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My current dog was out of training for nearly a year, which has created some training problems now that we've returned to the sport.

We've managed to address most of the issues, but tracking speed continues to be a problem. This dog loves to track, and when she works at a steady speed, she tracks as though she is ready for a SchIII track. The problem is, she tends to run the track so quickly that she gets a body length or two beyond a corner before she realizes it, and then has to circle to find it.

Using physical force to simply prevent her from tracking that fast has thus far been largely disastrous. She will leap up, scream and throw all of her weight against the collar or harness [we've tried both] until it becomes apparent that I'm not going to let her go as fast as she would like. She then lays down out of what I alternate between calling avoidance at a perceived unfair correction, or flat out giving me the finger. My personal opinion, and the opinion of our training director is that she is simply confused.

Should we continue using the physical restraint combined with marking for the correct speed when it occurs, and wait for the lightbulb to go off, or are there some other techniques that we aren't thinking of that might help here?
 

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My first response would be to just wait her out, encourage and praise when she is correct or gets confused. Other alternatives are food, articles, increased difficulty on the track, more corners, curves to make her think. I would also make the corners easier with a reward right after the corner plus don't allow her to pass them by so much.

I don't mark for correct speed. I just set my pace (which may vary depending on the dog). The reward for them is praise, finding the food, not missing corners (which most dogs really don't want to do) and the good treats at the articles.
 

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I have a copy of ivan balabanovs book advanced sch.H. He goes over common issues like this one and strongly recommend it.
 

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When I was slowing Gryffon down, I was doing pretty much as you are doing and as Lisa suggests. He did do the quitting, lying down, crawling because he was confused as to why he was being checked and held back, but he quickly figured it out. I went back to food in every footstep with short tracks (20 to 30 paces) at first, and checked him each step and showed him to the food to pick up. At first, yes, they are frustrated, and stressed by the corrections back, that is why I kept the tracks very short. But he caught on very quickly and was able to move on from there. I was also advised to stay with straight tracks until he tracks calmly, confidently, and evenly, before re-introducing corners - which I did, and it really paid off.

Another thing you could try - not sure if it will translate to your situation, is to platz your girl as soon as she starts being hectic. Even though Gryffon was now tracking calmly, the starts were another story! Someone suggested that I platz him before the scent pad and that cured him of jack-rabbit starts and me being dragged to the scent pad. Two problems solved with one excercise!

I don't know if this will translate to calmer tracking, but I had a problem with Gryffon dragging me
 

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When I was slowing Gryffon down, I was doing pretty much as you are doing and as Lisa suggests. He did do the quitting, lying down, crawling because he was confused as to why he was being checked and held back, but he quickly figured it out. I went back to food in every footstep with short tracks (20 to 30 paces) at first, and checked him each step and showed him to the food to pick up. At first, yes, they are frustrated, and stressed by the corrections back, that is why I kept the tracks very short. But he caught on very quickly and was able to move on from there. I was also advised to stay with straight tracks until he tracks calmly, confidently, and evenly, before re-introducing corners - which I did, and it really paid off.

Another thing you could try - not sure if it will translate to your situation, is to platz your girl as soon as she starts being hectic. Even though Gryffon was now tracking calmly, the starts were another story! Someone suggested that I platz him before the scent pad and that cured him of jack-rabbit starts and me being dragged to the scent pad. Two problems solved with one excercise!

I don't know if this will translate to calmer tracking, but I had a problem with Gryffon dragging me
I think Gryff and Stark had the same issues and I think we both worked them the same.. ;)
 

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I'm currently working on a speed issue with my dog as well. Luckily he is VERY clean at the start, very nice on the articles, but sometimes the speed is a problem. He doesn't do any of the leaping and screaming, but he will often settle into a rhythm that is too fast, miss a corner, and have to adjust to get back on. We did tracking in a SDA trial and tracked like it was a SchH1 and he did fine, it was our highest score of the day, so it's clear he can track I just need him to be more deliberate about being more focused and intense ON the track and not just going from article to article. Part of the problem I created, for a while I was rewarded the end of the track by popping a ball and playing fetch so as the dog tracked he'd actually pick UP speed rather than tire out and slow down. At each article his drive would amp up more thinking it was time for the BALL. I've stopped rewarding with the ball because it's too much.

We're totally changing his tracking program and have a new method that will give me much more control over the speed not with my handling on the track but in how the track is laid. It's kind of hard to explain, but it will address a few other nit-picky issues I have with the dog's tracking.

