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TrinaJ

Tracking

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Just came across this thread! Will get the book too! :thumbsup:

The book is good, but even better if you can join a tracking group I reckon, depending on what sort of tracking you want to do. There is a lot that is only touched on in the Johnson book, things like how to read the dog's negative & positive indications, how to handle the line to really help the dog, how to strategically refind the track when you lose it. These are the things I find hardest, & I've learned them by watching good handlers & getting them to watch us. :shrug:

Let us know how you do!

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Can any breed of dog do tracking?

Are some breeds better suited? I'm most interested in whether labrador retrievers would generally be considered suitable.

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Can any breed of dog do tracking?

Are some breeds better suited? I'm most interested in whether labrador retrievers would generally be considered suitable.

Yep, all dogs have the ability to track. Labbies and in general gundogs do extremely well at tracking.

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Tassie   
I've just ordered the Glen Johnson book from Fishpond It's on sale for $23.95 and free shipping :)

:thumbsup: Thanks for the heads up on this, Bully - I've been thinking about getting that book for years, but haven't got around to it - just ordered it - too good a bargain to miss. Thanks. :laugh:

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arrow   
I've just ordered the Glen Johnson book from Fishpond It's on sale for $23.95 and free shipping :(

:) Thanks for the heads up on this, Bully - I've been thinking about getting that book for years, but haven't got around to it - just ordered it - too good a bargain to miss. Thanks. :laugh:

Beware! This book may change life as you currently know it.

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I've just ordered the Glen Johnson book from Fishpond It's on sale for $23.95 and free shipping :laugh:

:) Thanks for the heads up on this, Bully - I've been thinking about getting that book for years, but haven't got around to it - just ordered it - too good a bargain to miss. Thanks. :rofl:

Beware! This book may change life as you currently know it.

Happy to have my life changed, my agility training is a f***ing disaster right now! :(

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Tassie   

Aaaaaw SnT - :laugh::laugh: Agility training - what's that? :thumbsup: Oh - I remember - something I should start doing again now tracking season is finished - preferably before the trials at the Royal next week - and in between getting Rory ready for the show :laugh: .

@ Arrow - too late for the warning - I'm an addict already :p trouble is I'm addicted to other dog disciplines as well .... you've heard the phrase, Jack (Jill) of all trades, master of none ... that would be me.

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Aaaaaw SnT - :o:rofl: Agility training - what's that? :laugh: Oh - I remember - something I should start doing again now tracking season is finished - preferably before the trials at the Royal next week - and in between getting Rory ready for the show :whip: .

@ Arrow - too late for the warning - I'm an addict already :laugh: trouble is I'm addicted to other dog disciplines as well .... you've heard the phrase, Jack (Jill) of all trades, master of none ... that would be me.

At least you're trialling :laugh: I however, need to work out how to get a Toller to understand 2o2o. :laugh:

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How's your tracking going, people?

Did a wee experiment with my little girl today - she's informed me that in short grass, 15min tracks are easy-peasy, 1 hour old tracks are achievable, and 4 hour old tracks are just a little beyond her abilities at present... :rolleyes: Guess we'll stick to training at 1 hour old for a while!

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Leema   

I just found this thread!

Unfortunately, with puppies at the moment, I've had to put things partly on hold. I've been lucky enough to secure a couple of newies near me, so we've been laying tracks for one another and I'm helping getting their dogs into it. So, in a couple of weeks time, if the weather isn't deathly hot yet, we will be back into it!

Chip is a natural. He does it because it's fun itself... Clover does it because she will get her tennis ball in the end.

I am actually keeping Chip for another year because he is such a pro - I really want to get a tracking title on him before he continues his travel around the world.

This season coming up, I've already put in my calendar all the Victorian tracking dates. I've calculated that if Clover passes all SA test, she can end up as a TCh at the end of the season. But, if she misses any, then we're going to do some tracks in Victoria!

Happy to have found this thread! :rolleyes:

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Wow, good luck Leema!

Wish my dog did it because it was fun - she's definitely all about the toy at the end. :D

She's a bit of a natural though, I think, I'm the only one in our team with issues. It's so hard to read her sometimes, & to know what she's doing!

