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Old 11-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Oaky, videos from yesterday's tracking. First off, Leo. She did two scent pads and a short track of 25 paces. I've been paying a lot more attention to how I handle her, and I can tell the difference.
Leo 1st Scent pad 10-31-12 - YouTube
Leo 2nd scent pad 10-31-12 - YouTube

I had the camera aimed wrong for her track (oops), so you don't see all of it.
Leo tracking 10-31-12 - YouTube

Ilka did two tracks that I filmed, and a scent pad that I didn't.
Ilka tracking 10-31-12 1st Track - YouTube
Ilka 2nd track 10-31-12 - YouTube (We disappear for a couple of minutes in the middle of this one. It's hard to tell exactly where the track is, sometimes.)
I can tell that she was having a bit of trouble in some areas, so it's back to baiting nore frequently, I think. Poor baby, she got some ants in her mouth when they found a piece of bait before she did. I was too slow to keep her from eating it, ants and all, but it didn't seem to have bothered her.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #102 (permalink)
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They are looking good! I might go back to more food like you suggested. She's getting a lost a bit (unless your tracks were not 'straight' like I though). Also might try doing it early in the morning while there is still dew on the ground. The conditions of the grass and such might be a bit too difficult for her too soon.

My oh my has Leo grown!! Crazy what happens when you feed them everyday....

Leo is also looking like she's really enjoying it!
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #103 (permalink)
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They are looking good! I might go back to more food like you suggested. She's getting a lost a bit (unless your tracks were not 'straight' like I though).

Hah, I might be doing the drunken sailor thing out there. I have trouble walking a straight line at the best of times, and baiting a track is NOT the best of times. I did throw her a couple of curves, literally, on the second track, though.

Also might try doing it early in the morning while there is still dew on the ground. The conditions of the grass and such might be a bit too difficult for her too soon.

I can try to get out earlier, but we have almost always gone in the late morning/early afternoon. I really should get them used to other conditions, though. I'm just not always functioning that early.

My oh my has Leo grown!! Crazy what happens when you feed them everyday....

It's all in the hair! She and Ilka are actually the same weight. I think she is still a bit too thin, but for a puppy that I didn't expect to survive the first night....

Leo is also looking like she's really enjoying it!

Yeah, Sonterra pointed out that I was stressing her out by "helping" her too much, so I've backed off, and am letting her work through it herself.
They certainly do seem to like doing it. Best of all, Leo hasn't been carsick in almost a month, and is actually happy to get in the car, now.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Tracked Zeus today. Gosh he really loves tracking....

We did 3 legs with one right turn. It was a new location and the middle of the day with sparse grass so I didn't want to set him up for failure.

First leg was probably 90% baited to assess his tracking for the day, then it moved to food about every 3-5 steps on average. He nailed the right turn, but it was still fully baited because I am making the turn less gradual now.

The last leg was a straight 50 pace line that was only one bait every 8-10 steps with a jackpot at the end. The first time he got 3-5 paces into it without food he stopped for second and tried to sniff for food to the side instead of sniffing the track, but he gave up and turned his head back to the track and did well on the rest of it. I'm trying to build his confidence to follow the track when it gets 'tougher'. He knew where the footsteps were but thought "oh crap, there's no food here, I must have lost the real track".

He did a scent pad, then went into a kennel while I figured his tracks out. They were aged around 20 minutes for the first two legs and 30-35 minutes for the last leg.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Soooo just heard some very exciting news!!!! There is going to be the first tracking only trial to be held in my island in Feb 2013! Usually tracking in NZ is only associated with UD, WD or TD trials, so your dog has to be at least 24 months old to enter - but a year or two ago they wrote up regulations for "tracking trials" (TT) which are tracking only trials open to dogs 12 months +... We have never had any here and no one was interested in running them, but just got a txt that there will be one on in Feb! SO EXCITED GUYS!!!

Soo now the pressure is on to get article indication taught! We did a lovely 45 minute old track today through grass over a hill, Elsie was perfect!
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Soooo just heard some very exciting news!!!! There is going to be the first tracking only trial to be held in my island in Feb 2013! Usually tracking in NZ is only associated with UD, WD or TD trials, so your dog has to be at least 24 months old to enter - but a year or two ago they wrote up regulations for "tracking trials" (TT) which are tracking only trials open to dogs 12 months +... We have never had any here and no one was interested in running them, but just got a txt that there will be one on in Feb! SO EXCITED GUYS!!!

Soo now the pressure is on to get article indication taught! We did a lovely 45 minute old track today through grass over a hill, Elsie was perfect!
congrats! That'll be awesome!

I'm having issues with the article indication. He will go out to an article (off the track) and down and touch the article. On the track, he insists on turning around to face me before indicating. huge no-no and he doesn't seem to be improving with anything I've tried.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:36 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Do they have to down for IPO article indication?

