January 2, 2000
|As soon as your dog does 50 or 75
feet of straight track, keeping nose down.....begin corners. When
teaching corners.....do easy, nice, rounded, five-step corners at first,
heavily baited. Best to be sure your dog is very sure and very accurate
on these types of corners - right and left - before teaching abrupt
90 degree corners
January 9, 2000
|When your dog will do at least 150
paces of straight track, keeping nose down.....with you up close on
tracking line......begin moving back on line....keeping same tension
on line (no tension).....then move up again.....and up and
back....and up and back.....until you can get out to end of line. Continue
this exercise.......throughout tracking career of dog.....including
training for FH
January 16, 2000
|When training tracking......the
majority of the time.......walk out to the left or right side of your
dog.....on a short line (6 to 15 feet).....Stay far enough to right
or left of dog.....that you can clearly see his nose and how intense
he/she is searching for the track. Concentrate. Watch and
learn the 'tracking style' of your dog. Learn to be a 'team'
member.....You and your dog are the team. :-)
January 23, 2000
|Hide the bait on the track In
the very beginning.....best even then.....to hide the bait on the track.
Pup or dog should learn to search for the bait without using
his eyes. The more hidden the food, the more pup/dog must use
nose.....and the sooner he/she will associate ground disturbance with
This sometimes mean, yes, you must bend over and bury *each
individual bait* under blades of grass..... or whatever you must
do.....so that pup/dog cannot see the bait. Also best to
use bait that is similar to color of terrain you are tracking
Feb. 6, 2000
|After you have started turns with
your dog.....and after he becomes confident on turns.....once a week
do 100 to 150 pace legs *****heavily baited*****
in continuous *U* shapes......for a total of 3 *U's*. After 15
minutes, go approximately 30 paces out standing facing perpendicular to the
middle of the first, third and fifth legs. Walk normally and cross
first, third and fifth legs. Wait 30 more minutes.....then
track your dog on short line (8 to 15 ft.).....When you come to the
area that you crossed, be aware and ready to help your dog.....if he
is distracted by cross track. Most likely he will not be
distracted by cross track. If he is, just help him....by
showing him the continuation of the track in a nice calm manner.
Never get angry, disgusted, disappointed, impatient. Be a
team player....and help your team member.
This should be done in terrain in which the track....nor the cross tracks....are
*an obvious* freeway. :-) You should barrrrrely, if at all......be
able to see your track......BUT....YOU must know where it is at ALL
TIMES. If you don't know where it is, how can you help your team member?
Only the day of the trial do you NOT know where the track is....(unless
it's SchH 1....and even then you're probably so nervous that you
forget where the track is...:-) )..and by then you and your dog are such
a team.....that you find it together..... without giving any handler help.
February 13, 2000
|When teaching a dog to
track...initially.......only do so when it is cool and/or wet. Tracking
is more difficult for the dog when the temperature is high and/or
dry. Tracking is more pleasant....and easier for the dog
when the temperature is cold and/or wet
February 20, 2000
|If you work a normal 8 hour
day....or more..... and think you don't have time to track 4 or 5
times a week, think again. Buy a miner's light that you wear on your
head. Works great! I climbed Mt. Fuji at night with
a miner's light.......and a good friend who owned a 24-hour
convenience store......taught his dog to track with this method. :-)
Track before daylight in the morning.... before you go to
work......or track in the evening....before you go to bed
March 12, 2000
|Make tracking an exciting, fun
event that your dog always looks forward to.
Before leaving home....or before leaving your dog's kennel area, talk to him/her
in an excited voice about tracking; i.e., tracking?....wanna go find
it?.....are your ready?....Show him/her the articles/treats/long line, etc.
Speak in a very 'up' and excited voice. When you reach tracking area,
again show the articles or treats as you go to lay the track....and
speak in an excited voice.