One thing that offers me momentary relief is basically tying my line around the dog's waist. I've tracked the dog on a prong collar (live ring) and it makes no difference, the oppositional reflex on any collar or harness is too strong. If I actually correct on the track he will platz and look back to me so that isn't good. What I've done is I attach my line to the Fursaver like normal, then run the line between the front legs, then before I go under the hind leg I throw the line over the dog's back, run the line back through itself underneath the dog, then have the line coming out between the dogs hind legs. For some reason the subtle self-correction with the line around the waist works very well without distracting the dog, shutting down the dog, or amping him up even more. Hopefully the description makes sense, if not I can try to make a picture.
 

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I have seen what your describing used, Lies. It does seem to help some dogs.
 

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It works very well but the one problem is that for us it hasn't transferred, meaning if I don't do it he is back to pulling. That is why we've decided to work at it more from the angle of how the tracks are laid than how the track is handled. Before my world froze over and it snowed, we got a few really good tracks in without speed problems so I have a plan in mind for this spring.
 

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Auron was doing the same thing with me. At 6 months old he was running 100 yard tracks with 3 or 4 ninety degree turns threw play ground equipment and nailing it BUT he was really pushing the speed envelope. I started tracking him in this Frabo Tracking Leather Böttcher
Wolfstraum on this board has them made by the Amish and I got it from her. What it basically does is the short strip goes to the dead ring and then the longer strip circles the dog right behind his rib cage and clips back into its self. The lead is then run between his hind legs and to a ring in the contraption. When he gets to pulling to hard it tightens around his waist just enough to remind him to slow down. Also had/have problems coming to the line as well he is so excited. With Auron at least intensity is not an issue with tracking for sure so I will do some basic OB with a tug for reward before we track. Takes a little of the edge off as well as gets him tuned in on me. I'll then switch to food asking for focus as we walk to the start flag. If he starts pulling I stop him and wait till I have focus, treat and then go on to the start flag.
 

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This dog loves to track, and when she works at a steady speed, she tracks as though she is ready for a SchIII track. The problem is, she tends to run the track so quickly that she gets a body length or two beyond a corner before she realizes it, and then has to circle to find it.
This may be a matter of semantics but when I read that, my first thought is if she was going two body length beyond a corner before she realized she was off, then she was not tracking ... certainly not at that moment. She needs to be working every inch of that track, beginning to end. Not take a few yards off here, start tracking again there, take another few yards off again, get back to work again, etc. etc.

One way to make the dog slow on the track is to just raise the difficulty of the track. Make it longer, make it harder, do lots and lots of serpentine, maybe one day she gets on the track and sees a gazillion articles. Something to make her think and force her to make decisions, instead of just putting her head down and go.
 

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I should have mentioned too that another thing I did to slow Gryffon down and extend his focus is take all toys, food bonanzas, and play rewards OFF the track. He would rush to get to his ball/tug/bonanza. So I went to the ball in my pocket and pulled him off to reward him with play when he was tracking nice - that back-fired because then he would track a little, check in with me to see if it was play time - track a little - take a quick look to see if the ball was still in my pocket - etc.

So the reward is IN the track now. You find a piece of food, you eat it. A lot of these dogs have such instinctive drives to track and such natural ability to stay focused on task, that we only mess them up with thinking they need to have "fun" associated with tracking and throw in all the exiting rewards for them. At the end of the track, I sit him, calmly praise him, and we walk away, me keeping my energy calm and neutral. Taking play rewards away have in no way diminished his enthusiasm and willingness to track, but did everything to help him stay in work mode and stay focused on task throughout the track.
 

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I've never given Karlo the ball as a reward after a track, he gets a jackpot of fresh meat(usually his meal) and I pet him calmly. He is a slow methodical tracker, but now and then will get distracted and will air scent. I can't wait to start up again when all this snow is out of here! We have alot to work on!!
 

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I pretty much always have some type of jackpot or toy at the end of the track. With my older experienced dogs sometimes the ball will be on me, sometimes they track to it and sometimes I just release them to hunt for it on their own. This can cause some speed, especially if one pattern trains too much, but I just challenge the dog in other ways to reduce this issue and make them work to the last article. I have also had issues with the young dogs airscenting the toy. Since I do some airscent work with my dogs this is to be expected. I just wait them out and won't let them go down the track until they start tracking again. I will tell them softly, "no, find it" and once they put their noses down they are permitted to continue to track. They learn fairly quickly the differences between the two types of scent work.
 
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