Oh and the regs for the track we'll be doing

22.5.1.5 Leash Track Level 1:
Age of track: one hour. One starting stake shall be used. Length of track should be between 600-700 metres. Land should be flat to rolling and should include fences, gates, ditches or swamps.
Dog to pick up or indicate articles. Two articles placed on track (first article approximately half way and second article at finish). The surface area of an article must be no smaller than 100mm x 50mm. If the dog goes over the point where the tracklayer says the article was and the dog does not indicate or pick up the article and the tracklayer cannot find the article, the dog must be credited with the article points as though it was found by the dog. Articles’ should be placed on a straight line, on a flat part of the track and not hidden or placed within 10 metres of an obstacle or corner.

Time limit 20 minutes.
Track 200, Articles 10 each. Total Level One. 220
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:08 AM   #108 (permalink)
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congrats! That'll be awesome!

I'm having issues with the article indication. He will go out to an article (off the track) and down and touch the article. On the track, he insists on turning around to face me before indicating. huge no-no and he doesn't seem to be improving with anything I've tried.
Can you try being right beside him at the article so he can't turn his body? Maybe even a hand on his flank so he can't start to swing out? Just for a time or two until he gets the message.

what have you tried?
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:42 AM   #109 (permalink)
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I have some questions re tracking in general for people in the know, if you don't mind

I'm looking at getting into tracking as another fun thing to do with Rupert in addition to showing, is it something you can kind of dabble in or is it something which a lot of time needs to be dedicated too? Would say a class and/or training once a week be sufficient or is it something which needs more? Is a high level of obedience needed to begin with, or can obedience be worked on at the same time?

We don't have very many Sch groups over here and many are shepherds only. If I was to start doing a tracking class which was for example SAR work or for working trials, would this be transferable with some adjustments to sch if I decided to take it further later on, or would it be much better to start as you mean to go on?

Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:06 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Can you try being right beside him at the article so he can't turn his body? Maybe even a hand on his flank so he can't start to swing out? Just for a time or two until he gets the message.

what have you tried?
That's what I have tried. Unless he's in a formal heel position he still tries to swing his butt out before touching the article. I tried physically blocking and he got very confused with me touching him. I can stand by him and have him platz mostly straight but then he gets thrown off by the whole indication thing. I clicker trained him to find an article where he could see it, go out to it and platz then nose touch it, and from this he has no concept of being straight. He thinks turning around is part of it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:05 AM   #111 (permalink)
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Amelia, I'm training completely on my own. I take them out whenever I can, but if we don't go, it's no big deal. (I can guarantee that we aren't going tracking this week, because the kids are out of school.) Even if we never title in tracking, it's fun to do, and I think it's helping to build up Leo's confidence.

As for tracking style. I'm training the "footstep tracking" method, which is more the schutzhund/IPO style, but perfectly acceptable for AKC as well.

KC and NZKC Working Dog trials sound really interesting.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:58 AM   #112 (permalink)
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That's what I have tried. Unless he's in a formal heel position he still tries to swing his butt out before touching the article. I tried physically blocking and he got very confused with me touching him. I can stand by him and have him platz mostly straight but then he gets thrown off by the whole indication thing. I clicker trained him to find an article where he could see it, go out to it and platz then nose touch it, and from this he has no concept of being straight. He thinks turning around is part of it.
How well does he accept your stepping over his back? If he will allow this, it's a great way to encourage a straight platz at the article. As he's going down, step over his back so that he can't swing out. And if he still isn't straight, you can nudge him straight with your foot.

If you FF to about the 15:40 mark of this video, you can see how it's done. Jack is an experienced tracker who sometimes went down a little crooked. Using this method, it took only a couple of practices before he started going down straight every time.

Portos Black Chabet, Traking work at 10 weeks - YouTube

As for the looking back at you when he's in a platz, I don't know whether this will help, but I have seen this successfully corrected by having the handler take the article food reward out of his or her pocket (or wherever) well ahead of time. This means that when the dog goes down, the reward can be placed on the article immediately. There's no waiting while the handler digs into a pocket to find the reward, so the dog loses the habit of looking back while the handler fiddles with finding the reward.

If the dog is more advanced and the handler is farther back on the line, the handler moves up the line as the dog approaches the article so that the food reward can be immediate.

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:11 AM   #113 (permalink)
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. . . I'm looking at getting into tracking as another fun thing to do with Rupert in addition to showing, is it something you can kind of dabble in or is it something which a lot of time needs to be dedicated too? Would say a class and/or training once a week be sufficient or is it something which needs more? Is a high level of obedience needed to begin with, or can obedience be worked on at the same time?