Just before beginning track....again speak in an up and excited
Tracking is a team effort with you and your dog. Both need to be
excited and looking forward to the activity. All little things
you can do to effectuate this....will assist you....and your dog...to
have an excellent 'attitude' about tracking....and when times and
tracking get difficult, you will both work through the difficulties
as a team....that works well together....to a successful end of the
March 19, 2000
|When starting a dog to
track.....and placing bait in each footstep, make the footsteps very
close together. Each week increase the length. You may do
several tracks in one morning....each a little longer than the last.
You may even use the SAME tracks....the next day....or the day after.
It is not necessary to have a large area....nor to always have a different area...and
you may put your tracks close together.
You may even use your lawn...or any part of your yard....to teach your dog to
March 26, 2000
|Do not worry if the dog skips
pieces of bait on the track.
When the dog reaches the end, have either a pile of food....or a
toy...so that you and he know it is the end.
Some dogs, in the beginning....and even ... later....will skip a lot
of the bait the first time he does the track...If this is the case
with your dog, on the first .... possibly .... dozen tracks ... that
you and your dog do .... when he finishes the track .... take him
back to the beginning and let him do it over....remembering always to
put another 'small' pile of food....or a toy....at end.
After about a dozen tracks....over a couple of weeks...or more, cease to allow
your dog to redo the track...and get the pieces of bait he missed.
If, on future tracks, your dog continues to skip a LOT of the bait,
possibly you are feeding him too much....at other times. Or
possibly he just wants to track for the joy of tracking....and
pleasing you....and having fun afterwards.
April 9, 2000
|When beginning to teach your dog to
track, if the opportunity avails itself, allow your dog to 'watch'
another dog or dogs.....that *love to track...and which are good at
it.* If the dog/dogs are yours, tie the young/new tracker
somewhere where he can watch....or hold him and encourage him to
watch. Do this many times.
Especially allow your dog to watch while another dog enjoys
tracking....and ***afterwards*** the owner makes a big deal at the
end...and plays with the dog...and shows his pleasure that he and the
dog have worked well together.*
April 16, 2000
|Always make a
big...fun....positive...*deal* after your dog has completed his
track! Let him know that he did fine...and that you enjoyed
working with him. Even if your dog wasn't as *into it* as you
would like for him to have been, do not show it. Be happy that
you both got out there and tried.
The above can be done with physical praise;i.e,
petting/hugging....or throwing the ball/kong/toy....or using a bite
toy....or just verbal praise.
April 23, 2000
|After your dog has done maybe 50
tracks or so.....and/or over a period of ... say 2
months........begin laying your tracks on various kinds of terrain.
Always KNOW where your track is. Even if the ground is hard packed
dirt, you can 'stomp' and make an indention...and put your bait in
each step...and you will see it. Be careful not to do too many
tracks where your dog sees each piece of food. Always hide it
if at all possible.
Lay tracks in varied lengths of grass.
Lay tracks in varied sparseness of grass.
Lay tracks when it is wet
Lay tracks when it is dry.
Try to avoid extreme heat. This is unpleasant and difficult
for the dog...and should be reserved for when he is a 'seasoned'
Always know where your track is ... and help your dog, if necessary.
Do not worry that your dog is not 'perfect' in these difficult areas
of varied terrain. The exposure is important. It will
you...and your dog.
April 30, 2000
|Sometimes your dog will get off the
track. If your dog gets off the track, in your opinion, because it is
difficult for him......subtlety () guide him back onto the track
without his knowing he is being guided. Use soothing words such
as ... find it...succch...with some, but very little actual pressure
on the line.
If your dog has gotten off the track, in your opinion, because of lack of interest
in tracking, then use a very very very *up* and excited voice, and encourage
him with LOTS of enthusiasm. When he appears to make any effort whatsoever,
praise praise praise....and keep going. You may need to use more
pressure on the line....but ALWAYS try to be subtle with pressure on the
line. The dog should never realize he is being physically helped.
It is important that you NOT give too much help...and it is important that you
use lots of *feeling*....when helping. This *feeling* cannot be imparted
via email. It is something each handler must *develop.*