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Food vs article driven track method
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Food vs article driven track method

No luck asking mods if this is a repeat topic so:

Food based vs. article driven tracking. Hunter has the "not my video..." post that shows a tracking style that is article based. The rest of the tracking stuff I have seen/ read is heavily reliant on food for starting the learning process. Looking for posts including pros/cons of each and possible names of the systems.

Goal is real world police oriented. I lean toward finding a workable article system as I have a dog started on food that I had to move away from food with as he was eating junk on real tracks.

I'm familiar with (in name at least) HITTS, Tracey bowling, sick staal, and food each step (which I connect mentally with mostly sports tracking)

Thanks
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

I don't know anything about police tracking. For IPO most serious trainers use food for "laying" the foundation. Once articles are taught then some no longer leave food on the track and some do. I tend to use a little out there, and reward with food at the article.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

I would suggest for a Police K9 that you start the dog with HITT tracking... and STICK to the protocol regardless of how long it takes.

We have three dogs in basic training right now that have all been started on HITT. after four weeks, we have them tracking without food or water spray on asphalt and concrete.... nose down the whole time, sniffing scent in cracks and on the back sides of rocks it's amazing. Here is a video we made of of one of the dogs during the second week. I believe his food spacing was at 40 feet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlsEdHW6sRg
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

We've started dogs both with and without food, and have used various methods within each style. Properly used either is going to get you a good tracker for police work. Improperly used you're going to be out of luck no matter how you train.

Having said that, personal preference is for no food (or water) on the track when starting them.

Ang
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

Matt, Thanks for the video. I particularly like from the handler point of view how visible the water line is. Allows the off-line negatives to be that much more noticeable. Did you start HITT via videos/ reading/ seminar?

Ang, my whole purpose for the post is finding the "proper way"? Do you use some proprietary method or do you use another currently existing system?

My post was mostly meant for ideas to start a personal dog that will be used as nothing more than a trial and error canvas for the knowledge needed to eventually start my own police K9 since I did not have anything to do with starting my current dog
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

Also, is HITT supposed to be a stand alone method that will work on soft surface too?
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hrycaj View Post
Ang, my whole purpose for the post is finding the "proper way"? Do you use some proprietary method or do you use another currently existing system?

My post was mostly meant for ideas to start a personal dog that will be used as nothing more than a trial and error canvas for the knowledge needed to eventually start my own police K9 since I did not have anything to do with starting my current dog
My point was any of the methods are 'proper' if they are properly done. There are many, many, successful police K9 and SAR dogs that are started using food on the track, just as there are many, many started using articles and/or runaways. My personal preference is not to use food or water. I guess you could say we use a combination of 'methods', so would that be considered a 'proprietary' method? I don't know, it's just past experience and figuring out what we like and what works best for our handling/training style. And we do use food if necessary, but it's more for dogs that need to learn to sniff the ground/get their heads down, rather than actual training them to follow the track. I have no problem giving more info to you, but it would be a hell of a lot to write down for a forum. And a lot of variables as well and making adjustments on the fly to what the dog is showing you. I'm starting a few dogs right now, I'll see if I can get some vids of them. No secrets, just a lot of info to try and type up.

General idea though, I like to have them doing searches for small articles first, it can be play for puppies or more formal for adults. It isn't necessary, but it's easier if they know how to use their nose on the ground already. Then we start short runaways for a glove article at the feet of the tracklayer, couple of those, then longer with an article or two on the track to get the dogs head down on the track looking for the article (goes back to article search first), then longer and longer, aged, variable surfaces, person at the end, etc. Start on short grass, go to packed dirt, crushed rock, then solid hard surface like a parking lot. They can be doing pretty long hard surface tracks in a matter of days if done consistently, and the dog has the right drive. Some dogs take longer, some handlers take longer I like it because the dog is never looking for anything but human scent - no food, no water, just tracking.

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Old 10-25-2014, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

Ang thanks for the clarification, I wasn't trying to come off as an ass, just found the proper part a 'duh' moment. The goal in any of my posts is to get a picture of the proper way to do things so as not to screw up. Screwing up is part of the process tho... How we learn...

Thanks again and I would love to watch your progression if you do get time for videos
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

Kevin Kocher has a book "How to train a police bloodhound". Gives a solid start to finish. While it says "bloodhound" in the title, it applies to any breed of dog. It's similar to RCMP tracking through drive. A lot of tracking is forced. With TTD or Kocher method the dog thinks tracking is a blast.

Like Ang said, the dog is all about following human scent. Not food or water trail.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Food vs article driven track method

I also start my dogs on hard surface. That's because I've seen a lot of problems, if foundation trained on vegetation, being able to make the switch to hard surface. It's easier to go hard surface to vegetation than the reverse. Gus, the pup, was started on gravel and then moved to suburban and our municipal complex (lots of parking lots and enough vegetation to help if they get hung up) I've never used food on the track and have always started them on specific human scent.
I've got some of his puppy trails on video in the SAR section under my name and the thread "New Puppy"
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