We don't have very many Sch groups over here and many are shepherds only. If I was to start doing a tracking class which was for example SAR work or for working trials, would this be transferable with some adjustments to sch if I decided to take it further later on, or would it be much better to start as you mean to go on?

Thanks!
My opinion, FWIW? A class once a week is probably fine if you can then practise on your own more often, especially at first. I wouldn't say that a high level of obedience is required. Jack has been tracking since he was 3-1/2 months old -- and his obedience was pretty hit-and-miss at that time.

At our SchH club, we currently have an older dog who started out doing kennel-club-style tracking, in which air scenting is allowed. As a result, the handler has had a bit of a time persuading this dog to keep her nose down, which is essential in IPO tracking. It seems to be harder for a dog to make the transition from kennel-club-style tracking to IPO-style tracking than the other way around, though it can be done.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #114 (permalink)
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How well does he accept your stepping over his back? If he will allow this, it's a great way to encourage a straight platz at the article. As he's going down, step over his back so that he can't swing out. And if he still isn't straight, you can nudge him straight with your foot.

If you FF to about the 15:40 mark of this video, you can see how it's done. Jack is an experienced tracker who sometimes went down a little crooked. Using this method, it took only a couple of practices before he started going down straight every time.

Portos Black Chabet, Traking work at 10 weeks - YouTube

As for the looking back at you when he's in a platz, I don't know whether this will help, but I have seen this successfully corrected by having the handler take the article food reward out of his or her pocket (or wherever) well ahead of time. This means that when the dog goes down, the reward can be placed on the article immediately. There's no waiting while the handler digs into a pocket to find the reward, so the dog loses the habit of looking back while the handler fiddles with finding the reward.

If the dog is more advanced and the handler is farther back on the line, the handler moves up the line as the dog approaches the article so that the food reward can be immediate.
I taught him a between the legs "transport" for fun so he is okay with it, but he is 31" and I am 5'2", so he has to slightly crouch in order to fit. Therefore I can not "easily" or quickly get in that position if I am tracking with him. I thought about doing this but then thought that was a crazy idea. Guess I'll actually try it if you said it helped you. I think if I put a bunch of articles in a row in a straight line (so that he is downing multiple times right after eachother), I can manage to 'be on top of him' since he will likely be closer to the ground in preparation for downing.

I'll check out the video!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #115 (permalink)
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and perhaps you could move back to just working articles off the track( the long track, anyway) and tightening your criteria with the clicker. Now he must be looking down the track, etc. You will have to be quick to catch him before he swings out. Maybe between that and straddling him, he will get the point.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:35 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Amelia_ View Post
I have some questions re tracking in general for people in the know, if you don't mind

I'm looking at getting into tracking as another fun thing to do with Rupert in addition to showing, is it something you can kind of dabble in or is it something which a lot of time needs to be dedicated too? Would say a class and/or training once a week be sufficient or is it something which needs more? Is a high level of obedience needed to begin with, or can obedience be worked on at the same time?

We don't have very many Sch groups over here and many are shepherds only. If I was to start doing a tracking class which was for example SAR work or for working trials, would this be transferable with some adjustments to sch if I decided to take it further later on, or would it be much better to start as you mean to go on?

Thanks!
I don't think that the tracking styles are hugely transferable - for working trials you do really looooong tracks compared to SchH, so you don't expect the same level of precision as the footstep tracking they do in SchH where the dog's nose needs to be down the whole time, I think if you trained WT tracking first you would have a very hard time retraining your dog to adjust to SchH tracking (without the use of a prong, or unless you had a very, very food motivated dog), but if you trained SchH tracking tracking first I think it would be easier to transfer to WT. JMO SAR tracking is very different from sport tracking from what I have seen no SAR dog would be competitive in sport tracking, just like a sport tracking dog is not in any way a SAR dog.

Absolutely you can dabble in tracking, I find it's something that once the dog has it, they don't need a huge amount of practise. We don't have classes here, so I had one lesson with an experienced tracker, got a few books, and went on my own from there. For the first two weeks we tracked every day to teach Elsie what we were doing, then it was weekly, once a month, back to weekly or twice a week now.

Obedience is not important at all for tracking IMO, I have never said anything other than "find" and "good" to Elsie while tracking.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:20 PM   #117 (permalink)
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and perhaps you could move back to just working articles off the track( the long track, anyway) and tightening your criteria with the clicker. Now he must be looking down the track, etc. You will have to be quick to catch him before he swings out. Maybe between that and straddling him, he will get the point.
Ok so update! Tonight I used the long hallway in the house to lie a bunch of articles down in a row. Before I did this, I read some method about holding food closed in your hand, dog by the side, and an article held over the 'opening' of your hand. When he platzed and nosed/sniffed the article, click, and flip the article over showing the treats. I think this really helped him put the treats to the article directly as I had never rewarded him from the actual article.

