Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lumi tracking

Laytonsville Park. Still sunny, 47 degrees, light wind.

Both dogs stayed in the van while I laid the track.   Laddie stayed in his crate when Lumi was working.

Track was aged 30 min.  Treats (pieces of sliced ham)  in footprints at irregular intervals, ranging 3-20 feet.  Lumi was on a 30 foot line, which I kept off the ground but not taut.

The track: 60y with serpentine at 10-20y. Right angle corner to left. 70y straight. Right angle corner to right. 20y to the glove.

The track crossed a paved walkway, passed near trees, a picnic bench, and an outdoor grill, went over lawn, leaves, bare patches under trees, and over a branch, which Lumi went around.

Lumi stated motivated, kept her head down, scented every footstep, found every treat, and took every turn, working the entire track without any guidance from me. This was her longest track yet.


1 comment:

Lynnda said...

I got into tracking as a retirement activity for my first agility & flyball dog. Dogs do not seem to loose their sense of smell [unlike hearing and sight] as they age. As an AKC-style tracker [as opposed to Search & Rescue or Schutzhund] I would comment that tracking, like many dog activities, is all about motivation! Particularily with an activity where we are "blind" and not fully aware of what the dog is actually doing. From my experience teaching tracking to my 5 dogs and other people's dogs, I would encourage you to use a line and, rather than verbally cue your dog on turns/corners, use increased tension on the line & your lack of movement to suggest to the dog to cast around to find the track. Many handlers try to keep a light tension on the tracking line to keep a connection with the dog, increasing the tension when the dog is off track and going with the dog when it is on the track. You can probabily reduce the number of food drops on the track. You could have additional articles on the track which gives you opportunities to reward your dog. The glove can hold a beloved tennis ball or other object. Clicker-train an article indication [away from a track]. Just some ideas.
one other idea to to add fish oil to Lumi's diet, if you haven't aleady. Fish oil [Omega 3 Fatty Acid] is anti-inflammatory. It really helped my first Dalmatian [who lived life intensely & got stiff at age 11]. And fish oil helps my car-accident-damaged ankle's stiffness. Few side effects to worry about in trying fish oil. Can use capsules from Costco/Walgreens/Target -- pierce with a pin & squeeze on food -- or liquid with a pump to add to dog's bowl. [Most dogs like the flavor.]
Happy training --
Lynnda L in Minneapolis, MN

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