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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Tracking

Alright, so I read a few posts and related articles regarding this activity and I have a few questions:

Syd and I had our first try at this. I trampled a square and sprinkled her dinner around in it and she did her job. Didnt wander outside the edges and was able to find every last kibble, even though it took a while. (i think its supposed to)

Questions:
1. How do you approach the square? Do you heel the dog to it and then make a command "search" once you get to the edge?

2. Is there an order of searching the dog should do? like: Closest to furthest side of the square? Do you make a correction if she skips a few pieces or point them out?

3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you hand and congratulate her?

So after one session she seemed to make the distinction between trampled and regular grass. I plan on sticking to the square for at least a handfull more times and reducing the food quantity so she has to really search for it and learns the boudaries of stomped grass and regular grass and then venture for a short track from there.

Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_dobe_syd View Post
Alright, so I read a few posts and related articles regarding this activity and I have a few questions:

Syd and I had our first try at this. I trampled a square and sprinkled her dinner around in it and she did her job. Didnt wander outside the edges and was able to find every last kibble, even though it took a while. (i think its suppsoed to)

Questions:
1. How do you approach the square? Do you heel the dog to it and then make a command "search" once you get to the edge?

2. Is there an order of searching the dog should do? like: Closest to furthest side of the square? Do you make a correction if she skips a few pieces or point them out?

3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you had and congratulate her?

So after one session she seemed to make the distinction between trampled and regular grass. I plan on sticking to the square for at least a handfull more times and reducing the food quantity so she has to really search for it and learns the boudaries of stomped grass and regular grass and then venture for a short track from there.

Any suggestions?
where are the schutzhund folk? my experience has been with akc type tracking which has much less rigid requirements--i know that they use the square for a particular purpose which i believe has to do with keeping the dogs nose deep in the track & going footstep to footstep but i can't remember what the woman i used to track with did after the square.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Not to get off topic, but whats the difference between Schutz tracking and akc?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by red_dobe_syd View Post
Not to get off topic, but whats the difference between Schutz tracking and akc?
schutzhund tracking is much more formal in my opinion. the tracking dog should keep his nose deep in the track at all times going from footstep to footstep any sort of air scenting is very much discouraged. article identification requires that the dog down on the article (i recently read that what is desired now is that the dog down with the article between their front feet & their chin on the article). at least at schutzhund I level the handler lays their own track at a trial. the dog is scored on a 100 point basis (i can't remember what a passing score is) w/points taken off for air scenting, failure to properly indicate articles etc.

akc tracking is based on a simple pass or fail. as long as articles are indicated it doesn't make any difference how (judges will sometimes ask how your dog indicates an article). as long as the dog is clearly following the track it would make no difference if the dog has his nose on the ground (none of my dobes tracks w/their nose always on the ground by the way) or if they air scent or fringe scent as well as scent from footstep to footstep. akc tracks are always layed by track layer who is someone other than the handler at all tracking levels.

that's the very short version of the differences.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 12:19 PM
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There are different ways to learn the dog tracking, the way you describe you see people over here doing it as well, the way with the square, I describe once how we started, I found the thread and placed it here.

https://www.dobermantalk.com/general-...-tracy-jo.html

We started young with a puppy, try to find a club with good trainers, so that they can help you with it.

I said it allready, there are many ways. See whats fits best with you and your dog!

Last edited by elly; 02-08-2008 at 12:30 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Elly, the three main references that I found useful were your write-up:

https://www.dobermantalk.com/general-...-tracy-jo.html

This one,
Schutzhund Village

as well as...

Schutzhund Tracking

After reading all three, I was still left with the questions above. I'll re-read them as I may have missed something.

Quote:
3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you had and congratulate her?
Relates to the square specifically, because there is no "end" to it. I understand the reward technique once you get to the end of the track, but the square has no end...i just want to make sure I reinforce the correct behavior and stay constistant.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you had and congratulate her?
That is why we never use the square, we always started the way I describe, with the ball at the end, when they don't look at the ball we put sometimes food, as a reward knowing it is the end of the track!

Tracking from footstep to footstep is not common by all schutzh people, a lot of GSD people learn it that way. We mostly put the food in the middle between the footsteps, With IPO 1 you lay your track yourself, IPO2 will be done by a tracklayer, with your own articels, IPO3 will be done by a tracklayer with other articels than from yourself, we first learn the dog tracking and when he can track we started it with other people who lay the track.

