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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some pointers on doing article tracks. It's been a while for Linkin and I since we did any tracking (a bit here and there but not a whole lot in the past year and a half). I figured I'd try working on just scenting and tracking for articles because I'm kind of "quarry-less". He's doing OKAY. He gets one every now and then, especially this big rubber eraser type thing I have that the dogs seem to think smells really good and they go bonkers... but other than that he just doesn't seem all that interested in it.

He use to be SO good at tracking and he loved it, now I find myself getting frustrated because he's more interested in the smells of everything else around him!

Can anyone give me any pointers? What should I do when he's off in la la land OBVIOUSLY just sniffing rather than tracking? I've been telling him "ah ah!" and then direct him back on course and tell him "search" again. How can I make the track more interesting? Would it make a difference if someone other than me laid the articles? Also, should I discontinue the track if he's REALLY not paying attention (just put him back in the house) or should I try ending it on a more positive note (bring him straight to an article and basically point it out to him and praise). I've heard of all of the above techniques, but am not too sure what to try!
 

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First off try not to get frustrated.. That is what I am working on in training with mine. It goes down the end of the leash and it ruins the run. for both dog and handler.

Iris is my lolly gagger and my ADHD kid. I use the "leave it" command when i feel she is is just farting around smelling everything. I use the "go find" command also to let them know it is no time for petty sniffing.

I have a special harness when working my dogs. When i pull the special harness out..they know it is time to work! The harness is exclusively used for training only. As soon as the work is done. I latch the leash onto the flat collar. I never leave the harness on them either..I take it completely off when finished between runs. They learn quickly that the special harness is the best thing since peanut butter.

Another thing is to trust your dog completely since this is kinda new to him again..You both are learning from each other... Sometimes the wind can confuse the dog and it takes a bit of sniffing to get back on track. They work by ground and air scent they just have to find which on leads to the other.

I find using more people than just the handler to play this game works. If you can get someone else to hide the article it just expands the efficency so much bette

Good luck and cant wait to hear more..
 

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Thanks for the reply!

I try not to get frustrated. When I feel it start coming on I take a deep breath and remind myself it's been a long time since he's tracked and circumstances aren't the same (we learned at Canada West Canine Centre and had our class mates to lay the trail and a much better area to work in, and did it every day etc.). If I still feel frustrated after giving myself this little talking to, I quit. Any time I'm working with a dog in ANYTHING if I get frustrated I end on a positive note with the dog and quit for a while.

My dad offered to lay a track for us tonight, but I'm currently at work and then I get to go home for an hour before I have to go training (I work at a comp store and also train dogs, the latter being my first choice but unfortunately it's not paying the bills right now :() So I'll be home around 8:00 and I highly doubt I'm really going to feel like tracking (only got about 4 hours of sleep last night :S)... maybe tomorrow. Dad's got all this week off so he's more than willing to help out with the dogs this week because he's on vacation :p

Linkin does have a specific harness for tracking but I don't really like it. It's a regular walking harness and I think he's about outgrown it. The past couple days I've been using his backpack (plus then I can just put the articles he's found in there rather than have them fall out of my pocket and lose them :p), but I originally bought the back pack to use during the winter on walks (I put hot water bottles in it when it's REALLY cold out and this keeps him warm as well as tires him out more than just a regular walk). I would like to get a nice tracking harness... but it's currently in that list of things that's "not a necessity" so I have to wait for some extra cash to be laying about :p

What do you use for articles? I just found a bunch of random things around my room (a piece of leather, a cloth wrist band, that strange eraser thing the dogs go nuts for, and a Jenga block hehe). I'm assuming certain things are probably easier to find than others (such as leather, it has a stronger scent).
 

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I am still learning the ropes myself..I am part of a Search and Rescue team since last October. So I am open for clues myself. I know Keechak has been doing some tracking with her dogs and I am anticipating her to chime in here.

We use human "victims" and leather gloves and cadaver scent packs so far during training. We are also going to be learning different things in the future after the wilderness training such as drugs, arson and different SAR scenario training. But one thing at a time, I am really new. But when we do a mock scenario search, The commander uses leather gloves for article placement which is one of the many items..He leaves a trail of sorts to where he is hiding..

I was told that any harness will work, Your backpack is a wonderful item to use for tracking. But i was told not to allow my dogs to wear their "working harness" other than to work and exclusively for work. I have to say..we use the same harnesses for walking but different color (lupine), and notice they have a different work ethic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah yeah... I'd love to get a nice leather tracking harness (like one of the ones sold on Leerburg *drools*), but I have to admit, the backpack is pretty handy to use for tracking.

I loved doing the drug detection part in class! Linkin was really good at it too! If I had some psuedodrugs I'd probably keep it up.

We did the cadaver searching too, but Linkin's "tell" was to pick up the jar with the scent in it and run around the room with it :eek:
 
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