my pup at 10-11 weeks doing scent boxes. We did 2 at a time 3-4 days a week. We just moved in to a forward track, about 15-20 meters. He did great.

It depends on how old your puppy is. I would not over do it. A few reps a few times a week. If he is older you can progress faster. But make sure that he really has an understanding of what is being asked.


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I would say to go ahead and advance your dog to straight line tracking. If you haven't already done so look for Gary patterson's book, Tracking, from the beginning. It has a lot of very good stuff you can put right to use.

I try to track at least 3 times a week.
 

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I just started with Ilda on tracking on the advice of a member here (thanks again Q!).

I had some people tell me it's boring but I really like it too! It is facsinating to watch and my trainer was pleased with Ilda's natural responses/instincts. She is methodical, careful and doesn't wander far out of the box at all. I've always called her my earth dog so here's something we can do that's pretty low impact on her hips.

:)




Berlin and I learned how to track this weekend. I gotta say....I really enjoy it, as does he. Goodness he gets so excited when he sees the flags and gets right to work. Its fascinating to watch. He got the scent pads down pretty quick. Ive been doing 3-6 of em a day...how many a day is good? How long do I do these scent pads for?

Ive also been doing them in various types of grass...plush, long, short, thinned out grass. How many days do I have to wait until the scent from my previous scent pad is gone? Right now the scent pads are about 2x2 or 3x2 feet big. How long should I age them for? Right now Ive just been aging them less than 10 mins.
 

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I would do no more than 3 boxes or short tracks per day. How many days per week depends on the drive level of your puppy. You want the pup searching strongly each time and still wanting more when you end.

I track my puppies and dogs 3-5 times per week.
 

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I was wondering about GSDLovers question about 'aging' the scent pads too.

How long and....

I trample the vegetation a bit and put down hot dog bits and 15 minutes later the dang fire ants (didn't see any mounds nearby...blasted little bugs..) anyhoo the fire ants were on at least half of the hot dog bits within minutes.

Is it o.k. to wait to put down the food in the box 'til just before?
 

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I usually lay my adult dog tracks, then lay my puppy tracks, come back and run the puppies so they may age 10-15 minutes. Some days less and some days more. If I want them to age more I just lay their tracks first and then do my other dog's.

Once my dogs are doing real tracks I rarely worry about age. I might do a few less aged tracks before I do my IPO1 and some 40 minute tracks before the 2, but most are 30-90 minutes old.
 

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O.K. but something tells me the dang ants will like biljac too. You living in the south have probably run into this too.

Do you have to age the boxes with the food in them?

The reason I ask is apparently fireants are good scent trackers too and can take over a box in a matter of 10 minutes as I found out. Putting food down in the box right before using it is O.K. or not?

(btw I do use low fat turkey hot dogs....but I get what you are saying :) )

For puppies or new dogs, I age 10-15 mins - for IPO1 age 15-20mins and work up.

Use Natural balance food rolls or BilJac tubes cut up into small cubes. Don't use hotdogs - too much sodium, and unhealthy - will make an adverse impact when you start laying longer tracks
 

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O.K. but something tells me the dang ants will like biljac too. You living in the south have probably run into this too.
Track early as you can and freeze the food beforehand - that will help.
Do you have to age the boxes with the food in them?
Yes you have to age. Olfactory sense in the dog is far greater than ours and it is amazing what an effect volatile scent molecules can have. A dog can scent the difference between a fresh track with your own fresh smell molecules, flecks of skin, sweat or stress smells, freshly trampled grass - all smell different fresh vs. aged. You will have to eventually age for the real thing so start now.

The reason I ask is apparently fireants are good scent trackers too and can take over a box in a matter of 10 minutes as I found out. Putting food down in the box right before using it is O.K. or not?
Not ok because of 2 things:
-as I said previously, the smell of freshly volitile smell molecules to the dog is going to be different than an aged track where the immediately volitle compounds have had a chance to disappate, the ground has a chance to settle down, everything calms down and is not so "active". Counterproductive to run over right before to throw fresh food and stirring it all up again.
-reason two is...what will you do when it is time to start laying straight tracks? Tracks with 200 paces, and turns? Will you walk the entire track and lay food right before your dog hits it? Feasibly you cannot do this later as you advance so you will need to put food down and age starting now.
 

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I heard people will make ice cubes with the bait inside, so that it takes a while for the ice to melt and buys you more time to avoid those fire ants. We live in the northeast, but heard they are a pain in the --- (yes, I filter my own words).
 

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O.K. thanks, that answers my question the whole set up has to age, food included.

*did I say stupid dang nasty little ants .... grrrrr*




Track early as you can and freeze the food beforehand - that will help.
Yes you have to age. Olfactory sense in the dog is far greater than ours and it is amazing what an effect volatile scent molecules can have. A dog can scent the difference between a fresh track with your own fresh smell molecules, flecks of skin, sweat or stress smells, freshly trampled grass - all smell different fresh vs. aged. You will have to eventually age for the real thing so start now.

Not ok because of 2 things:
-as I said previously, the smell of freshly volitile smell molecules to the dog is going to be different than an aged track where the immediately volitle compounds have had a chance to disappate, the ground has a chance to settle down, everything calms down and is not so "active". Counterproductive to run over right before to throw fresh food and stirring it all up again.
-reason two is...what will you do when it is time to start laying straight tracks? Tracks with 200 paces, and turns? Will you walk the entire track and lay food right before your dog hits it? Feasibly you cannot do this later as you advance so you will need to put food down and age starting now.
 

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You should'a heard me the other day when we figured out the whole box was infested in less then 15 minutes. :blush:

At least when it gets hotter they make mounds that you can see and try to stay away from, in this cooler weather they are there but smaller and less visible.

blasted things.

I heard people will make ice cubes with the bait inside, so that it takes a while for the ice to melt and buys you more time to avoid those fire ants. We live in the northeast, but heard they are a pain in the --- (yes, I filter my own words).
 

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For the scent pads with my pup liking so much it did not take long before I started him on trench tracks which you will read about in Gary Patterson's book that robk recommended. As far as repeating over the same spot. I usually waited a week and then would use the same spot if I had to.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the replies. I was doing 2-3 at a time, twice a day (morning & evening)

We are most likely going to advance to straight line tracking when we go to the club this week or next. He is older, and seems to be progressing well and learning fast, so, I dont want him to get bored. Although, he tracks that pad with so much enthusiasm.

I bought the Gary Patterson book, will be here wednesday, thanks for the recommendation!

I track with him almost every week day (unless its raining) so usually he is doing it 4-5 times a week.

He self corrects himself, keeps his head down and doesnt get distracted by anything, hes really into it! lol. I hope he is starting to understand the scent. Im kinda nervous to move onto straight lines! :eek:
 

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If he is doing the boxes well then the straight tracks will be fine. Start corners fairly quickly once you start straight tracks. That is something I don't like about the Patterson book. I will also run some serpentines and curves in my tracks and have found since varying how I lay the tracks I am now getting a better understanding from the dog/puppy.
 
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