Then I went to the hallway, article close to the wall, me on his other side. and asked for him to 'find it' and indicate. First I had my hand down by the article with food, then just stood by him sort of blocking his body with mine. By the end of the session, we could walk down the hall with me by his butt, and he indicated 6 in a row.

I was very impressed with his dedication to each article as I have not worked on this like I should have. After I told him we were 'done' he immediately went out to the closest article that I hadn't picked up, platzed, and kept touching the article and looking up at me like 'hey, mom, right here, here it is, look here, give me treat?'. I think he's starting to get it. I probably won't put it on the track for a while though, got to have it down pat before I mess it up again.

On a second note, I was reminded again just how much Zeus loves to train and be right. He's been more confused with everything lately because we're working on so many diffferent things and my head isn't "completely in gear" like it should, and failure really 'gets him down'. He gets frustrated easily and I know I confuse him. After the session tonight, I released him, and he burst into the zoomies/play with mom mode. For a mellow dog who doesn't 'express' much, times like that make my day.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:14 AM   #118 (permalink)
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That sounds like a wonderful session! Love it when we make our dogs so happy.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:15 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Tracking update! Went out today with my tracking mentor to do a mock trial situation, we learned a lot! It was a typical UD track over rolling pasture, 30 minutes old and about 700 metres (2,300 feet) long with one stake to indicate the start, 3 turns, and it was hot and windy.

I was such a BAD handler OMG. Got my line tangled just before we started (even though I had put it nicely in my bag), I was fluffing about being all nervous and stressed, ended up tracking her on a short line because I couldn't untangle it LOL. She tracked right up to the stake and went forward, kinda not really looking like she was tracking but I keep reassuring her and walking forward (I never talk when I'm training, I think the nerves make me jabber away haha). Whistle blew to indicate I was 30 metres off the track... Good start huh! Went back to the stake and went the right way this time, she was going nicely, managed to stuff up every corner though!! She would stop for them, then I would keep moving up the line and putting pressure on her when I should have stood there, given her more line and let her work it out. She didn't have enough line out so couldn't cast wide enough.... So yeah we learned a lot! Did finish it in the end, and she indicated the article so YAY. She was working brilliantly on the straights, but my handling needs a lot of work.

So the verdict is, Elsie is a good tracking dog, she tracks nicely, is trained well... I need a lot more work
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:02 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Enjoying this thread..thought I would join in. This is Notty at 9 months doing her track. There is food in most steps. There are random stretches of up to 5 steps no food. I also like to throw hard things at her while she still has all the food so she learns to figure it out.
It was quite wet with areas of splashing..I also had a friend videoing who never stopped talking..lol. It was also windy. I had her start go in a different direction from the approach so she had to search for it and I did the first corner as an acute. It was her first acute corner and I noticed she stopped and sniffed air as if distracted due to it being a bit hard for her but she went back and worked.

Notty tracking - YouTube
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:51 AM   #121 (permalink)
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Well, I took Ilka tracking today for the first time in how long? Several weeks, anyway. Two short tracks and two scent pads. The first track was 167 paces (according to my pedometer, with 2 right turns. The second track was 256 paces (again, according to the pedometer), with 3 left turns and one right turn. They were more challenging than they sound though, because of shifting winds and acorns. And the concrete driveway that I put the second track over. When we got there, she kind of looked back at me a went "Really? " I just told her to track, and she was like "Track what?", but managed to pick up the scent (I baited almost every step on the concrete), with only minimal confusion. Hey, never too early to start VST training, right?
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:15 PM   #122 (permalink)
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I like that, "Track what?"

I took advantage of a little rain and tracked 2x earlier this week. I did notice an increase in speed where I had minimal food. Hope to work on that tommorrow.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:00 PM   #123 (permalink)
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We might have also had an accidental cross-track on the second track. After I laid it, and was circling around back to the car, I noticed someone walking through the park, and I think they crossed my track. Ilka seemed to get really confused at one point, and did some casting, but I got her back on the track, and we didn't have any more problems.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:17 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Had the BEST tracking session today! Got sent some photos from the trial site for Feb, and its all pretty steep hills so decided to give hill tracking a go today. B/f and I went up to the hills today, while he lay a big track I did a quick one to warm her up. Had no food out today, was a totally new location and she had no morning exercise but as soon as the harness was on she was working (and not eating poo!).

Did the track that b/f put down after about 15 minutes (it was very windy so didn't wanna leave it too long), she tracked very confidently, not casting too wide despite the conditions, working really hard bless her. Was about 500m long all up, first leg up a steep hill, turn then across hill ridge, turn and a bit if a zig zag down the hill... So proud of Elsie and so looking forward to our first trial!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #125 (permalink)
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would love video of that track.
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