Last edited by elly; 02-08-2008 at 01:35 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 01:59 PM
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I took an AKC tracking seminar and it is more air scenting, while the Schutzhund method (I prefer) is nose to the ground in every footstep. I do not do Schutzhund but really like their progression in teaching a dog to track.
I tracked with GSD people in VA and they started by stepping on a piece of hotdog every footstep for only about 20'. Then bring the dog out and say your word...find,track, etc....track to the end...praise like crazy. The take hot dog every other step, introduce corners, lengthen track, etc.
I haven't done this in a decade, but my Dobe at the time loved it. Definitely get with someone who is experienced.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2008, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_dobe_syd View Post
Questions:
1. How do you approach the square? Do you heel the dog to it and then make a command "search" once you get to the edge?

2. Is there an order of searching the dog should do? like: Closest to furthest side of the square? Do you make a correction if she skips a few pieces or point them out?

3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you hand and congratulate her?

So after one session she seemed to make the distinction between trampled and regular grass. I plan on sticking to the square for at least a handfull more times and reducing the food quantity so she has to really search for it and learns the boudaries of stomped grass and regular grass and then venture for a short track from there.

Any suggestions?
As Elly stated there are many ways to teach SchH tracking - sometimes one
way does not fit all dogs...even of the same breed. SchH tracking is definitely a mixture of obedience and tracking combined.

I did not use the "square" with Zane, but I did with Coda. The best method to approach your track or square IMO, is to train according to what the rulebook states - saves alot of headaches later if you teach the "procedures" right from the get go. Sometimes I don't have anyone to report into - so I just pretend that there is a judge there - I also carry a small radio and put it on a gospel station - so he gets usta hearing voices and strange sounds while on the track If the dog is already showing the drive to track of course. The rulebook (SchH USA) states that first you report into the judge, with the dog at sit/heel position. Dog must already be ready to track soooooo if you are placing a line under the dogs right/left leg or between their legs - it must be done BEFORE reporting in as points will be deducted for not going directly to the track and fixing the line after reporting in. As "tracklayers" (for SchH2 and SchH 3) will approach from different directions to lay your track - I stop approx 3 ft from where the flag (square) is directly in front, from the right side, from the left side (alternating everyday) and give my command to track.

As for the order - no one ever specified an order to me, until it became an actual normal size scent pad. As long as your dog is not raising his head, becomes distracted or bored and stays in the square - he's doing a great job! I've seen people point out the food and I've seen others just walk their dogs away once they appear done.

In a square when the dog has found all the food - I just give a heel command - I'd of course be outside the box. I report out to the judge and then I reward like crazy.

Just a suggestion....I would definitely keep a written log (book) of your progression....it really comes in handy. I usta do it with my police dog, did not do it with Coda and I regret it but I've been keeping one on Zane. It helps when you run into a snag in training.

I consider myself very lucky as a member of our club has titled numerous dogs to FH2 (one from a BH directly to FH1 and FH2, then went back to get his SchH titles) - he is also a retired SchH USA Judge - Floyd Wilson who judged many many FH and SchH tracks. I hope you can find someone with experience, to assist you.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_dobe_syd View Post
Questions:
1. How do you approach the square? Do you heel the dog to it and then make a command "search" once you get to the edge?

2. Is there an order of searching the dog should do? like: Closest to furthest side of the square? Do you make a correction if she skips a few pieces or point them out?

3. When the food is all gone, she still was adimently looking for more, sniffing deep in the grass, when/how do you make her stop? Just pull her out, make her heel, reward with a treat from you hand and congratulate her?

Any suggestions?
In the beginning I keep everything pretty informal- I don't insist on a lot of obedience at the track, I want to see them start recognizing the situation (ie. actively sniffing for the track) and really wanting to track first. I take the dog to the scent pad and encourage them to search out the food. I may even point at first, but I try to wean them off any body language other than a verbal command very quickly. There's no order to searching on the square, but once you start tracking footsteps I really want to see a methodical footstep to footstep search. At the end of the track I usually put a pile of food, which causes them to stop and eat it. When they finish the last piece, I give a release command, and then gently pull them off the track and encourage them to focus on me, whether it be for food or toy. Only once they start recognizing the pattern, and start searching, do I ask them to heel to the track (or sit and pay attention first) or heel off the track at the end. You have to be careful- if you have a dog that doesn't have a lot of motivation for the track, too much obedience too soon can bring their drives down for tracking. Remember that tracking requires the dog to work independently from the handler. Lots of obedience causes the dog to focus on the handler, not the track. It's a common mistake- handler brings dog out of the car, dog is trying to drag handler to the track because he's so excited to get to it. Handler insists that the dog heel, it takes a bit to get the dog focused on the handler- by the time the handler is happy with the obedience, the dog's almost forgotten about the track. Keep it short and sweet.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 01:28 AM
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Jessica, where do you track around Seattle?

