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I've no idea if it's too early, but I'm wanting to start Kias in Tracking. He's shown great ability to sniff anything out and I think it'll be great for him.
have a couple of questions I thought I'd ask if anyone has the time to answer.

First, I have absolutely no idea what they do in tracking. Is anyone willing to share an overview of what it is and what the dogs are trained to do?

Secondly, Are there any tips or suggestions for other games or things to do to start a foundation?

Any other comments or suggestions are appreciated, whether they answer the questions or not! I'm looking for an overall thread on what it's all about and getting started. Thanks!!!
 

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Tracking and Nosework/Scentwork are two different sports. Fenzi Dog Sports academy offers classes for both. Dave Kroyer also has Tracking and Nosework videos. If you do some research you will find a lot of info.

 

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For footstep tracking they're trained to follow disturbed surfaces (the footprint) and find and indicate on articles along a track. You can start a puppy at any age. Go in your yard and shuffle and scrape your feet in the grass in a square pattern, maybe 3' by 3'. Spread his food around in that area. Take him calmly on leash to that spot and drop one or two pieces of food into the spot with him looking at and following it to the ground so he definitely knows its there, then see if he'll keep sniffing for and eating the rest of the food. He's on leash only so that you can calmly and with as little input from you as possible keep him from wandering off and because footstep tracking is done onleash. Try that and see what he does.
 

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Simple nosework is pretty fun and useful for my puppy. There are lots of good resources out there. We started with:
1. Teach 'find it'. Put ole in a ' sit' then toss treats around the room from for pup to find.
2. I added the 'find it' cue.
3. I added a wait between the toss and cueing 'find it.'
4. I started walking greater and greater distances from ole to place the treat on the ground. I return to Ole and cued 'find it'.
5. Started hiding the treated in other rooms or under something. I am not sure if this is the most effective way to teach find. I was primarily interested in the impulse control for waiting :)
6. This week I started using two identical boxes from Christmas ornaments. I would put kibble in one and leave the other empty. When I cue 'find it,' if he touches the box with kibble in it with his nose, he gets a piece of chicken.

You asked in another thread about building your relationship with your dog. This is one of the activities we do. I treat it like a game, nothing serious about it. No corrections if he breaks his wait. Just a friendly, "Hmm, I don't remember that being part of the game." to remind him to hold position.

He learns impulse control. First to sit still and now not to shred the box with the kibble, because he knows there will be chicken waiting for him if he just touches the box.

He has fun and learns to enjoy learning. During the waits, his little rump tends to slide forward.

Finally, he learns that we can play and have as much fun as he wants, even though he is following the house rules.
 
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