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  • tracking

    during my annual licensing with my 3 yr old gsd,we really struggled with the advanced 250m tracking exercise(alternate hard surface/soft and 30 min age), with the dog unable to find the start of the track and losing interest thereafter.
    i find that he is inconsistant with tracking generally despite having extremley high prey drive in all aspects of his other work.the problem is obviously mine and i do find it hard to read him during tracking as he often waves from side to side and overshoots corners.
    im looking for advice on the best way to take him back and build both his and my confidence in this exercise.

  • #2
    My suggestion would be to take a step back in training and do some food tracks. Maybe hold off on feeding him the night before. I know that missing a corner on a certification is a big deal. But when your tracking for real if the dog blows a corner because he air scents and takes the shortest distance to get to the suspect he may have just saved your life.

    It also sounds like you may not be using flags to mark your training tracks. I think it is very important to do this because if you having guys run tracks for you then you need to know when your dog missed the track in order to stop and recast him until he gets back on it. Ive also heard of using snow fencing on the corners like a maze. Is he lifting his head alot? If he is you may need to try a harness that pulls his head down.

    Im going throught the same problem with my new Dutchy.
    Last edited by cuffnstuff; 05-20-2007, 07:59 AM.


    • #3

      another considerations is when you lay the track watch your wind when using food, have dog go down wind , if he has wind in the face he may tend to lift his head more. I track with the long line between the back legs, new dogs I stay back 2-5 feet until the dog is advancing then I start going back 15', remember when the dog lifts his head off the track>stop moving< wait until his head goes down and you feel the nice pull on the leash and his head is down, don't allow him to just pull with his head up in the air like he's just wanting to pull you. The line should be firm when on the track, no slack in it, and give the dog a soft praise when he has the track, if he lifts his head up, give a soft track command. If he is hectic just hold on and maybe redirect him or give him a few seconds wait him out until the head goes down, if food is there he will hunt.

      Also lay an article on the track and reward the dog and then stop.
      The article will help with his nose staying down and searching the ground.

      You have to just see how the dog is advancing and make the track alittle longer then remove some food and add age to track.

      If the dog is weaving alot he has been conditioned to this, if I know where the track is, he has to be on it before we move forward, if the drive is up he will do a nice arch in his back with the line thru his back legs I can see his nose is down and when his back flattens out his head is up and I stop moving until his head goes down and locates the track again. give soft praise

      When the line is on the dead ring of the collar it will help his head stay down because of line tension , if your on a harness the head can go where ever, don't get this wrong but if the dog locates a man hiding off your track at a distance, your going to have the normal response, head up and him pulling towards the location.

      Also try and do the short tracks 30-50yds earlier in the AM or close to dusk once you have the straight tracks add a soft turn, again watch wind.

      Last thing I do is if I post my dog, I will choke off for his toy and kick it out in front of him, not take it and toss it out in front. once toy stops walk to it, your feet will block it ,bend over grab toy and start walking go 30yds set toy down toss some grass over it and take a big step off track and stay down wind of the track, go back grab dog, set leash give command. wait for the pull and go forward,

      Hope it makes sense, it's sorta hard to put all the info in text.


      • #4
        thankyou for that advice,its very helpful.sometimes you cant see the wood for the trees yourself!.im on nightshift tonight so ill do some in the morning when its quiet.ill llet you know how i get on,cheers.


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