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Leema   

I think part of the success in Chip is that <i>I</i> know what I'm doing now! It takes a little bit to recognise how to read a dog, full stop, and then to get into the specifics of reading your dog.

My Clover is a very chaotic tracker. She zigzags at a million miles an hour, but manages to get it done anyway. About 500m in she calms down and actually tracks like a normal dog! It's been fun with Chip because he clearly tracks, with his nose to the ground. Clover has always just run in the direction and seems to get it right!

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I think part of the success in Chip is that <i>I</i> know what I'm doing now! It takes a little bit to recognise how to read a dog, full stop, and then to get into the specifics of reading your dog.

Yes, I think we'll be away laughing when I can figure out what my damn dog is doing! :D

She's a very fast tracker - so she overshoots things terribly, and I don't sometimes realise that she's overshot until we get 10 or 20m past the corner. That's partly her speed, but also partly me learning to read her better - I've had experienced people say "duh! Obviously she was off track then! We could all see it! Clear as day!" when it took me another 10m to figure out she's telling me that she's off. :(

My excuse is that it's much easier to read her from the side than from the butt end. :( At least she's keen!

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Leema   

Clover is a fast one, too. She often overshoots corners, but in our last tracking trial, executed several impeccably!

To try to get her to notice corners, I got my track layers to triple track the corners. The hope was that it'd be so strong that Clover couldn't NOT notice them and overshoot them. This seemed to work. We only did this a few times and it improved her corners a lot.

I also got something she really likes and planned to lay them coming-up to a corner, and just after the corner, to slow her down. Clover 'really likes' bottle caps, and seems to sniff them out a mile away. She's not overly food motivated, otherwise I would've done the same thing with food. We never ended up executing this plan.

(I could've done this same thing with articles, as we often play tuggy with articles as a reward for finding them, so this would've been a motivater for doing a corner - my concern was that the articles were too visual, while the bottle caps will hide in the grace.)

For Clover, it was a combination of learning that corners do exist (hence triple tracking), and to pay attention ("it's good to pay attention because there are bottle caps when you do!").

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Interesting tips, thanks Leema!

Perhaps I'll try placing the end of the track (= toy) right after the first corner for a while, and see if that makes her pay more notice to corners. Similar to your bottle cap idea.

But at the end of the day, it might just be the price of having a fast dog - possibly when we start doing really long tracks, she'll slow down a bit and hence won't overshoot the corners as much.

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Leema   

I also have started trying to wear Clover out a bit before an official trial. Last trial, we went to the park (at 5am in the morning) and played ball for 30 minutes before going to the trial. Unfortunately, she still had to wait around for a couple of hours before her track but I do think this helped as well. It's hard to be fast when you're tired!

That being said, I'm still a novice and Clover is only my first tracking dog... And things have been very easy training wise. So you should really take my suggestions cautiously.

How long are the tracks you are doing with your girl at the moment?

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Yes, my girl is nicer to follow when she's tired too! :laugh:

We're doing 1 hour old tracks at the moment, I'll alternate length between about 100 and 500m depending on what paddocks are available to me & what I feel like working on.

Our focus is SAR, for qualification purposes we'll need to consistently be doing 1km long 3 hour old tracks, with unknown starting points, in rugged terrain & just about any weather conditions (among other requirements). Luckily for me, the feedback I'm getting indicates that I'm the one with the problems - my girl is probably talented enough, I just need to learn to handle & read her nicely. She's my first real tracking dog, so hopefully the next dog I train will be much easier!

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I'm about halfway through the book now, have to read it in breaks at work during the day while my brain is at it's best. :o

Am almost up the training schedule now I think, so my tracking friend will be reading her copy soon and we can start when it cools off a bit. :laugh:

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Leema   

Staranais - SAR goal would be very difficult, and I wouldn't know where to begin in training that. For me, a start peg with an article is such an obvious cue to my dog as to what I want her to do, so you have my admiration and best wishes.

I actually haven't read anything about tracking except what the TDC of SA has given me. :thumbsup: I have acknowledged the recommendations in this thread though.

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