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 08:11 AM
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I definitely agree with talentdobe in reference to the dog needing to display the drive to track, before asking for obedience, my dogs think obedience is a prelude to everything fun. IMO all phases of SchH/IPO/DVG are a balancing act...where you must "know" your dog and figure out (sometimes through trial and error) what works best for your particular dog.

Even though it was not specifically brought up by the OP. I think most would agree that it is best to teach even a young pup that they need to at least be given the time to go potty before any tracking will begin (especially the males ). I also "cue" mine that it is tracking - not obedience or protection - by letting them watch me lay out the line , dabbing their nose with water and asking them "do you wanta track".
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 10:15 AM
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Years ago when I was working on teaching another dog tracking, I had a book that recomended not teaching on grass. That they learned to look for the grass disturbance and not the actual foot fall.

In the book they started out with scent pads and hotdogs in the track but did it in parking lots, not grass. They went on to making a scent spray taking a shirt someone had worn all day and sweated in preferably, soaked in enough water to cover it then put into a spray bottle. They used this spray which contained the shed off skin flakes and sweat residue to mark trails.

The concept was to have a dog look for the human scent itself instead of grass disturbance because in real life tracking may not always be over areas that have grass to disturb and even if there is that in some searches where foot traffic has been heavy grass disturbance alone may put a dog following the wrong trail.

Anyone have a clue what book this might have been so I can find it again? Anyone heard of the same theorys on grass disturbance?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:08 PM
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I have met several police K-9 trainers/handlers that teach SIAB (Scent In A Bottle) method as you describe Dobemom2b, especially when it comes to hard surface tracking in urban areas.

Not sure about the book - but here is a site that describes the method.

TRACKING WITH SIAB - A MODULAR APPROACH
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:34 AM
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Jessica, where do you track around Seattle?
Hi Charlotte!
My schutzhund club pays to have access to a turf farm, also several farmers in Snohomish county allow us to use their hay fields. I've also used the grass around business parks, schools, baseball outfields, parks, and plowed dirt fields.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:13 PM
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I used to diligently drop them in footsteps because that is how the people did it at the first sch club I went to. At the club I am at now the TD, Lance Collins, told me "you can do that if you want, but I'm too lazy and I don't think it makes a damn bit of difference." I stopped doing it that way just dropping the hot dogs bits in the middle of the track. I found it to be a hell of a lot easier, especially when you are doing FH or longer length tracks. I found for me being a novice, that it relieved me of one extra thing to think about. I found it is hard enough for me trying to remember where my track is without having to concentrate on dropping it directly in the footstep. I also found it not to make any difference. I can say that our tracking greatly improved over time. My scores in 7 trials ranged from low to mid 70's in the first 4 trials, to mid 80's, to high 80's. The last one was a 93, in a snow storm. I have found that tracking is very easy for the dog, and extremely difficult for me. There are many ways to do it. We teach puppies by walking in a circle about 20 feet in diameter dropping food in the path. The main thing I have learned is to try and stay out of the way. No tension on the leash, no steering, etc. The dog's nose is way better than my eyes or memory. Though if it is obvious she has steered more than a body length away from the track she gets a pop on the leash to block her. I still do not steer her back to the track. If I am in doubt I let it go because I think a misdirected correction is much worse than letting it go is she is off. She has learned to keep searching till she gets back "on track".

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
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Hi Charlotte!
My schutzhund club pays to have access to a turf farm, also several farmers in Snohomish county allow us to use their hay fields. I've also used the grass around business parks, schools, baseball outfields, parks, and plowed dirt fields.
Ok, now I have to ask where you train Sch? I'd love to go watch sometime.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:35 PM
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Ok, now I have to ask where you train Sch? I'd love to go watch sometime.
Greater Seattle Schutzhund Club, in Snohomish. I PM'd you with more info.

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