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Old 02-18-2012, 10:50 AM
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New to tracking

Dexter seems to love tracking, I've noticed on a couple occasions that he'll find tracks and they drive him crazy. This morning on our walk he started going crazy because of some deer tracks so I let him follow them for five minutes or so and he seemed so proud of himself.

I know that our breeder will give him lessons in tracking and what not but I'm really new to this, so are there any websites or tips that you can give me. May be some fun exercises to try with him.

Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:24 PM
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I would suggest going to the AKC website and download their tracking information.
You can probably do the same on the CKC website (I see you are in Canada).
I've been tracking for a 1.5 years with my Golden who got is AKC TD last year (one of only 60 Goldens in the US to get it in 2011). We're getting ready to take our TDX test this Spring.

Following a deer track is not the sport of tracking and you definitely don't want your dog doing that when you start tracking ). Download the material off the websites and you'll get a good understanding of tracking. J&J dog supplies also has some books and videos I believe. You will need a tracking harness and tracking lead (usually 40 ft)

The rules, in particular, to get into a TD test is vastly different in the US. You need to certify under an AKC judge in order to even be able to try and enter a TD test. In order to certify you actually have to a pass a TD test and then you get 4 certificates that gives you 4 tries in one calendar year to pass a TD test and get your title. If you fail 4 times in one year you have to start all over again. All TD tests are done by a draw because there can be 20 or teams vying for 4 test tracks.

My Golden loves and I love it because he does.

Once you look over the material, I'd be more than happy to answer questions, give you pointers etc.....
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:10 PM
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it was a great time together! We also got our TD last year too!.. best of luck and have a blast!
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:36 PM
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@RhondaS and Titan -

What is the worst or most DIFFICULT thing I can expect if I take tracking classes with Jacks?

If a dog has been allowed to follow animal tracks and is obsessed with rabbits, are we talking about a dog who is going to be a class clown?

I have to make a decision this weekend whether or not I'm going to take a intro to tracking class in a couple month...
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:20 PM
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Most intro to tracking classes are going to use food - if Jacks is food motivated then there is no down side! GO!GO!GO! You'll love it!
Dealing with critters will come later...
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:24 PM
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I talked to the instructor the other day and she said that we would be getting him to follow the tracks of a stranger. He would learn to pick up a dropped item. And there was something else?

I'm excited but really confused about how out of our league we will be. o_O
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:38 PM
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If the class was described for intermediate level or advanced level handlers/dogs...then perhaps it would be best to wait...but the class is described as an intro class...

So what if you are out of your league! Its not where you start but how you finish! Its the journey not the destination that matters most...yadayadayada!
You're working with a dog you love and enjoying the outdoors and learning something new together...whats the down side?!

Seriously.. show up with a smile and a willing spirit and you will have fun!
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"Trace" - Can. CH Bramley's Light Up The Night, CD, RA - (CGC, CCA, TDI-Therapy Dog and Novice DockDock)
"Rumor" - Jackson's Leap of Faith, RN
"Cadence" - Poeticgold's Of Soldiers and Song

Waiting at the Bridge
"Lexi" - Wise Teacher and Best-est Puppy Raiser
"Liberty" - Bramley's Golden Moments Libby CD, RE - ASCA-CD, Can. CD - (CGC and TDI-Therapy Dog)
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:49 PM
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But...but...but... I want us to SHINE at everything we do.

I haven't worked on anything completely different with a dog in at least 20 years. Not being able to prep/work ahead of class is scary.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:09 PM
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@ Megora

I took a half day tracking seminar to determine if Jake would like it. It was 2/3 lecture and 1/3 working. We got two tracks which he did in 30 secs and instinctively knew what to do as opposed to the other dogs. There was actually a Golden there that it took 10 minutes to get him to put his nose to the ground. After the seminar we did a full track at a local forest preserve and the trainer who rarely took on new students was impressed enough to take us on (Jake is her first Golden student). While all dogs can probably track not all are naturals or talented.
Food has NEVER been used on any of the tracks we have trained on

The only animal that has given us problems are coyotes. Rabbits, Squirrels, deer and horses don't seem to get him off track. We were 30 ft (yes 30 ft) from the glove at our first TD test and Jake went off confidently in the opposite direction. I don't think anyone could believe it. He had gotten through the entire track (with 4 turns) in extremely windy conditions in 3 minutes. When you read through the AKC reports on the reasons for failure I don't even think this failure fits any category and can't wait to see their report for 2011. He was impressive enough that the judges at our next test (which he passed and got his TD) knew about him and two local judges contacted me after the test (we had passed) to see how we did because thy had also heard about that crazy golden at the Weim test. We have since had a lot of practice in forest preserves known for coyotes and so far I think we've worked through the problem - we'll see how it goes when we start up again in 3 weeks. I hope to get into a TDX test this spring - only 40 spots over 4 states.

The hardest thing I think is handling, especially since your dog is in control and leading you. Learning to read your dog in all weather conditions and terrains takes patience. How a dog tracks in wind, rain, heat, cold etc is different. The way they track on cut grass, sand, thick brush, concrete, across streams is also different. Combining all these factors can get challenging. Jake tracks extremely fast so I've had to learn to get him to slow down for TDX tracks because the terrain is much more challenging and trying to get over a tree trunk on the ground at high speed is not advised - I've done it and my ankle wasn't happy for several days.

I only do private lessons now. Last winter I joined a group and didn't like it. It took up an entire day (Sunday) and we only did a very small track barely aged. With the privates I do regulation length tracks and it's aged appropriately. This I believe gets more important as you train for TDX and VST.

Jake LOVES tracking so I love it. Growing up in a major city didn't prepare me for all the things I do with him but tracking is closer than field stuff ).

If you get serious about tracking, get good waterproof boots with traction, waterproof clothing (tests are given even when it rains so training in the rain is common), good gloves to wear and a good tracking lead (I like te 40 ft one from J&J). You might also need to travel to get certified. When we were certified there were a number of folks who had come to IL from Michigan because there are not as many AKC tracking judges as one might think. Getting into TD tests is not easy and you might need to travel. Our second test which we passed was in Indiana, 300 miles each way and included a hotel stay.

I didn't realize I wrote book. I'd say go for it. No matter what I think you'll have fun.
Feel free to PM with any questions etc.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megora View Post
But...but...but... I want us to SHINE at everything we do.

I haven't worked on anything completely different with a dog in at least 20 years. Not being able to prep/work ahead of class is scary.
LOL..ME TOO!!!. If I can try something new anyone can.. It was different from obedience and I had to go outside my comfort zone but it was a blast and finding that glove at the end was right up there with our best moments..what a rush..have fun!
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